Luther College Music Department presents Mozart opera

Performing a comedy of errors that touches on the themes of infidelity and betrayal, the Luther College Music Department will present Mozart's opera "Così fan tutte" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, in the Main of Hall of Luther's Center for Faith and Life.

Tickets for the performance are $15 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. They can be purchased online at www.tickets.luther.edu or via the Luther Ticket Office, (563) 387-1357 or [email protected].

There will also be a pre-concert lecture given by Kat Beane Hanson, adjunct faculty in music, before both performances at 6:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Center for Faith and Life. The lecture is open to the public with no charge for admission and will include student performances of excerpts from the opera.

With music by Mozart and the libretto text by Lorenzo da Ponte, "Così fan tutte" explores the question: "Who could be more faithful than our fiancées?" Nobody, according to soldiers Ferrando and Guglielmo, who are engaged to sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi....until the skeptical Don Alfonso is willing to wager them against the claim. Don Alfonso has an elaborate scheme up his sleeve: stage a fake military procession that whisks the boys away to war (or so the sisters think), incite an emotional goodbye, get their chambermaid Despina involved in the wager and disguise the boys as Albanians ready to woo the disheartened sisters.

At its most serious, Mozart's opera "Così fan tutte" flirts with infidelity and betrayal and the inherent consequences, illuminated by some of his most divine music for voice and orchestra. At its lightest, it is a farcical comedy of errors, complete with mistaken identities, magnet therapy and notaries in ridiculous wigs. In the end, it is a vehicle for Don Alfonso, the seasoned philosopher, to remind the young lovers, and indeed all of us, that true love will require forgiveness.

Professor of Music Daniel Baldwin will conduct the cast and the Luther College Chamber Orchestra in the performance. Stage direction is by Associate Professor of Music Andrew Whitfield, musical direction and preparation is by Assistant Professor of Music Nicholas Shaneyfelt and assistant stage direction is by Instructor in Music Carla Thelen Hanson.

The production features original sets, designed and built by Brett Conrad of Rochester, Minnesota; it will also showcase original costumes, designed and built by Marann Faget of Creative Costumes and Clothing in Rochester, Minnesota. Lighting design is by theatre and dance technical director Tom Berger and the stage manager is Luther first-year student Cleo Garza.

The cast of "Così fan tutte" includes Luther students Kurt Anderson, Nathan Baldwin, Garret Baumler, Isaiah Cammon, Xavier Conzet, Colin Cosgrove, Mayalyn Cott, Emily Dirks, Mitchell Gage, Eddy Galstad, Jarrod Gross, Grace Huber, Abby Korenchan, Kiley Korey, Gabrielle Laske, Noah Lauer, Kelvin Li, Sean McKenzie, Mason Montuoro, Natalie Nelson, Riley Peters, Jenna Reimann, Natalie Rumer, Marie Sauze, Jacob Schmidt, Brenna Sherman, Sarah Smallfield, Jacob Southerland, Aidan Spencer, Katie Stuelke and Josh Vidervol. Luther students Joshua Burniece and Anne Wilson served as rehearsal pianists.

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation with six choirs, three bands, three orchestras, two jazz bands and more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 275 music majors study music theory/ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.

Luther seniors Isaiah Cammon and Natalie Rumer​ during opera rehearsal