Las Vegas, N.M. – Highlands University presents Mozart Old and Young Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. for an evening of vocal selections from the classical composer’s operas Bastien and Bastienne and The Magic Flute.
The performance will be in the university’s Student Union Ballroom, 800 National Ave.
Featured soloists include tenor Andre García-Nuthmann, who directs Highlands University’s choral and vocal program, Los Alamos mezzo-soprano Alicia Solomon, Albuquerque coloratura- soprano Jennifer Peréz, and soprano Karliz De Marco, a Las Vegas native and vocal performance music major at Highlands.
Solomon directs the performance and Brian Huysman is the piano accompanist.
“Mozart is considered the greatest opera composer of all time who set the path for future composers,” said García-Nuthmann. “Excerpts from these two operas show the sheer beauty and genius of his work.
“There’s a preconceived notion that opera is only for the elite. With this performance, we want to demonstrate how opera is accessible for all people. I especially hope local students will come and experience Mozart’s magnificent operatic music,” García-Nuthmann said.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed Bastien and Bastienne in 1768, when the musical prodigy was only 12 years old. The one-act comedic opera is a parody of the pastoral genre that was popular at the time.
Mozart composed The Magic Flute in 1791 at the age of 35. It is an opera in two acts that portrays fantasy, secretive Masonic rites, and symbolism of the balance between good and evil. Mozart was a Free Mason.
“Mozart composed The Magic Flute shortly before his death and it shows him at the height of his musical powers,” Solomon said. “Bastien and Bastienne is simpler, but gives a sense of the complexities of Mozart blossoming as a composer.”
De Marco sings the role of Bastienne, a shepherdess, Garcia-Nuthmann sings Bastien, Bastienne’s love interest, and Solomon sings Colas, the magician.
In The Magic Flute, Peréz sings the role of Queen of the Night, De Marco sings Princess Pamina, and García-Nuthmann sings Prince Tamino.
Several of Solomon’s vocal students round out the cast.
Garcia-Nuthmann has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Albuquerque Symphony, and more. He was a vocal soloist three times at the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.
Solomon has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Symphony, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and more. She is a soloist for the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Santa Fe and has released two CDs, Psalms & Prophets and Songs of Travel.
De Marco played Bastienne previously at Highlands and has performed as a soloist with the Santa Fe Symphony at Ilfeld Auditorium. She sang Cosette in Les Miserables and Sandy in Grease for the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera, and performed with the university’s Madrigal Choir at the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.
Peréz is a soloist with the New Mexico Bach Society and has performed with the New Mexico Philharmonic, New Mexico Bach Society, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and more.
“I’ve performed professionally with Alicia, Jennifer and Karlis, and they are all very accomplished artists with absolutely stellar operatic voices,” García-Nuthmann said. “I’m incredibly proud of Karlis because I’ve witnessed her grow as an artist in our vocal performance program, and seen her devotion to the craft as well as her fascination with music.”
General admission tickets for Mozart Old and Young are $8. Tickets for seniors and children are $5. High school and college students with valid IDs are free of charge.