OSWEGO — Oswego Opera Theater, the venerable regional company that has delighted audiences in CNY since 1979, will present Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.  Performances will take place in Waterman Theater, Tyler Hall on the campus of the State University of New York at Oswego, 7060 State Road 104.

The stellar cast includes singers from New York City, Washington, Syracuse, and Rochester. But it also features much home-grown talent. Faculty members Mihoko Tsutsumi, Alan Martin, Ligia Pinheiro, and Patrick Mathis are actively involved in the production.

Tsutsumi, a member of the music department, where she is director of choral activities, has coached the choir for the production. Martin, a member of the voice faculty, will be singing the role of Masetto, the hapless fiancee of the peasant Zerlina. Pinheiro, member of the theater department faculty, will choreograph the dancers in the final, exciting scene of the opera. Mathis, faculty in the theater department, is in charge of the lighting and projections. The production is conducted by music department professor, Juan F. LaManna.

Several students also contribute to the production, all seniors majoring in theater: Dorcas Oluwaseyl Afolayan, stage manager; Jacob Southworth, technical director; and Kierstin Mickle, dramaturg. In addition, many students will be on stage portraying peasants and demons: Alaces Sarmiento, Alaina Webb, Angel Tyler, Annabella Zocco, Debbie Golden, Eliana Horning, Ivy Naugthon, Joe Story, Katy Kartzell, Marisa Kreidler, Rachel Leotta, Sarah Thorson, Stacey Clark and William Sandoval.

Among the cast, two alumnae, both former students of Dr. Tsutsumi, will be on the stage in this exciting production: soprano Amanda Joseph, singing the role of Donna Elvira, and Angela Russell, who will be singing Zerlina.

Since its inception, under the direction of Dr. James Soluri in 1979, Oswego Opera Theater has produced dozens of musical productions, involving hundreds of local musicians, technicians, designers, costumers, and lighting engineers. From the first offering of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, “HMS Pinafore,” Oswego Opera Theater has performed the classics of Mozart, romantic works by Puccini, Bizet, and Verdi, and contemporary compositions by Carlisle Floyd, Leonard Bernstein, and Kurt Weill.

In addition to featuring local talents, the company has helped aspiring young singers start and further their careers by giving them the experience of performing leading roles not available to them in larger opera houses. Several productions have had large casts of children, high school youth and college students, in both major and minor roles and in the chorus, giving them the opportunity to work with professional musicians in the field of opera and musical theater. 

Oswego Opera Theater in the past has joined forces with the Bronx Opera Company in collaborating productions, and has used nationally known directors. While most performances have been held in Waterman Theater on the SUNY Oswego campus, the company has also performed in the Faust Auditorium of the Performing Arts at Oswego High School, and other area schools, churches and halls.

The production, sung in English, will feature famed baritone, Eric McKeever, in the title role, and will be staged by the renowned director Benjamin Spierman.

Tickets are available by contacting the ticket office at 315-312-2141 or online by visiting tickets.oswego.edu.


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