La Canterina & Der Schauspieldirektor (The Songstress & The Impresario)
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
University of Nevada Opera Theater & Nevada Conservatory Theatre- Judy Bayley Theatre; March 2022
Direction: Linda Lister
Maestro: Darryl Cooper
Lighting Design: Catherine M. Pratt
Scenic Design: Brandon Harris
Costume Design: Leah Procita
Photography: Ian LaFountain
Divas is a theme that can span across centuries, as we see in both of these operas. La Canteria shows us the divas of a mother and daughter in the Seventeenth Century . The daughter Gasperina is entertaining two different men to get what her and her mother want. Once caught, things go south and we see thee divas fight to keep the apartment one of the men have provided them. Der Schauspieldirektor brings us into current times, where two sopranos fight for top billing and the lead soprano role in a new opera.
To help the audience understand the locations and different time periods, lighting turned to the natural lighting of each time period. For La Canterina warm lighting was used to evoke the sunlight and candles that were utilized as lighting sources. Cooler lighting of a rehearsal room showed the difference for Der Schauspieldirektor.
Lighting also brought color in to show the emotions and journeys each diva went on. Saturated colors like a sunset were pulled for inspiration and use in La Canterina. These colors allowed the differences to be seen between the two lovers while also showing the heightened reality of the divas as they swirled around swooning and manipulating the men.
In Der Schauspieldirektor lighting used cool tones of blues and purples for the first soprano singer to match the Ariette she sang for her auditions. In contrast, warm amber lighting was used for the other singer. This showed the contrast between the two singers and match the Rondo she sang.
In the end of both operas, the divas get their answers and ways, with an engagement for Gasperina and a shared role for both sopranos.