Frivolity and tragedy in Anchorage Opera double-bill

The stage of Alaska Pacific University’s Grant Hall Auditorium has been altered to accommodate Anchorage Opera’s production of two one-acts in the 200-seat theater. A hip-high curtain separates the audience from a 15-piece orchestra at the front of the stage and the area behind the proscenium has been built up to place the action above the instruments. A few pieces of furniture dot Carrie Yanagawa’s set, which is ominously dominated by a large, ominous reproduction of the manuscript for the “Dies Irae” section of Mozart’s Requiem filling the back wall.

The Requiem is among Mozart’s most serious pieces. But the offering that opens the double-bill is his lighthearted entertainment, “The Impresario.” Described as a “comedy with music,” it’s sort of a “Saturday Night Live” skit with better music. Aside from the dazzling overture, two arias and two ensembles, the lines are spoken. Happily, playwright Deborah Brevoort’s English translation freshens up the repartee and keeps

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