Mozart in the South: The Impresario

When: Fri., Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m. 2012

If you think you don't like opera, this is the show for you. Mozart's compositions are a perfect introduction to classical music for those with no knowledge of it, and the same is true of his operas. There's slapstick humor, sex jokes, ridiculously overblown characters — it's just a damn good time. The Impresario, which Chamber Music Charleston is presenting as part of the annual Mozart in the South Festival, has yet another draw for opera virgins: it's short. Since operas are not easy productions to stage, especially for small arts organizations like Chamber Music Charleston, the group knew they'd have to work a little magic. "We decided to update it, locate it in Charleston in the 1940s and perform it as a radio hour," says Sandra Nikolajevs, president and artistic director of Chamber Music Charleston. "All of the action happens right on stage, the musicians are on stage and reacting to what's happening ... and after the little catfight, that's when the actual radio hour begins. It really gives you an inside look at what a radio hour is like, what it takes to create one." Once The Impresario whets your appetite, you'll probably find yourself wanting more, so keep your weekend open: There's a Little Mozart Circus on Saturday, which will showcase the area's musical education opportunities, and a Finale Concert featuring Mozart's Piano Quartet in G Minor on Sunday.

Elizabeth Pandolfi

Price: $10-$35

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