BRONXVILLE, N.Y. - Drawing inspiration from the present political landscape and bizarre recent presidential election, a Bronxville High School student has penned a satirical original Italian-language operetta inspired by President Donald Trump.
High School senior Sam Arcano recently debuted “Don Trump,” a two-act satirical operetta that “tells the story of a man’s battles with his opponents and his own demons,” which was performed at the Bronxville School auditorium last week featuring members of the high school orchestra, student performers and professional singers.
According to Arcano - who started writing the libretto and composing the music for the operetta last February - the story is told from the perspective of the main character, Don Trump, who sets off in his ego-driven quest to become president and defeat the evil witch Hilaria.
“It all started with my confusion about the election or not understanding how this could all be going on,” he said. “Simultaneously being scared and thinking it’s hilarious, I had thought of portraying that. Then I pictured all these politicians singing opera in Italian and it was a really fun idea, so I went from there.”
Music teacher Denise Lutter, who mentors Arcano in music composition independently, said that staging an opera is difficult, but her prized student has taken to it with ease, getting involved with all aspects of the performance, from musical and voice competition to theatrical staging and orchestral conducting.
“He’s truly passionate about what he does,” she said. “He’s making sense of the world and creating his own path and that’s really quite impressive for a high school student. This has been a game-changing political season and through his art, Sam has asked people to think about it in different ways.”
Though he’s been playing the guitar for years, this was Arcano’s first full-stage performance after recently learning how to better write and read music when he took an Advanced Placement music theory class.
“Seeing my own music in a full performance is a wonderful experience,” he said. “It goes from something I wrote on a page in February last year to being a fully-staged performance in front of a huge audience.”