An Opera In Two Mansions

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The cast of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic opera A School for Love will tell the tale of a pair of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness, or lacktherof.

The Sands Point Preserve Conservancy welcomes back the North Shore Music Festival (NSMF) in a modern production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic opera A School for Love on July 21. Guests will spend the evening in two Gold Coast mansions: Hempstead House for dinner followed by the performance in Castle Gould’s Great Hall. A stellar cast will come together for this clever interpretation of Mozart’s famed comedy about the sexes.

A School for Love tells the tale of a pair of young lovers who test each other’s faithfulness, or lack thereof. It is a timeless story of love, trust, deception and forgiveness—when two young soldiers express their certainty that their beloved fiancées will remain eternally faithful, a mysterious and skeptical man offers them a wager, warning that the women can be tempted to infidelity. The men accept and events unfold in ways completely unforeseen by the young lovers.

According to Dan Klein, the executive director of NSMF, “For years this opera was not done, for it’s a very racy and scandalous comedy—perfect for an evening at the Sands Point Preserve.”

The opera is one of Mozart’s three Da Ponte operas, which were based on libretti by Lorenzo Da Ponte, an Italian-American librettist, poet and Roman Catholic priest. Klein said, “We’ve wanted to tackle the Da Ponte Mozart operas for a while, and thought this would be a good starting point. As Long Islanders, we should all feel an affinity for Da Ponte as he spent much of the second half of his life in New York City and on Long Island—he is buried across from Queens College just a few miles from the preserve.”

This opera features several of Mozart’s most memorable compositions, which will be performed by a full orchestra under the baton of Maestro Anthony LaGruth.

Bass-baritone Klein leads the cast as Don Alfonso. Also returning is tenor Tom Mulder, an audience favorite from his portrayal of Nemorino in Elixir of Love last year, in the role of Ferrando. New to NSMF is director, Nick Gisonde and performers Max Potter as Dorabella, Bonnie Frauenthal as Fiordiligi, Nick LaGesse as Guglielmo and Melanie Leinbach as the sassy maid of many faces, Despina. Members of this outstanding cast have performed in prestigious performing arts centers, from the Metropolitan Opera to the Kennedy Center, in venues across the Unites States, Europe and Asia.

As the story of the opera takes place in Italy, the dinner menu will have Italian elements paired with fine Italian wines. Cocktails, dinner and dessert will be served in Hempstead House at 6 p.m. The performance will follow in Castle Gould’s Great Hall at 8 p.m.

To purchase tickets for the opera or the dinner and opera combination, visit www.sandspointpreserveconservancy.org or call 516-304-5076.

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