» Old opera with a new taste for Blood! Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera

 BREAKING NEWS  May 25, 2016

Old opera with a new taste for Blood!

DG1Zombie Opera creators Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel joined forces with Gwen Schmidt, Michael Greenstein and Mary Beth Sederburg to conceptualize a new angle for Mozart’s Don Giovanni in celebration of Undercroft Opera’s ten-year anniversary. Sederburg asked the ubiquitous duo to help her realize her dream- to merge Don Giovanni with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Ambitious though it was to re-write the the words to the entire opera, Bogovich and Rishel have a vested interested in its outcome- to make opera more accessible to audiences, and to give people a high-quality artistic product that they will love! As an added bonus, both Zombie Opera creators adore the 1897 classic novel, and Rishel even led a group of readers in “The Dracula Challenge”, an endeavor to read the novel in real time last year, each novel entry on the date it was written in the book. And of course, both Bogovich and Rishel are partial to opera with a little gore, especially when combined with a thematic projected backdrop.

For several weeks, the team met three days a week to re-conceptualize the whole show and process the two together. This involved translating the original Italian, consulting different translation sources, infusing Dracula elements and characters inspired by the novel, and designing all the rhyme schemes to fall where they must. Liz Rishel hand-wrote the libretto, and Sean Donaldson assisted in re-typing all the words so the cast could study a more legible version.

The production went into rehearsals in late April with Liz Rishel playing “Zerlina” (inspired by Lucy from the novel), and Bonnie Bogovich doning some fangs as one of Giovanni’s “Vampire Brides.” Joining her as the other vampire bride is Emily Swora – Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera’s own disemboweled sweetheart party girl, “Angela.” Jordan Speranzo (“Aidan Bower”) is also in the ensemble.

After a long process, from re-writes through rehearsals, the show opens tomorrow at The Antonian Theater on Carlow University’s campus. If you want to catch Liz as Zerlina (a role she shares with another singer), she performs on SATURDAY, MAY 28th at 8 pm and SUNDAY, MAY 29th at 2 pm.

But there’s more:

Bonnie is covering Liz as “Zerlina”, Emily is Covering the head vampire bride “Dona Elvira”, and Jordan is covering “Don Giovanni” and they will be performing highlights from the show at a Covers Concert on SATURDAY, MAY 28th at 1 pm.

Bonnie Bogovich and Liz Rishel are proud of their involvement with this project, and know that fans of The Zombie Opera will appreciate this thematic twist on an old classic. Dig into this opera and drink deeply!

Official Show info site with cast breakdown

Facebook event for Don Giovanni

Facebook event for Covers Concert

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