Opera company to present ‘Merry Widow’ Oct. 25
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Natchez will play host later this month to one of the most popular operettas ever written.
The Natchez Festival of Music will host the Southern Opera and Musical Theatre’s production of “The Merry Widow” at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center.
“The music of this show is beautiful,” said Jay Dean, music director of the Southern Opera and Musical Theater Company and the artistic director of the Natchez Festival of Music. “The wonderfully talented cast is brimming with comedic charm that audiences will love.”
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Though only in Natchez for one performance, the show is touring the state to Hattiesburg, Madison and Meridian as part of the symphony orchestra and theater company’s outreach program located at the University of Southern Mississippi.
“The Merry Widow” is based on a French play from the 1860s featuring characters that are citizens of Pontevedro, specifically at the Parisian embassy of that mysterious land.
Everyone is expecting the visit of the now fabulously wealthy Hanna Glawari. She has been recently widowed and left with a huge fortune, a sum that would suit perfectly to shore up the failing Pontevedrian economy. So the embassy staff decided she must be married off as soon as possible to a fellow countryman.
A glamorous comedy of errors ensues with romantic twists and turns and even Can-Can girls thrown in for good measure.
Natchez Festival of Music Board Chairperson Mary Lessley said the performance coming to Natchez speaks volumes to the city’s ability to attract quality entertainment options for its residents.
“The more cultural events that we can sponsor and be a part of the better it is for the citizens of Natchez,” Lessley said. “The fact that they’re coming here to Natchez on their tour of the state is an amazing thing.”
Twenty members of the 80-person USM Symphony Orchestra, who were in Natchez last month for another performance, will accompany the performers for “The Merry Widow.”
The orchestra members performed “From the New World,” which included renditions of Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” and “Celle Concert” as well as a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Lessley said more than 200 people attended that performance and re-instilled for Natchez Festival of Music members the necessity to bring more performing arts to Natchez.
“That same night there were three other really large events in town and for us to still have that many people with all that going on was incredible,” Lessley said. “That’s incredible for a town this size, and we hope those who weren’t able to join us last time can come see the symphony this time.”
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-647-6742, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at the door the night of the event.