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The Marriage of Figaro’ comes to BGSU stage

Bowling Green Opera Theater brings “The Marriage of Figaro” to the stage for two performances, Nov. 4 and 6, in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center at Bowling Green State University.

The crown jewel of 18th century comic opera, with music by W. A. Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, “Figaro” features some of the most beloved melodies in all opera. This once-controversial bedroom comedy explores the myriad nuances of wit, passion, neglect, hope, lust and true love. The experiences of both the noble and servant classes are considered, resulting in a collection of characters altogether human.

Continuing where “The Barber of Seville” left off, Count Almaviva has grown weary of his bride and sets his sights on his valet Figaro’s fiancée, the chambermaid Susanna. The young page Cherubino, who’s just beginning to feel the pangs of love, has his sights set on the Countess, or anyone else who might give him her attentions. Figaro merely desires a successful wedding day, unspoiled by the Count’s affections for his bride-to-be. Through a series of schemes, missteps and mistaken identities, an amorous evening rendezvous ultimately gives way to balance and redemption.

A collaboration between the BGSU Department of Theatre and Film and College of Musical Arts, the production features stage direction by Sean Cooper; musical direction by Emily Freeman Brown, musical preparation by Kevin Bylsma, scenic design by Kelly Mangan, costume design by Margaret McCubbin, and lighting design by Keith Hofacker.

BGSU students in lead roles include Stephen Maus of El Paso, Texas, as Figaro, Brianna Sosenheimer of Fort Wayne, Ind., as Susanna, Elizabeth Pearse of LaCrosse, Wis., as Countess Almaviva, Errin Brooks of Detroit as Count Almaviva, and Christine Amon of Grand Rapids, Mich., as Cherubino. The Bowling Green Philharmonia and vocal music students fill out the cast.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for students, or $15 and $12, respectively, the day of the performance. Call the College of Musical Arts box office at 419-372-8171 to reserve or email

Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu’s CD reviewed by American Record Guide and Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The CD titled “The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan: Piano Works by Charles T. Griffes” (Centaur, 2010), by Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu, has recently been reviewed by both American Record Guide (issue of September/October, 2011) and Seattle Post-Intelligencer (October 24, 2011).

Alan Becker, critic of American Record Guide, praised Liu’s interpretation “with excellent sound, sensitivity and beguiling color”.  Sang Woo Kang, piano professor at Providence College and music critic, wrote “Overall, this is an excellent recording. Liu has done justice to this sometimes overlooked body of work with her playing, as she pays tribute to a unique and evocative composer.”

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