The general director of Winter Opera St. Louis, Gina Galati, in addition to her duties as general director will also be performing in the organization’s next production. She will play Fiordiligi in Mozart’s “Così fan tutte.” The opera opens Friday, Jan. 22.
On Thursday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” Galati joined the program to discuss the opera and her role in it. You can read the synopsis of the opera here. At its heart, the opera tells a light-hearted story of two sisters who are engaged to two men. Their partners make a bet with a man that he cannot make the two sisters stray from their side. Hijinks ensue.
“It is a light-hearted opera,” Galati said. “Some might say it is a little sexist because they play a trick on the women and the women fall for it, but it is just a sign of what the time was. Mozart was trying to show that everyone is human — even the aristocracy, the people who have the money, who are ruling the world — that women can fall in love with anyone, even though they’re engaged.”
Galati said that the opera is a good choice for first-time opera-goers because there are many funny moments, where it is apparent the point the audience should be getting. There’s also some funny harpsichord work from Nicholas Giusti, who conducts the 24-piece orchestra for the opera.
Galati said that she’s seen younger audiences gravitating toward the Winter Opera, which she attributes to the opera’s low prices. “Once people come to our operas, they love them,” she said.
She says that may be different from opera as a whole.
“I think people have a notion about opera that it is just boring and the fat lady singing, but it is not really quite that,” Galati said. “It has lots of wonderful beauty to it—there’s music, visual arts, drama. It encompasses all the art forms in one evening.”
“Così fan tutte” was cast from auditions in New York and St. Louis and features local talent in Galati (who plays the lead role), Sarah Nordin (who plays Dorabella) and the director herself, Corinne Hayes.
The opera will be sung in its original language, Italian, as all Winter Opera productions are. It should be noted that Winter Opera also includes English supertitles above the stage.
“The composers had their particular language,” Galati said. “There are things you say in Italian that don’t translate well in English. You lose the storyline, you lose the beauty of the phrase that was intended.”
That means a lot of prep in the language for the performers, who usually train in several different languages during college.
Coming up after “Così fan tutte,” Winter Opera St. Louis will perform Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” in March.
What: Winter Opera St. Louis’ “Così fan tutte”
Where: Skip Viragh Center for Performing Arts at Chaminade, 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
When: Friday, Jan. 22 to Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016
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