Thursday, April 24, 2014
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"Mozart in Manhattan" (story audio)
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"Mozart in Manhattan"
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Mozart (Ted Schmitz) and Da Ponte (Alan Bryan) are introduced to Mrs. Van Deusen's niece, Betsy (Karen Harney), who has come to New York City from the wilds of Connecticut to become cultured. (Photo/© Gina Gregory, used with permission)
What if Mozart didn't die of that last illness at 35? What if he followed his librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, to New York? Would Mozart have written the first American Opera? A new opera presented by The College of St. Catherine plays out these "what if?" scenarios. Classical music host Mindy Ratner interviews composer Albert Biales and librettist Brian Fogarty.

St. Paul, Minn. — Lorenzo Da Ponte, the librettist for Mozart's operas "The Marriage of Figaro," "Cosi fan Tutti," and "Don Giovanni," moved to New York in 1805. He taught Italian, imported books, and even ran a hardware business. The story of "Mozart in Manhattan" jumps off from the premise that Mozart did not die in 1791 but came to the United States on the urging of Da Ponte, who persuades Mozart with the lure of the New World's artistic freedom and fresh opportunities. A comedic fairy-tale involving young lovers, a wealthy widow and the two opera impresarios unfolds on the streets and the parlors of Manhattan.

The opera runs Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5 in The O'Shaughnessy on St. Catherine's St. Paul campus, 2004 Randolph Ave.

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