Workshop Offers Comic Opera by Haydn

Megan Silberstein

Megan Silberstein

The Westmont Music Drama Workshop stages “La Canterina,” a comic opera by Joseph Haydn on Jan. 30-31 at Center Stage Theater in Downtown Santa Barbara at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13.50 each and can be purchased at the theater box office or online at http://www.centerstagetheater.org/. Proceeds will go toward the Westmont choir’s tour to Russia and Ukraine.

The cast includes several singers who were invited to perform “Pirates of Penzance” for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, including Megan Silberstein (Gasparina), Andrew Combs (Don Pelagio) and Kim Huff (Apollina). Andrey Kitsen (Don Ettore), a Westmont Christmas Festival soloist, and Emmalee Wetzel (Gasparina), who continue her vocal studies in Austria this February, also perform in “La Caterina.”

Kim Huff

Kim Huff

“La Canterina,” written in 1766, is about a young singer, Gasparina, and her mother, Apollina, who deceive two suitors. Both men are in love with Gasparina. One older suitor is her voice teacher, Don Pelagio, and the other is the wealthy and young Don Ottore. Pelagio discovers that she has another lover and throws her out of the apartment he had provided for her. After seeing Gasparina in anguish and fainting over losing her apartment, he changes his mind and gives her back the apartment. In the end Gasparina wins both men over with her charm and beauty and they both decide to accept her just as she is: selfish and materialistic.

The Music Drama Workshop is taught by adjunct professor Celeste Tavera, a Metropolitan Opera National Council winner who has taught a variety of opera scenes and Broadway musicals for the past seven years for the class.