YSU’s Fourth Opera Staged Under Donald P. Pipino

By Amanda Lehnerd

Youngstown State University’s Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series and the Dana School of Music will present two short operas celebrating “From Mozart to Menotti,” featuring “The Medium” by Gian Carlo Menotti and “The Impresario” by W.A. Mozart, from April 21 through April 23 in Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater at Youngstown State University.

An informal artwalk called Blissful Beginnings will include a pre-performance lecture by Allan Mosher on April 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the McDonough Museum of Art’s lecture hall. Mosher will give some background information on both shows and both composers, and describe how these two works fit into the other works.

A&E Opera2 Courtesy of Dana School of Music

Following the lecture, patrons are invited to attend the opening night reception for the spring Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition in the McDonough Museum where artwork by students completing the requirements for their BFA degree is displayed. There is no charge for the lecture or art opening.

This performance is the fourth opera at YSU staged under the auspices of the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series made possible by Christine and Edward Muransky in honor of Christine’s father. The Muransky family provided a gift to support the Performing Arts Series and the YSU opera in October, 2013. The Performing Arts Series was renamed as a result of that gift.

“The Medium” by Gian Carlo Menotti involves a phony medium who scams money from grieving parents with her sham séances through fake voices and apparitions. She becomes the victim of her own illusions when they begin to haunt her guilt-ridden conscience with fatal consequences.

A&E Opera 3 Courtesy of Dana School of Music

“The Impresario” by W. A. Mozart showcases an opera producer who finds himself refereeing a battle between two rival prima donnas for roles in his upcoming season. Mozart’s one-act musical-play shows us how he successfully arbitrates between the two sopranos and their egotistical attitudes that have exploded into extreme examples of “diva-tude.”

YSU’s opera program director is Misook Yun and the Dana Symphony Orchestra director is Stephen L. Gage, who will conduct “The Impresario” while graduate student Ian LeRoy is the conductor for “The Medium.”

Adult tickets are $16, discount tickets are $8 for non-YSU students, YSU faculty and staff, senior citizens, Penguin Club members and groups of eight or more. YSU student tickets are free with valid ID.