Spring opera production proves: the show must go on
A beautifully performed, spring operetta, The Merry Widow, opened at Temple’s Cultural Activities Center this past weekend.
With many setbacks during the rehearsal period of the production, the cast and crew came together to put on a great show.
Director of the operetta was Dr. George Hogan, who praises the dedication of everyone involved.
“There were days that we couldn’t have practice, like the snow day,” he said. “Other days some people had to miss due to illness. We also had a problem with our costumes being sent to the wrong city. But everyone persevered and didn’t let any of this get them down.”
With a few bumps in the road, the cast and crew needed a way to lift their spirits. Luckily this production is light hearted and quite comical in areas.
The main character is young widow, Hanna Glawari, who is extremely wealthy due to her husband’s recent death. Glawari decides to go to Paris were she is wooed by many men for her fortune.
She does run into an old lover, Danilo, but his current life consists of wasting money at a maxim, women and drinking.
With much bickering and uncovering of a fib, they are then together.
With other little stories intertwined into this big one, The Merry Widow, is an opera that captures the audience with elements of comedy, exceptional singing and gorgeous costumes.
Glawari was played by senior vocal performance major Kathleen Shelton. As a senior, she has worked on many UMHB productions in the past, but was happy with this one.
“These past two months we as an ensemble have worked so hard. So many hours have gone into rehearsals, and we’re forced to turn down other fun things to do, but all for the greater purpose of the show,” she said. “But it’s what I absolutely love to do, so it’s no problem for me.”
For Shelton, there is no greater satisfaction than to put forth countless hours of rehearsals, memorizing hundreds of lines and getting in front of people she doesn’t know in order to give them an hour and a half worth of content.
“The Friday night audience was everything we could have asked for,” she said. “I think they really enjoyed it, and I know we did, it was so nice to finally have laughter and applause after months of delivering lines and learning notes.”
The Merry Widow was performed by more than just UMHB students.
An array of actors in the operetta ranged from UMHB staff and faculty. Also people of the Belton and Temple community were a part of the cast and crew.
One of the girls that Danilo runs to at the maxim is the grezette, DoDo, played by Sarah Sanderford. She enjoyed being a part of the cast ensemble this year because in productions past, she has been backstage as part of the crew.
“I worked as props mistress when we did Hansel and Gretel a long time ago,”
she said. “It’s nice to be able to be on stage and perform and be a character whereas when I was backstage I was always stressing. For me it’s just less stress and just more freeing.”
Sanderford goes on to express her excitement about opening night.
“There is nothing like opening night and knowing there is going to be an audience to perform for.”