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Vienna Summer Music Festival opens with four operas at Bininger Theatre

By Tom Zucco
Published June 16, 2022
Categories: About Eckerd, Academics, Community Engagement, Music
Two opera students receive instruction in a classroom as a pianist plays in the background.

Music Instructor Brent Douglas is hosting an internationally acclaimed series of operas as the Vienna Summer Music Festival readies for its second-ever season in the U.S.

Eckerd College Music Instructor Brent Douglas is hosting an internationally acclaimed series of four operas June 16–19 at the College’s Bininger Theatre as the Vienna Summer Music Festival opens its second season in the United States.

The Festival is an annual program that pairs college-age classical musicians and performers with renowned leaders in the world of opera and classical music, providing them with a month of intensive training, teaching and guidance. The public performances are the culmination of the program. The Festival stages the performances in two locations: Vienna, Austria, and St. Petersburg, Florida.

This year’s ensemble includes 35 singers; 35 orchestral musicians; and a staff of 15 voice teachers, conductors and stage directors—all of whom are living and working on campus during the summer.

“The four operas being performed this year are a mix of classics of the stage and new works, giving St. Petersburg a unique chance to experience these time-honored works and commissioned performances,” explains Douglas, who is also Eckerd’s string orchestra co-director, instructor of piano and organ, choral director, and staff accompanist—in addition to being a pianist with the Florida Orchestra.

The four operas are:

  • Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), which was originally composed by Mozart in 1786 and made its debut that year at Vienna’s Burgtheater. Douglas will be the conductor on June 16 and 19 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Don Giovanni, another classic by Mozart, paired with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte on June 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Mondo Novo, a modern opera by Paul Richards and Wendy Steiner set in the 18th century and following the story of two English girls traveling in Venice as they discover surprising family secrets. Performances are on June 18 and 19 at 3 p.m.
  • Pluto, another new opera, this one composed by Floridian and Festival executive director Dr. Michael Polo on June 18 and 19 at 4:30 p.m.

You may find ticket information here.