Mario and the Magician
Composer: Harry Somers
Librettist: Rod Anderson
Other Artistic Personnel: Robert Carsen, Director; Richard Bradshaw, Conductor; Michael Levine, Set/Costume Designer; Robert Thomson, Lighting Designer
Original Cast: Original Cast: Stefan, Theodore Baerg; Martha, Marcia Swanston; Franzl, Matthew Elek; Klara, Laura Bertram; Mario, Benoit Boutet; The Hotel Porter, Stephen McClare; The Head Waiter, Gordon MacLeod; The Hotel Manager, Russell Braun; The Hotel Doctor, Matthew Thomas; Silvestra, Monica Whicher; The Principe/Old Fisherman, William Bowen; The Principessa/Old Fisherwoman, Wendy Nielsen; The English Governess, Adreana Braun; The Man in the Bowler Hat, Blaine Hendsbee; A Roman Gentleman, John Avey; A Florentine Colonel, Cornelis Opthof; Maso, Sanford Riley; Lisetta, Bronwen Low; Maso and Lisetta's Mother, Gaynor Jones; Maso and Lisetta's Father, John Nieboer; Tonio, Elliott Bryant; Tonio's Father, Craig Ashton; Fuggiero, Patrick Torcat; Fuggiero's Mother, Kathleen Brett; The Lady from the Bus, Anne McWatt; The Elderly Man from the Bus, Gordon Cowan; The Young Wife from the Bus, Avalee Beckman; The Young Husband from the Bus, Robert Dirstein; The Pedlar, John Kriter; A Taxi Driver, Andr‚ Clouthier; Signora Angiolieri, Heather Thomson; Signor Angiolieri, Martin Spencer; Neopolitan Tourist, Lenard Whiting; Neapolitan Tourist's Wife, Kathryn Domoney; Municipio Official/Crier, James Patterson; Cipolla, David Rampy
Premiere Date: May 19, 1992
Producing Company: Canadian Opera Company
Description: Stefan, a novelist, is giving a lecture about totalitarianism. He uses his vacation in Italy the previous summer as an example. Stefan, his wife, and two kids arrive at Torre di Venere, Italy and stay at the Grand Hotel, where a Principe and Principessa occupy the room next to them. They are relegated to eating alone and are ostracized for being foreigners. Stefan's daughter, Klara, begins to cough. This disturbs the Principessa, who requests that Stefan and his family switch rooms due to her fear of contagion from Klara's cough. Stefan decides to switch hotels entirely. The next morning, the family heads off to the beach. An Italian child kicks over Klara's sand castle and she is covered with sand. Rushing to the water to cleanse herself, the Italians are scandalized-Klara has unintentionally defied the new bathing regulations by appearing naked on the beach. Stefan and his family are led off to city hall. Acts II and III are in the hall where Cipolla, the magician, is performing. A variety of tricks are performed and the audience is greatly amused. During the performance, Cipolla asks Klara and her brother, Franzl, to dance onstage with other audience members. Cipolla makes them dance to the fascist anthem. Stefan confronts Cipolla and resists Cipolla's magical hold on the dancers. Mario, a waiter from the Grand Hotel, is called up onstage where he is hypnotized into believing that Cipolla, in the guise of the fair Silvestra, is Mario's secret love. Mario kisses Cipolla-and then, coming to, is overcome with embarrassment. Mario pulls out a gun and shoots Cipolla. Stefan finishes his lecture.
Reviews: Opera News, Urjo Kareda, 11-92; Opera, Peter Dyson, 8-92
Orchestration: fl, ob, cl, bsn, sax - hrn, tpt, tbn, tba - 2 perc, accordion, hrp, pf
Musical Style: Pungent scoring; vivid choral and ensemble writing; extended passages of uninterrupted music; lyrical lines
Contact: Canadian Opera Company
Phone: 416-363-6671
Schedule of Performances Listings
Mario and the Magician (Thorne)
Friday, April 29, 2005 - Center for Contemporary Opera
Mario and the Magician (Somers)
Tuesday, May 19, 1992 - Canadian Opera Company
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