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Press Release

Contact: Joelle Park
(412) 268-5765

For immediate release:
April 25, 2001

Carnegie Mellon Opera Theater Performs Rare Mozart Opera

PITTSBURGH‹Carnegie Mellon University School of Music presents a rare performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito," Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. in the Kresge Theatre of the College of Fine Arts.

"'La Clemenza di Tito' is an opera seria," said Associate Professor and Director of the School of Music Opera Program Jonathan Eaton. "Opera seria is a formal operatic endeavor. Vocally and instrumentally, it is highly demanding and rarely performed."

The School of Music's production promises to be eloquent and richly theatrical in delivery. This is true to the nature of opera seria. Director and School of Drama graduate student Lydia Steier uses angular distortions of 18th-century rhetorical gesture to achieve an elegant, hypnotic style of movement inspired by Robert Wilson and Martha Graham.

The result is a captivating blend of bold visual abstraction and true narrative.

Conductor Robert Frankenberry and master's student Walter Morales from the School of Music will accompany the vocal performances in an original arrangement for two pianos. Frankenberry, whose credits encompass early opera and oratorio as well as 19th century opera and new works, also serves as musical director. Frankenberry notes that this opera contains some of Mozart's most sublime music. "It incorporates musical innovations not found in any of his other operas," he said.

Considering "La Clemenza's" elaborate detail, it is essential to recognize that Mozart composed the opera concurrently with "The Magic Flute" and his masterpiece, "Requiem," during a brief two-week period.

The performance is free and open to the public. Additional information is available by calling (412) 268-2383.

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