Wednesday, January 26, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 81

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Album Review: D'Angelo

Music Notes

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About the Cougar

Moores Opera prepares two solid productions

By S.A. Florestan
Daily Cougar Staff

Opera that's easy to swallow.

That's just one of many goals sought by the Moores Opera Center here at the University of Houston as they host both Mozart's The Abduction From the Seraglio and Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel simultaneously this weekend.

It seems that the Opera Center management has come to terms with the fact that modern audiences do not have attention spans remotely equal to those of audiences a century ago. 

Photo courtesy of Moores School of Music

Abduction From the Seraglio combines humor and terrific musicianship for what should be an enjoyable opera this weekend at Moores Opera House.

For a generation that expects a song not to exceed four minutes, an opera can be a little too much to ask.

Moores Opera Center director Buck Ross hopes to solve this dilemma and help the audience relate to these operas by making a few cosmetic changes to each.

The story of Hansel and Gretel is timeless. Humperdinck's version of the story differs very slightly in plot from the one most of us heard as children (not the Grimm's version). Ross has chosen to perform the opera in English rather than the original

German. The highlights of this production include a stellar cast and wonderfully luscious sets. 

Mozart's comic opera The Abduction from the Seraglio will be updated from the 16th century to the mid-20th century -- the 1930's to be exact. The updated story involves the rescue of an American oil heiress, her maid and her chauffeur by her fiancée, the son of a powerful U.S. Senator, after the three are kidnapped in Turkey. 

The Abduction plays like a musical in that it has spoken dialogue rather than recitative. All of the dialogue and arias will be done, of course, in English.

Photo courtesy of Moores School of Music

Humperdinck's classic Hansel and Gretel is sure to bring opera lovers in droves to Moores Opera House this weekend.

Both The Abduction and Hansel and Gretel make for wonderful introductions to opera and both are perfect date operas. The directors, students and managers have gone to extensive lengths to ensure that both of these shows will be entertaining and of very high quality. 

Performances run from January 27-February 1 at the Moores Opera House. Performance dates for Hansel and Gretel are Jan. 28, 29 (matinee), 30 (matinee) and 31. The Abduction performances are on Jan. 27, 29, 30 and Feb. 1.

Evening performances begin at 7:30 and matinee performances begin at 2 p.m.

A free opera preview with more information about the plot and history of the opera is given 45 minutes before curtain.

For more information and ticket reservations call the Moores Opera House at 713-743-3313.

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