No detail was too small in the California State University, Northridge virtual productions of Maurice Ravel’s “L’enfant et les sortilèges” and Giacomo Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi.”
That attention to artistry despite the limitations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic earned the opera program in CSUN’s Department of Music two first-place honors in the National Opera Association’s “Opera Production Competition,” which is designed to “encourage and reward creative, high quality opera productions at academic institutions.”
“How gratifying it is for our program to be recognized and honored in this way,” said professor Mercedes Juan Musotto, who served as music director and producer of both Gianni Schicchi by Puccini and Ravel’s “L’enfant et les sortilèges.” “I could not be prouder of all the CSUN students, faculty and staff and all who contributed to bringing both of those ground breaking productions to life.”
CSUN professor Maurice Godin, who served as director of Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi, said it was important to emphasize the mockery aesthetic while using the image of death and a raging Black Plague to set the tone for the production.
Godin said he believed it was necessary to connect these production pieces “to the distorted world that stands before us in the wake of a global pandemic amongst other worldly issues that are taking place daily.”
“Through a changed perspective and skepticism of the world that is inhabited by humans, it is rather critical to still find the joy and laughter in life,” he said.