MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ©Louis Dillon Savage

ABC TV News 24 LIVE RADIO OPERA Interview Sally Blackwood & Alex Knight Friday 16 May 2014

Mozart/Menotti Live Radio Opera

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

“The devil couldn’t do what a woman can, make a thief of an honest man”
Bob, THE OLD MAID AND THE THIEF

ConOpera presents
MOZART/MENOTTI LIVE RADIO OPERA

THE OLD MAID AND THE THIEF
music & libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti
&
THE IMPRESARIO (DER SCHAUSPIELDIREKTOR)
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Music Workshop 17 – 24 May 2014

DIRECTOR: SALLY BLACKWOOD
English dialogue, translation & surtitling by Sally Blackwood

Musical Director: STEPHEN MOULD
Set & Costume Designer: ELIZABETH GADSBY
Lighting Designer: ALEX BERLAGE
Foley Designers: THOM KELLAR, ANDREW SIMONS & TARA WEBB Beautiful Noise
Jingles arranged by: DAMIEN LANE Beautiful Noise

We have set this fabulous double bill production in late 1930s on a Live Radio sound stage. Here our players tell the intersecting stories of THE OLD MAID and her down-on-his-luck yet “venerable” lodger THE IMPRESARIO. Side by side The Impresario and the Old Maid chase love, lust, fame and fortune, injecting a well needed a dose of excitement into their lives and providing entertainment for ours.

THE OLD MAID AND THE THIEF enjoys the distinction of being the first opera composed for radio. Completed and first broadcast in 1939, Menotti adopted the style and pacing of a radio play of the times – the racy repartee of the original narrator owed something to Orson Welles in War of the Worlds. This pioneering work which initiated a new genre was such a success that it went on to be adapted by the composer for live performance in the opera house, where it remains a regularly programmed work.

DER SCHAUSPIELDIRKETOR (THE IMPRESARIO) is a parody of opera consisting of five gorgeous tongue-in-cheek pieces of music, strung together by the loose premise of two divas competing to be the only Prima Donna. The piece was originally written for a lavish party thrown by Emperor Joseph II at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna in 1786, and shared the occasion with Salieri’s opera buffa, ”Prima la Musica e Poi le Parole” (”First the Music, Then the Words”). The plot provides a rough frame for musical showcasing including some fabulously over-the-top “audition piece” Arias. As much of the original SCHAUSPIELDIREKTOR consisted of excerpts from current plays and feeble jokes about vain singers, virtually all modern performances are drastically rewritten, and this production is no exception. Mozart provides a grand overture, two arias, a trio and a quartet, and allows us to laugh at the ridiculous nature of the artform, the players, the behind-the-scenes competition, and to question “what is art if not a reflection of life?”.

PHOTOS CREDIT: ©LOUIS DILLON SAVAGE