Opera Society is a brand new society who are extremely committed to being an inclusive society that encourages students of all backgrounds to discover the magic of opera, both by watching and by being involved in performances. In our first year we have already grouped together as a wonderfully unique group of musicians with a passion for performing beautiful music. We have members studying subjects from all sectors of the university, as well as bringing together students from different years. We have also been lucky enough to gain the support of international students with members all the way from Australia and America. So far we have been able to give access to masterclasses with English Touring Opera (ETO), talks with professional musicians from ETO, Free screenings of Royal Opera House shows, networking opportunities with National Student Opera Society, trips to see operas and performance opportunities to all with one on one coaching in acting and vocal technique.
22nd & 23rd of February, 2019
7.30pm at St David’s Church, EX4 4HR
The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be the first production that University of Exeter Opera Society have produced. The show will be performed in English, translated by Edward J. Dent, with a live orchestra in the beautiful surroundings of St David’s Church. As you can imagine, a lot of work and organisation has been needed from our small Production Team to put together this show. We are endlessly appreciative of their work ethic towards this production.
Reaching out to the setting of rural Devon in 1920s England, we aim to combine the deceiving characters of Mozart’s original plot and the excitement of the post-war boom. We have seen from rehearsals, that this setting is working well! The plot focuses around the day of Figaro and Susanna’s wedding arrives. It is clear that their master, Count Almaviva, is hell-bent on persuading Susanna away from Figaro to himself, before the ceremony can take place. Susanna and Figaro conspire with the forsaken Countess to outwit her husband and teach him a lesson in fidelity. But when the teenage Cherubino involves himself in their plans, and those of the estate’s gentry, relationships are strained, conspiracies are set up and flowers are trampled. The show is a fast-paced farce of deception and confusion, mourning and marriage, feuding and friendships.
We have changed the Recitative sections of the show by having them spoken in more modernised dialogue, not only adding more authenticity to the 1920s theme, but also opening up the opera to the younger ages. This also allows us to spend a lot of time on the musical movements, making sure we can produce this show to the best of our ability.
Despite the setting, we felt it most effective for the opera to be performed in a church. The acoustic of St David’s Church will help our cast and orchestra blend beautifully, and harks back to the traditions of choral singing, which many of our cast members have been (and still are) involved in. We are extremely excited to be performing in such a wonderful church which, we hope, will elevate our performance for the audience’s benefit.
To make this possible and to do the best version we can, we need your help.
For many, this production will be their first experience of opera, with your help we can bring opera to the community further than our friends at university. Within our Cast and crew not only do we include university students but members of our community from cathedral scholars to college students, we welcome all. We also want to help promote St David’s Church to the community as they work tirelessly to help the homeless community in Exeter. With your aid we will be able to support their work in the soup kitchen and will be able to perform for free for those who are unable to afford it. In order to do this we will need your help. We are a new society and this is our first year, so we are building from the ground up. We need your help to give our student members and the wider community the best possible experience of performed opera. We want to give our audience the best quality, especially if they have never encountered opera before.
Rewards for donating include thank you videos, rehearsal insights, dinner with the cast, signed posters and programs, an opportunity to perform with an orchestra and much more!
To make this project a reality we need at least £500. Anything you can donate will go towards:
Score hire & printing
Materials for building set and props
Lighting & tech hire
Transport for instruments and sets
Costumes for cast
Please do visit our website on the Exeter Students Guild page: https://www.exeterguild.org/societies/operasociety/
We regularly post updates of our production and rehearsal process, as well as information on our other fundraising events like our Launch Night, Concerts and our Bake Sales:
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.