Three dozen Willamette students spent countless hours in preparation for their performance of selections from Cosi fan Tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro in celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday, April 7, 2006.
The Scene visited a dress rehearsal on the student-built set, capturing these Behind the Scenes moments with the cast of 11 singers from the Dramatic Vocal Arts Ensemble and 25 members of the University Chamber Orchestra.
Allison Swenson-Mitchell, ensemble director, managed the production from coaching voices to staging scenes, while Hekun Wu, conductor and associate professor of music, led student instrumentalists in perfecting their performance of these two comic opera scores.
In keeping with the theme of disguise and mistaken identity in these pieces, Willamette students doffed their usual jeans and flip flops and donned lavish costumes and extravagant wigs, rented for the occasion from the Portland Opera. Thanks to Swenson-Mitchell’s backstage hair and make-up finesse, their transformation was complete as the stage lights rose in Hudson Hall.