FYI: Opera's silver year shines (and sounds) like a diamond

Caroline Bergan and Matthew Maisano will reprise selections from their performance of "The Marriage of Figaro" as part of the FYI: Opera program March 29 at Porter Library. Photo by Roger Mastroianni

Magnificent music and outstanding voices will blend for the climax of the FYI: Opera program’s 25th season on Tuesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. at Westlake Public Porter Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. The Westlake-Westshore Arts Council has enriched the community for a quarter of a century by offering FYI: Opera without charge.

The March 29 program previews the Cleveland Institute of Music opera program “Sensational Scenes from Operas – Grand and Light.” CIM Opera Artistic Director David Bamberger promises a potpourri of marvelous selections of great works from the whole history of music theater. 

Accompanying Bamberger will be four stars of recent CIM productions. Caroline Bergan and Matthew Maisano, Susanna and the Count in Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro," will reprise selections from “Figaro,” considered a masterpiece of Italian comic opera. They will also present highlights from the opening scene of Jules Massenet’s most popular and enduring opera, "Manon."

Renée Richardson and Benajmin Liu, who sang the title roles in the CIM production of Hector Berlioz’s enchanting "Beatrice and Benedict," will sing a duet from that opera. Berlioz wrote the French libretto himself and used Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" as his plot. In addition to the Berlioz duet, these talented voices will perform other cherished arias.  

The performance will be narrated by Bamberger and accompanied at the piano by John Simmons, the music director of “Sensational Scenes.”

The March 29 FYI: Opera program offers an inviting sample of CIM’s fully costumed production of “Sensational Scenes from Operas – Grand and Light,” which will be performed April 15, 16 and 17 at CIM’s Kulas Hall in University Circle.

Louise Seeholzer

Publicist for Westlake-Westshore Arts Council

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 03.15.2016