KET KY to air documentary on ‘Figaro’ production


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – “Figaro! Living in the Moment of a Character,” a feature-length documentary about an opera production by the University of Louisville School of Music and Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland, will be aired this month on KET KY television.

    FilmbyFrame, an independent film company based in Portland, Ore., followed the rigorous three-month schedule of singers from the two schools and their behind-the-scenes preparation for “The Marriage of Figaro” performances in Louisville and Katowice.

    KET selected the film for broadcast statewide on its KET KY channel, 192 on local Insight cable, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 25; 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 26; and 1 a.m. Saturday, May 29. It will run again this summer at times to be determined.

    Mike Ramach, UofL Opera Theatre director, said the opera’s production was just as complicated as its plot.

    “We’ve had an exchange program since 2003, but the 2007 opera was our most logistically involved project to date,” Ramach said. “Combining two casts from two schools from two countries on two continents and performing in two cities, not to mention two languages, provided a drama of its own.”

    Producer Dan Schaefer, a veteran concept artist for Hollywood films and commercials and an instructor at the Art Institute of Portland, followed the adventure step by step as the long-distance “marriage” drew capacity crowds and standing ovations in its final performances in January 2008 in Katowice.

    Schaefer edited more than 60 hours of film to capture the spirit as well the voices of the students — and the director’s angst. More than 200 guests viewed the documentary’s premiere Feb. 13 at the Margaret Comstock Concert Hall on the Belknap Campus.