Pit Boss

There are many ‘delicate’ moving parts in an opera, and everything starts with the man wielding a baton down in the orchestra pit. For HOT’s Figaro, that’s Ivan Torzs

Susan Sunderland
Wednesday - January 27, 2010
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figures into music.

“There is a certain overlap,” he answers. “What’s common to both is the ability to understand abstract structure.”

That should come in it handy for The Marriage of Figaro.

“The plot of this opera is very complicated,” Torzs explains. “That’s part of the comedy. There is a lot of intrigue.”

But Torzs approaches music with a “clear concept of how I want the piece to sound.”

“Part of the conductor’s job is communicating that clear concept to singers and the orchestra, convincing them to do it and enabling them to do it,” he says.

In opera conducting, the maestro cues many moving parts. There are the musicians, actors, dancers and stage direction.

But that’s the fascination of opera. There is a high level of artistry in many aspects of the production that must come together seamlessly.

From the overture - one of Mozart’s most stirring and famous works - to the final bow, it should be a magical experience. Pleasing audiences is at the heart of HOT’s mission, says executive director Karen Tiller, and it is the best way to celebrate the company’s golden anniversary.


HOT’s guest maestro might speak nine languages, but we as spectators only have to speak one. Applause.

Hawaii Opera Theatre presents Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” Jan. 29, 31 and Feb. 2; Wagner’s “Die Walkure” Feb. 12, 14 and 16; and Puccini’s “La Boheme” Feb. 26, 28 and March 2. English supertitles.

For ticket information, call the HOT Box Office at 596-7858 or visit www.hawaiiopera.org.

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