The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Fresco Opera Theatre of Madison brings Reality TV to the Dane County opera world tonight, Saturday and Sunday at the Overture Center. Plus, British concert organist performs on the Overture Concert Organ this Saturday night.

March 22, 2013

ALERT: Tomorrow, Saturday March 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, the Madison Symphony Orchestra will present English concert organist David Briggs (below) playing the Overture Concert Organ. Briggs specializes in orchestral transcriptions and improvising on themes submitted by the audience. His Madison program includes J.S. Bach‘s Prelude and Fugue in G Major; Haydn’s “Three Clock Pieces”; Franz Liszt’s “Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H“; Briggs, Variations on “Greensleeves: and Briggs, Three Transcriptions — Tchaikovsky’s “The Waltz of the Flowers,” Elgar’s ” Nimrod” from the “Enigma” Variations and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight of the Bumble-Bee.” Tickets are $19. Call the Overture Center box office at (608) 258-4141 or for more information, including tickets, visit: http://www.

David Briggs

By Jacob Stockinger

Where do Reality TV and traditional opera meet?

This weekend, the encounter will take place in the Playhouse at the Overture Center in the new production by the Madison-based Fresco Opera Theatre.

Real Divas logo

The production is called “The Real Divas of Dane County” and is the group’s version of a reality television show, but with opera singers in place of the usual misfits.

real divas 2 tattoo man

Adds a press release: “In true Fresco fashion, we present traditional opera in a non traditional way — with classic operatic arias woven into an original story line. We are really excited about this production and think it will resonate with the public.”

And here is a link to the specific arias and music – by Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Johann Strauss, Wagner, Copland, Menotti and others – that will be featured:

The two-hour performances of Fresco’s Opera Theatre production of “The Real Divas of Dane County” are tonight, Friday, March 22, at 8 p.m.; Saturday night, March 23, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday afternoon, March 24, at 2 p.m. Tickets are reserved seating and are $25 with a 10% discount for groups of 10 and more. Call the Overture Center Box Office at (608) 258-4141.

For more information about this production or about Fresco Opera Theatre, here is a link to the group’s home website:

real divas- trio 1

Here is a description or blurb – ingeniously put in the form one of those annoying TV teasers that mixed in with commercials  – about the show provided by Fresco Opera Theatre:

“This is the true story of opera singers … picked to live in a house … to have their lives taped … to find out what happens … when they exit the stage and get real.”

real divas 4 woman singing with water bottle

Adds the press release: “Fresco Opera Theatre continues to present classical opera in new and fresh ways. This time around, we dive into the “reality television” genre, with an original storyline set to classical operatic repertoire.

real divas 1 gothy woman  

“Fresco Opera has all the tradition, majesty, and prestige of your traditional opera while making it fun, engaging and snarky. Rookies to the genre will be introduced to opera through this fast and approachable performance. Seasoned opera fans will see a refreshing take on the art form.

This project is made possible with support from the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, Madison Arts Commission, SOS, and its generous donors.

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