CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series resumes Feb. 19 – 21 with Il signor Bruschino, the last – and arguably best – in a series of one-act operatic farces composed by Gioachino Rossini between 1810 and 1813. CCM graduate student Avishai Shalom conducts, with stage direction by fellow graduate student Frances Rabalais.
Admission to Il signor Bruschino is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at the CCM Box Office at noon on Monday, Feb. 15.
Il signor Bruschino features all of the traditional hallmarks of opera buffa: mistaken identities, star-crossed lovers, betrothed confusion and an ending that somehow ties up all of the loose ends!
Artist Diploma candidate Rabalais explains, “The comedy of Il signor Bruschino will be familiar to today’s audience. There are the young lovers who can’t get together, the older grumpy gentlemen who are more interested in being right than being nice and a few local eccentrics thrown in for good measure. The plot tosses them all together, we add some physical comedy and you end up with an evening full of laughter.”
According to Shalom, the playfulness of the plot is reinforced by Il signor Bruschino‘s music, which is remarkably cheery. “The score is almost entirely in the major mode and there is wonderful comedy in Rossini’s frequent use of vocal patter,” he explains.
Rabalais adds, “Rossini’s music for Bruschino is beautiful, but not always easy to sing. The performers have been working diligently for months on the music.”
Shalom was already familiar with the overture from Il signor Bruschino, in which Rossini famously asks the violins to tap their bows on their instruments. Now, after five full months of preparing for this production, Shalom has become intimately familiar with every other detail of this early masterpiece, as well!
Not only will Shalom be conducting the orchestra for this production, but he has also taken on the ambitious task of performing all of the continuo parts on a fortepiano, a close relative of the harpsichord and a precursor to the modern pianoforte. Although Shalom admits there was a learning curve involved, he is thrilled with the results.
Rabalais is similarly enthused about her involvement in Il signor Bruschino. “I have always enjoyed working on Rossini comedies, but have never had the opportunity to direct one,” she says. “I am excited to put my ideas on stage with this fantastic cast. The intimate size of the Cohen Family Studio Theater allows the performers to share this opera in a very immediate way.”
When asked what else audiences can expect from the production, Rabalais adds, “The entire design is beautiful, but I think the costumes are particularly excellent! We’ve set the opera in the 1780s, which is a fascinating time in history for clothing. We get a taste of a few different styles in this opera, which is quite a feast for the eyes.”
Next weekend, relax your mind and enjoy a playful romp in a French Castle!
- 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19
- 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Feb. 15. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Community Partner: ArtsWave
Opera Department Sponsor: Mr. & Mrs. Edward S. Rosenthal
Opera Production Sponsor: Genevieve Smith