Westminster Performs Czech Comedic Opera
CZECH FOLK MUSIC AND DANCING: Shown rehearsing for Westminster Opera Theatre’s production of Bedrich (Frederick) Smetana’s comic opera “The Bartered Bride” are Avery Peterman (Marie, left) and Evan Stenzel (Jenik). Performances are Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert L. Annis Playhouse on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Learn more at www.rider.edu/wcc.
Westminster Opera Theatre will present Bedrich (Frederick) Smetana’s comic opera The Bartered Bride on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert L. Annis Playhouse on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University. It will be performed in Czech with English supertitles and a chamber ensemble orchestra. William Hobbs is musical director for the production and Ivan Fuller is stage director. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. They can be purchased online at www.rider.edu/arts or by calling (609) 921-2663.
Considered to be the quintessential Czech opera, The Bartered Bride is the tale of a bride who thinks she’s betrayed by her true love in a business transaction involving a family secret.
Set against a background of colorful Czech folk music and dancing, this production is distinguished by costumes designed and created for it by costume designer Jasmina Pacek. The design combines elements of Czech traditional clothing, based on the historical and geographical context of The Bartered Bride, and the contemporary subculture of steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction with elements of alternative history, as envisioned by Ivan Fuller, the production’s director. Pacek addressed this challenge by using the traditional Czech color pallet (black, white, beige, red, and yellow) and the steampunk concepts of asymmetry and self-standing objects in costumes that she hand-crocheted. The results are contemporary looking self-standing costume elements, such as head coverings, necklaces, and bracelets. Before traveling to the United States for this production, the costumes were the focus of an exhibit “Costume as Sculpture” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Osijek, Croatia.
Westminster Choir College faculty member Williams Hobbs works at many of the world’s major opera houses as conductor and coach. Director Ivan Fuller is Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts professor of theatre, chair of the theatre and dance department and interim chair of the fine arts department and associate dean of the school of fine and performing arts.
Westminster Choir College of Rider University is located at 101 Walnut Lane in Princeton. Learn more at www.rider.edu/wcc.