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Sat, Jun 08

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Performing Arts Center

SYLVIANE in The Merry Widow

‘The Merry Widow’ by Franz Léhar is among one of the most famous operettas in history. Set in the 80's, this version is a brand new translation, libretto and dialogue, written by Mission Opera Artistic & Executive Director, Dr. Joshua Wentz!

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SYLVIANE in The Merry Widow
SYLVIANE in The Merry Widow

Time & Location

Jun 08, 2024, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Performing Arts Center, 19300 W, 19300 Nadal St, Santa Clarita, CA 91351, USA

About the Event

THE MERRY WIDOW: MADONNA

‘The Merry Widow’ by Franz Léhar is among one of the most famous operettas in history. Operetta literally means “small opera” and is more like an American Broadway show than a traditional opera. This version is a brand new translation, libretto and dialogue, written by Mission Opera Artistic & Executive Director, Dr. Joshua Wentz and set in the 1980s! The show is in English and will feature a wide variety of dancing, including vogue, classic Viennese waltzing, the can-can, and a men’s kick line. The show will have you roaring with laughter at the comedic dialogue, as you take a trip down memory lane remembering the fashion and the culture of the glamorous 80’s, as the British Crown and Rock Stars like Elton John, Freddie Mercury, and George Michael desperately try to hold on to power.

Mission Opera veteran Jessica Schneiderman stars as Madonna (yes, that Madonna), alongside MO newcomer Julia Behdudov in the titular role. The show also marks the debut performances of Jacob Stucki as George Michael and Lily Berthold as Princess Di, joined on stage by returning cast members Gabriel Manro, Eric Castro, Kirk Garner, Robert Dunlap, Jason Vincent, and Catherine Samartin. Maestro Brian Stone returns to the helm of the orchestra with Music Director & Accompanist Lindsay Aldana.

The production is directed by Mission Opera Artistic Director, Dr. Joshua Wentz and features a multimedia design on the 46’ LED screen, creatively combining traditional theater with contemporary video design and virtual settings. “This show is a wonderful treat for anyone who doesn’t know about opera but loves musicals and theater. This hybrid show features folk music, dance, and an experience that one would more likely find on Broadway than in an opera house.” The entire performance will last 2 hours and 5 minutes, which includes a 15 minute intermission.

Synopsis

The show opens in Buckingham Palace where UK Royalty and Rock Stars are in crisis, realizing the Americans have taken over the pop culture world and the British Invasion could be over. Prince Charles and Princess Diana have arranged another Live Aid event to encourage British pop stars to reach new heights and achieve a second British Invasion. The path becomes clear when the American Madonna agrees to come and perform. The only way to stay on top is if one of the British glam rock stars woos her to wed so that she will declare British citizenship and put the Crown back on top.

Prince Charles battles with the flirting Princess Diana as he works to protect the royal image, but George Michael’s mix tape and new song he wrote to her makes it hard for her to stay faithful. Meanwhile, Elton John can’t stop partying at the Roxy with the glamorous young dancing girls (and boys) long enough to court Madonna and try to convince her to become British. Will Boy George or Freddie Mercury have better luck?

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CAST

Jessica Schneiderman  .......................... Hanna (Madonna)

Gabriel Manro .......................... Danilo (Elton John)

Kirk Garner .......................... Camille (George Michael)

Robert Dunlap .......................... Zeta (Prince Charles)

Lily Berthold .......................... Valencienne (Princess Di)

Shawn Taylor .......................... Bogdanovitch (David Bowie)

Jessie Massoudi .......................... Sylviane (Cyndi Lauper)

Michael Lopez .......................... Cascada (Freddie Mercury)

Sarah Wang .......................... Olga (Kate Bush)

Juwan Stanford .......................... St. Brioche (Michael Jackson)

Eugene Carbajal .......................... Njegus (Boy George)

Alexei Helmbock .......................... Kromow (Meatloaf)

Pyrec Parker .......................... Pritschtisch (Stevie Wonder)

CHORUS

Chandler Cummings .......................... Zozo (Grizette)

Leanna Crenshaw .......................... Lolo (Grizette)

Kirstin Ariel .......................... Dodo (Grizette)

Carol Winston .......................... Joujou (Grizette)

Rita Kasnauskaite .......................... Cloclo (Grizette)

Emma Beggren .......................... Froufrou (Grizette)

Mary Reens .......................... Queen Elizabeth

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