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Short Mozart ‘Singspiel’ at Conjunto

The Conjunto Santander de Artes Escenicas in Guadalajara is hosting a production of “Bastien and Bastienne,” a one-act (45-minute) comic opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the age of 12, with performances on May 14 and 15.

Written in 1768, “Bastien und Bastienne” was allegedly commissioned by Viennese physician and “magnetist” Dr. Franz Mesmer as a satire of the “pastoral” genre prevalent at the time. 

Despite his young age, Mozart had developed excellent vocal writing skills and a knack for parody and whimsy which would reach full flower in his later works.  

“Bastien und Bastienne” is categorized as a “Singspiel,” a German-language music drama, characterized by spoken dialogue, which is alternated with ensembles, songs, ballads, and arias. Singspiel plots are generally comic or romantic in nature, and frequently include elements of magic, fantastical creatures and comically exaggerated characterizations of good and evil.

The German libretto is by Friedrich Wilhelm Weiskern, Johann Heinrich Friedrich Müller and Johann Andreas Schachtner, based on “Les Amours de Bastien et Bastienne” by Justine Favart and Harny de Guerville. 

Next weekend’s production features Mariana Estrada Trejo and Cesar Delgado in the leading roles as Bastien and Bastenne Sergio Ramirez Cardenas is the concert director and Susana Romo stage director. The Orquesta de Camara Higinio Ruvalcaba provides the music. 

Performances are Saturday, May 14, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 15, 5 p.m.

Tickets cost 100-220 pesos and are available at the Conjunto box office (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), or conjuntosantander.com.

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