Fans of the beloved character Don Quixote, the “Man of La Mancha,” are in for a double treat at Bowling Green this week. “An Evening of Two Operas Inspired by Cervantes’ ‘Don Quixote’” will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday (Nov. 6) and at 3 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 8) in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.
Don Quixote (Matthew Hayner, a senior vocal performance major from Lockport, N.Y.) directs his bumbling sidekick, Sancho Panza (Joel Trisel, a senior music education major from Celina).
Madcap Puppet Theatre of Cincinnati is collaborating on the Bowling Green Opera Theater production of “El retablo de Maese Pedro (Master Peter’s Puppet Show).” Also performed will be “Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho.”
“El retablo,” composed by Manuel de Falla in 1923 for opera singers, chamber orchestra and puppet theatre, is a one-act opera depicting Chapter 26 directly from the second section of Cervantes’ masterwork.
The opera will be sung in Spanish and performed by members of Madcap Puppets. It portrays a puppet opera within a puppet opera. Large puppets are used for the “real-world” characters Don Quixote, Trujamán and Maese Pedro, and small puppets will be used to perform the show that Quixote is watching.
Founded in 1981 by the late Jerry Handorf, Madcap Productions Puppet Theatre is a national touring company that creates high-quality live puppet entertainment focusing on children’s literature and world cultures. Through the years, Madcap has expanded its repertoire to include special performances that feature giant puppets along with symphony orchestras, museums, opera and ballet to bring a richly textured artistic experience to children and their families. Bradford Clark, theatre and film, is the set and puppet designer.
“Don Quichotte,” composed by Georg Philipp Telemann, will be sung in English. The comic opera tells the story of the rural wedding of the wealthy Comacho and Quiteria, the beautiful woman marrying him for money, not love. Don Quixote, present during the ceremony, is expected to restore order to the festivities after Basilio, a poor shepherd hopelessly in love with Quiteria, stirs up trouble at the event.
Dr. Ronald Shields, chair of the theatre and film department, will direct “El retablo” and is co-directing “Don Quichotte” with Dr. Michael Ellison, theatre and film. Kevin Bylsma, music performance, is the music director for both works. Both operas are co-productions of the College of Musical Arts and the Department of Theatre and Film.
Advance tickets are $9 for students and senior citizens and $12 for other adults; the cost is an additional $3 each the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the Moore Musical Arts Center box office weekdays from noon to 6 p.m., or reserved by calling 2-8171.