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Family Opera Encores Feb. 10

01/31/13

By Rosanne Pellegrini | Chronicle Staff

Published: Jan. 31, 2013

For the sixth year, Music Department Lecturer Barbara Gawlick is staging an opera performance at Boston College intended not for a tuxedo/evening gown audience, but listeners of all ages.

On Feb. 10, Gawlick’s annual Family Opera event — sponsored by the Music Department — will present the comic opera “Bastien and Bastienna,” a tale of love and magic told by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The performance, which features BC students, takes place at 4 p.m. in Lyons 423.

“Every opera celebrates the art of singing, and the power of a story — two things of interest to any young child,” says Gawlick. “We are usually fortunate to be able to perform for a packed house of very enthusiastic young listeners.”

One of Mozart’s earliest operas — he wrote it at age 12 in 1768 — “Bastien and Bastienna” is a one-act singspiel, with much of the action carried by spoken dialogue.

“‘Bastien and Bastienna’ is a delightful story of adolescent love and all the troubles it brings. It is both innocent and naive, full of charming melodies, and witty dialogues,” according to Gawlick.  “This opera is perfectly suited for young, student voices and for young audiences.”

Where previous Family Opera events featured a collaborative performance between BC students, alumni and local children, Gawlick says, this year’s production has only three characters, all to be performed by adults. BC students Karissa Kozoh ’15 (Bastien) and Daniel Ariel ’13 (Colas) will be joined by 2008 alumna Emily Rose Walsh (Bastienna), who recently completed a master’s degree in voice at Longy School of Music.

The BC student performers, Gawlick noted, “benefit from working alongside more advanced alumni singers, gain invaluable performance experience and provide an important service to the community.”

The opera’s accompanying pianist will be Music Lecturer Leah Kosch. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail concerts@bc.edu.