The Golden Husk hosts first opera

By Lisa Fischer

ORD—The Golden Husk filled with patrons excited to view “The Marriage of Figaro” last Wednesday.

As part of an outreach tour, the venue hosted the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Opera in the Glenn Korff School of Music on May 17 and 18. Last Tuesday UNL Opera members conducted free student workshops before the performance last Wednesday evening. The opera was the first ever hosted by the venue. The opera composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, remains a timeless classic. The 2 hour and 15 minute show, with one intermission, was the second of four performances actors made last week and was made possible through considerable support of the James C. and Rhonda Seacrest Tour Nebraska Opera Fund.

“It is so exciting to have entertainment such as the Marriage of Figaro at the Golden Husk.  The performance was outstanding!” said Janie Zadina Valley Performing Arts Theater member. “We look forward to partnering with the UNL Opera in the future to provide more great opportunities for the Golden Husk patrons to enjoy plays, music and opera in addition to all the other activities at the Husk.”

During the workshops students engaged with the director, performers, musicians and stage crew to learn about the unique qualities of the opera genre, vocal styles of performers and dramatic interpretation of the show. Participants also experienced scenes from the show and participated in a question and answer session during the interactive workshops.

Hagge noted how the “The Marriage of Figaro,” is more than 200 years old and remains relevant today. The essential motivations and tactics of its characters remain the same: The Count Almaviva, a flirt heading a personal empire; the Countess, neglected and hurt by the relationship, but wants to work it out; Figaro, Susanna and Cherubino, entertaining servant employees who are more intelligent than their bosses. The tone of the opera includes the goodness and power of forgiveness in the face of all offenses, a sentiment that is just as true today as it was back then.

Cast of Figaro

Those new to opera most assuredly noted the Count’s Page Cherubino, played by Patty Kramer. In Mozart’s time, it was common to cast the young teenage boy as a female singer in a pants or trousers role. Kramer was a female actress playing the role of a boy, who then dresses like a girl.  This was done because the quality of the female voice is aimed at approximating the adolescent boy.

Hagge said the community response to the opera performance has been wonderful. The crowd celebrated the performance with a standing ovation and offered many positive responses regarding the performance. She said the most common question was “When will the Opera be performing again?”

The Golden Husk looks forward to bringing more quality performances like the UNL Opera, “Marriage of Figaro” to Valley County. They delight in being able to provide opportunities for quality arts and cultural experiences in our hometown communities and to connect our youth with gifted artists from across the country. Hagge added that the Golden Husk also looks forward to creating more opportunities for local artists to share their talents on stage and display their artwork.

“We are incredibly blessed with generous, talented people who contribute to our creative culture through sharing their gifts, Hagge noted.”

Leave a Reply