Pop Art Meets Mozart for UM Opera Production

Pop Art Meets Mozart for UM Opera Production

Molly Grace WatkinsASOTA, News

MOBILE, Ala. – One of Mozart’s last operas takes a modern turn when the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile presents “La clemenza di Tito.”

This opera will be performed April 21 and 23 at 7 p.m. at UM’s College Woods Auditorium. General admission is $20 and student tickets are $10. Tickets and information on this Performing Arts Series event are at umobile.edu/pas

Artistic director Alexandra Trosper, visiting instructor of voice at the University of Mobile, said the production has several surprises in store for the audience.

“Traditionally, ‘La clemenza di Tito’ is set in ancient Rome. The University of Mobile’s version of the opera will be performed as comic book characters set in New York City during the 1950s,” she said.

“This vision is inspired by Pop art, a genre that has historically challenged the traditions of fine art. Marrying the sound of traditional opera with contemporary Pop art is a challenge the University of Mobile will be undertaking with joy and excitement,” Trosper added.

Each character will use cel shading makeup design to adhere to the artistic design of comic books. The characters will perform in Italian, with English supertitles.

First premiered in 1791, “La clemenza di Tito” tells of the trials of isolation within relationships and the destruction of miscommunication. However, no matter how severe the betrayal, forgiveness and truth triumph overall. 

Tito, the new emperor of Rome, is much loved by the Roman people, apart from Vitellia, the daughter of the previous emperor. Vitellia plans Tito’s assassination to reclaim the throne by enlisting the help of one of his closest friends. As the plan is executed, feelings of betrayal, unrequited love and guilt arise as friendships are tested.  

Dr. Scott Wright, general and artistic director of Mobile Opera, conducts the ASOTA opera production. Dr. Christopher Lovely, associate professor of piano and theory, is music director and rehearsal pianist. Dr. Kathryn Hedlund, director of vocal studies, serves the cast as Italian diction coach.

Additional ASOTA professionals assisting with the production include pianists Greg Wiggins, Joy Walters and Guakhar Kenessova; Drs. Michael Hendrick and Lori Guy; and Shadoe Valentin and Alison Wilks.

For more information about the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile, visit umobile.edu/asota.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university offering on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit umobile.edu, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.