Guests filled the gray cushioned chairs of Plaza Del Sol this weekend to watch Center Stage Opera perform Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais 1784 comedic play-turned-opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “The Marriage of Figaro.”
The three hour long opera took 27 days to prepare and included the mariachi group, El Garibaldi de Jaime Cuellar, to perform for the end of the opera.
“We’d like to help to redefine opera, to make it accessible,” said principle Stage Director and CSUN Alumni Dylan Thomas.
“You know how people say the LA Rams, they’re our team. I want people to say that this is our opera company. It belongs to us, it’s our community,” he said. “This says that we have not only culture but we have a community where we’ll sit in the dark and laugh, and cry.”
Principle Stage Director, co-founder of Center Stage Opera and CSUN alumni, Dylan Thomas, speaks to singers before Saturday's show at Plaza Del Sol. “The valley, I was born and raised here and I was very poor, and I want to give to the community an accessible art form that will include them," Thomas said. "The bigger we are then the more we can include the community." Photo credit: John Hernandez
The Center Stage Opera performs "The Marriage of Figaro" at Plaza Del Sol on Jan. 28. The Center Stage Opera was co-founded by CSUN Alumni Dylan Thomas in 2005. Photo credit: John Hernandez
CSUN Alumni Gabriel Manro, 45, performs as Count Almaviva for Center Stage Operas performance of "The Marriage of Figaro" on Saturday, Jan. 28 in Plaza Del Sol. Since graduating in 2000, Manro has performed for LA Opera, Opera Pacific, Hungarian National Theatre, Opera San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, as well as operas in France and Greece. Photo credit: John Hernandez
Recent CSUN graduate in the fall 2018 semester, Tiffany Strong, 22, works in the light booth to cue all stage switches and light changes for "The Marriage of Figaro" in the Plaza Del Sol. “It's just so satisfying to see something on paper come to life, I’ve always been really into like mapping things out and planning and organizing, and so it's really cool when I can do that and see my maps actually happen,” Strong said. Photo credit: John Hernandez
Thirty-year-old Shannon Canchola poses for a photo in the makeup room at Plaza Del Sol before "The Marriage of Figaro" opera. Canchola, who graduated from CSUN in 2017 with a master's in flute performance, is now the flute adjunct at Cal Poly Pomona, teaches at five high schools, along with 20 private students, and is a freelancer for the Center Stage Opera. Photo credit: John Hernandez
CSUN Music Director and Alumni Mercedes Juan Musotto conducts the opera orchestra and plays the piano for "The Marriage of Figaro" on Jan. 28. Musotto, who became the Music Director for Center Stage Opera in fall 2017, said, “It's a dream of mine to bring together CSUN alumni and CSUN students with the community and every kind of collaboration is always positive.” Photo credit: John Hernandez