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IU Opera Theater to bring opera within an opera to its stage

The IU Opera Theater’s spring semester production, Ariadne auf Naxos, will open at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Musical Arts Center. The MAC also offers showings Feb. 3, 9 and 10.

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The story presents an opera within an opera, in which a wealthy patron commissions two acts for a dinner party, according to the Seattle Opera website.

The first hired act is an opera about a mythological heroine named Ariadne who is abandoned by her lover on the island of Naxos. The second act is a comedy troupe.

But there’s a catch: the two acts must perform at the same time.

“Imagine the Cubs and the Colts playing on the same field at the same time and participating in each other’s game,” according to the IU Jacobs School of Music website.

The production, by German composer Richard Strauss, pokes fun at the idea of “high art."

“This is Strauss at his sophisticated best, replete with luscious melodies and vocal pyrotechnics galore,” according to the website.

The artistic team bringing the opera to IU’s stage includes conductor Arthur Fagen, director James Marvel and set de signer Mark Smith, according to the Jacobs website.

Tickets are available online or at the MAC box office.

Christine Fernando

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