Eastern Illinois University Music Theatre and Opera will present "A Comedic Evening of Overbearing and Manipulative Women … and the Men who Love Them" as its first production in the new Doudna Fine Arts Center.
Performances of these humorous one-acts are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15, in The Theatre. All of the segments will be performed in English.
The evening will begin with the opening two scenes from "Rita" by Donizetti, where we meet the sweet (we think) Rita and her clumsy, bumbling, abused and overall pathetic husband Beppo. Quickly, we see how she changes from sweet to sour when he admits to having shattered “her favorite antique.”
Joseph Haydn’s "La Canterina" ("The Songstress"), a classic opera buffa in that it was designed to be rather silly, is about a beautiful young maiden (Gasparina) learning to sing, and her pompous benefactor and teacher (Don Pellagio), whom she uses for every penny he has. Caught up in the mix are Gasparina’s overbearing “mother” figure (Apollonia) and a young, naïve, scared suitor (Don Ettore).
“The Little Harlequinade," an intermezzo by Antonio Salieri, will be given a modern setting. A woman who has invited two men to become her husband leads to an altercation when they all arrive at the park on the same wedding day. Some unexpected twists and turns ensue.
The stage and musical director is Adam Stich, who joined the EIU music department this fall and also conducts the University Mixed Chorus. This production marks his directing debut at EIU.
Stich, who previously spent five years teaching music and theatre in South Carolina public schools, is an accomplished actor, having performed in more than 40 productions, including "Into the Woods" (as The Baker) and "Little Shop of Horrors" (as Seymour).
Stich received his bachelor's degree with a double major in music and theatre from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., before winning a graduate assistantship to the University of South Carolina, where he completed his master's degree in conducting, as well as the coursework for his doctorate in choral conducting.
Tom Hawk is handling set and lighting design, and Jayne Ball-Saret is in charge of costume design. Natalia Negru is the accompanist.
Admission will be $12 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and EIU employees, and $5 for students. Advance tickets are available in the Doudna Fine Arts Center box office (217-581-3110) from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or one hour before each performance. Tickets may also be reserved via email at email@example.com.
This program is presented by the EIU music department in cooperation with the the Doudna Fine Arts Center, divisions of EIU's College of Arts and Humanities. The Doudna is located one block west of Ninth Street at Garfield Avenue in Charleston.
Doudna Fine Arts Center public arts programs are funded by the New and Emerging Artists Series Endowment, by the Excellence in Fine Arts Fund, and by the EIU departments and other patrons as listed.
For more information, visit the website at http://www.eiu.edu/doudna.