The fevered fans at Mobile Opera are enhancing the passion for the performances during the 2014-2015 season. Fittingly, they’ve entitled the new slate “Obsession.”
They kick things off with “Werther” on Oct. 24 and 26. The Goethe-derived tale follows a temperamental artist who falls for a betrothed woman. Despite her reciprocal feelings, she follows through with the wedding to another. Their tortuous passion, passed in correspondence, drives both lovers mad.
Set to “lavishly sensual” strains by Jules Massenet at the close of the 1800s, the opera was ill received in Paris but a hit in Vienna, Austria, and Geneva, Switzerland. When it moved back to Paris in 1903, it ran for more than 1,100 performances. This is the first time it has ever been staged by Mobile Opera.
In spring 2015, the Puccini Project reappears with the Italian master’s “Manon Lescaut,” the third in this series. It will take the stage of the Mobile Civic Center Theater on March 27 and 29.
Based on a 1731 Abbé Prévost novel, it also brings passions fervor to the fore. The libretto was wrestled with by seven writers before Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa finally hammered out the story.
When the convent-bound Manon falls in love with des Grieux, she forsakes her original fate. Once des Grieux is impoverished though, she moves on to another man who can care for her in style. While her heart belongs to her first love, she can’t give up the creature comforts of the second and tries to have it all. Caught in her criminal intent, Manon is deported to the New World.
Also on tap for the new season is an in-school tour of John Davies’ work in “Jack and the Beanstalk,” VOCE and other children’s educational programs. Opera 101, Opera Insights for adults and the Libretto Book Club will return along with pre-curtain talks, “Afternoon of Stars” and the monthly cabaret “Night of Song.”
Season subscriptions are available now. For tickets and more info, call 251-432-6772.