COLUMBIA — A half-hour before dress rehearsal, opera director Tiffany Blake talked with soprano Emily Bennett about her character and gave some last-minute suggestions on body language. Even the tiniest nuance in a glance or a shoulder shrug can make the difference when performing opera.
This weekend, the Show-Me Opera will perform highlights from Donizetti’s “Elixir of Love.”
“L’elisir d’amore,” in its original Italian, is an “opera buffa,” or comic opera, about a farmer, Nemorino, who falls in love with a beautiful woman named Adina. To Nemorino’s dismay, his beloved is also pursued by a handsome army recruiter named Belcore. Desperate for a way to cause her to forget her other suitor, Nemorino buys a love potion from a quack doctor who, in reality, sells the gullible peasant ordinary wine.
Bennett, an MU senior playing the role of Adina, recently won first place in the vocal division of the Music Teacher National Association’s Young Artist competition.
Before rehearsal, MU senior Tim Whipple, who is playing Belcore, joked that he felt like a crimson-clad version of Cap’n Crunch in his costume.
“He’s a sergeant in the story?” Blake’s husband, Murray Oliver, who conducts the opera, asked in his native Scottish accent. “He’s a little spiffy for a sergeant, don’t you think?”
Overdressed or not, it just wouldn’t be opera if something wasn’t at least a little over the top.