The Impresario Presented at CMU

Work of CMU’s Summer Opera Workshop

How far will one man go to get his show produced? That is the dilemma that forms the plotline of Mozart’s The Impresario, which will be performed by the Summer Opera Workshop group of Central Methodist University.


Performances are set for Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, June 15 at 4 p.m. (in deference to Father’s Day). They will be held in the Willie Mae Kountz Recital Hall in the Swinney Conservatory of Music on the Fayette campus of CMU. Cost is $7 for the general public. Students, children, and CMU affiliates will pay $5. The opera is directed by Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan, director of opera at CMU.


In the story, general manager and impresario Mr. Frank (portrayed with glorious abundance by Dr. Joe Geist, professor emeritus of English at CMU and well-known director and actor in the area) is about to audition and engage a company of opera singers for a new season.


Faced with a hoard of personal whims, rivalries, egos, and demands, he must choose his cast well. The man who has offered to bankroll the show, Mr. Geld (Dan Jones,) wants Frank to hire his own sweetheart, a shrewish diva, Madame Varga (Lacey Eaton) in exchange for his funding.


However, Madame Varga must compete with Madame Herz (Britney Kelcher), veritable dueling sopranos, as Frank struggles not to lose complete control over his opera.


Many of the faces of actors will be familiar to those who attended Central’s performance of The Marriage of Figaro this spring. The talent and the humor in The Impresario should match that of Figaro.


This version of The Impresario is an operatic pastiche. Although it is adapted from the original one-act opera, it inserts scenes from other Mozart operas as the “audition pieces.” In addition, most of the dialogue—which is plentiful—is in English!


The Cast and Crew

Mr. Frank: Dr. Joe Geist (Fayette)

Madame Varga: Lacey Eaton, adjunct professor of music (Fayette)

Madame Herz: Britney Kelcher (senior, St. Charles)

Mademoiselle Vogelsang: Anna Kay (junior, Boonville)

Madame Swoon: Shawna Crisler (senior, St. Clair)

Mr. Buff: Levi Gerke (junior, Pilot Grove), Opera Fellow

Mr. Vogelsang: Tom Arnold, adjunct professor of music (Columbia)

Mr. Herz: Taylor Rouse (junior, Columbia)

Mr. Geld: Dan Jones (senior, St. Ann)

Supporting Characters: Trystyn Sellmeyer (Glasgow High School), Joe Jefferies (senior, Fayette), Haley Thoma (Boonville High School)

Musicians: Kelley Head, piano, CMU adjunct professor of music (Fayette); Pam Crawford, flute (Columbia), Graham Woodland, violin (Columbia), and Kaitlin Romine, clarinet (senior, Cuba)

Music and Staging Director: Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan (Fayette)

Costumer: Terri Rohlfing (Fayette)

Set Construction: Greg Owen, assistant professor of theatre (Columbia)


Posted June 3, 2014