Happy birthday Mozart

By Ezra Black

In celebration of what would have been his 260th birthday, Fernie Friends of Opera is screening films of live stage productions of Mozart’s most popular operas at the Arts Station on the weekend of Jan. 27-29.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born January 27, 1756 in Salzburg. His albums are still selling over 200 years after his death, said Fernie Friends of Opera co-coordinator Mary Cosman.

“His life was filled with good times and bad,” said Cosman. “After many years of success and popularity with financial backing from the privileged classes, he was dissatisfied with this dependence and struck out on his own to learn more.”

He left Salzburg and settled in Vienna but faced financial problems as war prevented his wealthy patrons from continuing to support him. He moved to Germany but his health deteriorated. He died at the young age of 35 and was buried in a common grave.

Mozart partnered with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte to produce two comic operas, which met with immediate success. These two operas remain his most popular and are being screened at The Arts Station.

Le Nozze di Figaro – The Marriage of Figaro – will be shown on Friday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m. and Don Giovanni will be shown on Saturday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m.

The third opera Mozart composed later with da Ponte is Cosi fan Tutte, which will be screened on Saturday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m.

“I think Mozart’s operas are really engaging,” said Cosman. “There’s lots of action. There’s always a happy ending and the music is beautiful of course.”

Sunday’s events will include a workshop with live music from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., followed by a screening of The Magic Flute opera at 6:00 p.m.

The workshop will feature Jaffray soprano Lubka Amigues singing arias from The Magic Flute, with accompanist Gilles Hainault. Music educator Lorraine Kneier will lead a discussion about Mozart’s music and operas. Workshop participants will be treated to a free light buffet before the opera.

For more information  email opera.fernie@gmail.com or phone 250-430-2117.

Admission to these events is by donation at the door.

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