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Ocampo-Guzman Directs A (Midsummer) Night At The Opera

This summer, CAMD Associate Professor Antonio Ocampo-Guzman explores the many facets of love, Italian style, when he directs two rarely performed 19th century operas, Donizetti’s Il Campanello and Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz for the Boston Midsummer Opera. The two short operas reunite Ocampo-Guzman with nationally acclaimed conductor Susan Davenny Wyner who will lead the BMO orchestra.  Previously, they collaborated on Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and Bedrich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.

Il Campanello is an exuberant comic farce for which Donizetti wrote both the music and libretto. The story revolves around Don Pistacchio, an elderly apothecary, his new bride Serafina, and her lover Enrico. Enrico is determined to keep the newlyweds from consummating their union by disguising himself, continually ringing the Night Bell and demanding various remedies and potions. Il Campanello will be sung in English.

The romantic L’amico Fritz of Pietro Mascagni tells the story of Rabbi David and his friend, the generous landowner Fritz Kobus — who is happy to provide dowries to those who can’t afford them – but resists tying the knot himself. That changes when Rabbi David, an obsessive matchmaker, bets Fritz a vineyard that he will marry. L’amico Fritz will be sung in Italian with English super titles.

Founded in 2006, Boston Midsummer Opera was recently described by the Boston Globe as “admired by Boston operaphiles for championing offbeat repertoire and showcasing emerging talent.” Performances of Il Campanello and L’amico Fritz are Wednesday, July 20 and Friday, July 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 24 at 3:00 p.m. at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Mosesian Theater, Watertown, MA.