Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Librettist William Shakespeare, edited and arranged with translated aria texts by Ivey Barr
Language Sung in English without supertitles
Dates April 20-21, 2018
About the production Beatrice and Benedick have fought ever since their breakup. Their friends Hero and Claudio are about to get married, and decide to trick Beatrice and Benedick into falling back in love - but they're not the only tricksters around. The villainous Don John is ready to do whatever he can to break up the happy couples, especially if it means seducing Hero's sister Ursula to convince Claudio that Hero is unfaithful!
Our first independent production premiered a creative new pastiche operetta that blends the text of Shakespeare's classic misadventure "Much Ado About Nothing" with arias and duets from Mozart's operas, including seldom-heard arias from Lucio Silla and La Finta Giardiniera and audience favorites like "Deh vieni alla finestra" from Don Giovanni and "Der Hölle Rache" from The Magic Flute.
Act I Don John, Benedick, and Claudio return from war. Claudio proposes to his sweetheart Hero, who accepts. Benedick and Beatrice start to argue, as they always do, and Benedick proclaims that he knows better than to fall in love. Ursula, torn between flattery and annoyance at Don John’s advances, says that any couple has their problems. Hero enlists the others to trick Beatrice and Benedick into falling in love.
Benedick enters to overhear Leonato, Claudio, and Don John apparently discussing Beatrice’s love for him. He is completely fooled and decides he must reciprocate. Beatrice encounters him and is confused by his sudden change in behavior. Once alone, she overhears Hero and Ursula discussing Benedick’s love for her, and is also fooled.
Don John dislikes Claudio and tells him that Hero is already unfaithful to him. Claudio listens as a mysterious figure serenades Hero’s room and, believing Don John must be right, storms off into the night. Unknown to him, Don John is actually meeting Ursula for a tryst. On the wedding morning, Leonato bustles around getting everyone ready. Claudio denounces Hero, who faints in shock. Don John and Claudio leave while the others revive Hero, who mourns the loss of Claudio. Ursula concocts a plan: they will pretend Hero has died from the unjust accusation, to make Claudio regret it. Beatrice, furious, demands Benedick avenge Hero’s honor.
Act II Leonato chases down Don John and Claudio for revenge, with Ursula in pursuit. Benedick arrives and challenges Claudio to a duel. Ursula realizes that Don John used her to frame Hero, and Don John escapes. Claudio realizes his mistake and Leonato tells him that as penance, he must marry Leonato’s mysterious “third daughter” and proclaim Hero’s innocence. Beatrice and Benedick catch a moment apart from the others, but are interrupted by Ursula, who brings the news of Don John’s betrayal and Claudio’s repentance.
Leonato prepares for a second wedding, with Hero masked to conceal her identity. Ursula disappears on a secret errand. Benedick asks Leonato to marry him and Beatrice. Claudio arrives to pay his respects to Hero’s soul. Hero reveals herself alive and is reunited with Claudio. Beatrice and Benedick at last confess that they do love each other. Ursula returns with a captive Don John, and Hero announces that he will not ruin the wedding mood, but be dealt with tomorrow. The company celebrates.