Mozart’s The Impresario (1786) features the comedic trials and tribulations of two warring sopranos fighting for the lead role in the impresario’s new opera production. A comedic Singspiel, this musical drama has spoken dialogue as well as sung arias and ensembles and will be performed in English.
Another type of “Opera War” will be presented in Maurice Ravel’s L'Enfant et les Sortileges (The Child and the Enchantments). In the original libretto by Colette, written around 1917, a naughty little boy throws a tantrum and the animals and inanimate objects that he has harmed or broken in the past come to life to confront him. The NDSU production will draw upon parallels between the story of the opera and Ravel’s actual experiences during WWI, when he served in the French Army. The child represents Ravel himself, confronted by his traumatizing memories of the War. Musical highlights include the beautiful final chorus which stands as a tribute to the innate compassion embodied in a human soul.
Frederic Heringes (Guest Director)
Frederic Heringes is a guest artist for the NDSU Opera performance program and will direct Opera Wars in February 2018. He also works with the Concordia College opera workshop and the Fargo Moorhead Opera Young Artists Program, and teaches voice at Minnesota State University in Moorhead. As a performer, he appeared in the Broadway, San Francisco and Toronto companies of The Phantom of the Opera (Ubaldo Piangi); in New York City: Bryan Putnam’s new musical The Toymaker (New York Musical Theater Festival), and The Crucible and Moliere’s The Learned Ladies at the Gallery Players, New York. Recent film: Intimate Semaphores: Cake (director, T.J. Misny). In the summer of 2017, he performed at The Mountain Playhouse in Pennsylvania for a fifth season, appearing in Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors and Moon Over the Brewery.