The UW Opera Theater, under the direction of Thomas Harper, performs Mozart’s comic chamber opera Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario), plus scenes from Carmen, Fidelio, La Forza del Destino, Così fan Tutte, and Lustige Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor).
CAST, Der Schauspieldirektor
Madame Herz: Lisa Prina
Mademoiselle Silberklang: Ashley Biehl
Herr Eiler: Andrew Fisher
Impresario Frank: Adrian Packel
Buff: Christopher Kouldukis
Der Schauspieldirektor Synopsis:
The impresario Frank is gathering a group of travelling players, both actors and singers. The actor Buff (who was first played by Mozart’s brother-in-law, Joseph Lange) gives Frank some advice – he needs to sign the actors on at a low wage but still advertises the performances in a truly spectacular way. He also advises to bribe the critics and to pay less attention to artistic merit than to effectiveness when pieces are chosen.
The banker Eiler (who was played by the famous Burgtheatre actor, Johann Franz Hieronymus Brockmann) safeguards the financial side of things. He is trying to arrange a role for his mistress, Madame Pfeil (who was played by the popular Viennese actress, Johanna Sacco).
The multiple contenders all try to outdo each other, trying to show off their talent by presenting to Frank different scenes. There is particular rivalry between the two prima donnas Madame Herz and Mademoiselle Silberklang (whose names mean ‘heart’ and ‘silvery tones’). Madame Herz performs an aria in the Italian style and Mademoiselle Silberklang’s in the French style.
The first aria is very sentimental, the second is more charming. In the trio the two singers carry on with their rivalry with ever increasing tensions. Monsieur Vogelsang tries to calm the singers down. Frank then threatens to abandon the plans for a travelling troupe. The artists then come together and join in together with a song of praise for the morality of artists.
Thomas Harper is Associate Professor of Voice, Chair of Voice/Opera, and Director of the Opera Theater at the University of Washington. In addition to voice instruction and direction of opera productions, he holds classes in Diction, Vocal Pedagogy, and Art-Song Repertoire.
He has performed for three decades in opera houses and concert halls in Europe and the Americas, including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Grand Théâtre de Genève, RAI Torino, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Téatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile, and many others. He has amassed a wide and varied repertoire of over fifty roles including the “Duke” in Rigoletto, “Rodolfo” in La Bohème, “Radames” in Aida, “Canio” in I Pagliacci, “Eléazar” in La Juive, “Florestan” in Fidelio, “Erik” in Der Fliegende Holländer, “Parsifal” in Parsifal, “Alwa” in Alban Berg’s Lulu, “Gregor” in Leoš JanáÄek’s Makropoulos Affair and “Mime” in Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which he also recorded on the Arte Nova label. He has won enthusiastic praise for the role of “Fritz” on the Naxos recording of Franz Schreker’s opera Der Ferne Klang and for his definitive interpretation of “Mime” in Der Ring des Nibelungen in numerous European and American opera houses. He may also be heard on the Naxos label singing Famous Tenor Arias from the Italian repertoire as well as Gustav Mahler’s Lied von der Erde with the Irish National Orchestra.< Back