Bastian & Bastiana is the In Series’ answer to the usual annual holiday traditions — a charming, little opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, written when he was only 12 years-old.
Artistic Director Carla Hübner takes to the piano for the emotional score, already showing signs of Mozart’s musicality and love of pageantry. Director Elizabeth Pringle wrote a new English libretto. It had me and the 6 year old next to me grinning.
The story tells of the slightly star-crossed love of Bastian and Bastiana with simple period costumes by Donna Breslin on a pastoral set by Maggie Modig. The flowery backdrops are moveable, which is good since they take this show on the road to schools around the area. Alex Alburqueque (Colas) is the main comic relief of the piece as the magician who tries to get the sweethearts back together, though his voice is anything but funny on “These young girls always want to know” and his (very magical) spell “Diggy, daggy, scurry, murry.”
Teresa Ferrara and Brian J. Shaw (Bastiana and Bastian) are a sweet couple. Ferrera thrives on the tricky runs of “Is it easy to buy yourself some friends?” While Shaw does lovelorn well on “How I miss my lovely girlfriend!!” Though the highlights are their duets like “Go! I don’t trust you!”
Two dancers, Sara Herrera and Mathew Rock round out the cast with minuets by choreography by Jaime Coronado. There was a dance lesson for the audience at the end of the play.
If you can’t face The Nutcracker one more time, try the opera! This sweet, funny, and vocally beautiful production is a winner, whether you’re six or 60.
Running Time: 70 minutes, with no intermission.
Bastian & Bastiana plays through December 13, 2015, at The In Series performing at Source – 835 14th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, contact the box office at (202) 204-7800, or purchase them online.