News Release

Cast chosen for Southeastern Opera Workshop’s “The Magic Flute”

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


     HAMMOND Southeastern’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present Mozart’s last opera, “The Magic Flute,” March 7-10 in Pottle Music Building Auditorium. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. nightly.
     General admission tickets will be available at the door and are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, Southeastern faculty/staff and non-Southeastern students. Southeastern students are admitted free of charge with their university ID.
     Charles “Chuck” Effler, director of Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, said “The Magic Flute” is one of Mozart’s best-loved works. A magical adventure story, it combines a serious reflection on love, forgiveness, and the brotherhood of man with bewitching villains, delightful fools, and, of course, Mozart’s divine music.
     “In ‘The Magic Flute’ young Prince Tamino must learn to tell good from evil with the help of his bird-brained sidekick Papageno before he can rescue the lovely Pamina and restore light to the world,” Effler said. “This opera has remained one of Mozart’s best-loved works because of its winning combination of magic and adventure, comedy and drama, and light and dark. Its gorgeous score is famous for both the Queen of the Night’s show-stopping bravura arias and Papageno’s eminently hummable melodies.”
     Opera Workshop welcomes guest stage director Victoria Crutchfield from New York City for this production. Crutchfield graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she staged full productions of “The Rake’s Progress” and John Eccles’ “Semele” and co-founded an opera scenes program for undergraduates while earning her bachelor’s degree in literature.
     She is a Directing Fellow in the Juilliard Vocal Arts department, where she will be the assistant director for Stephen Wadsworth's upcoming production of Don Giovanni. She is also preparing to direct “Dialogues des Carmélites” for Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble in New York this summer.
     “The idea behind the way we’re doing ‘The Magic Flute’ is that this is a magical coming-of-age story just like ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Percy Jackson,’ and other young adult novels and movies that are popular right now. Crutchfield said. “To emphasize how this story belongs in that genre, we’re treating the characters as younger, middle school or early high school, and we’re turning Sarastro’s ‘temple of wisdom’ into a ‘school of wisdom.’”
     Lead cast in the production are Damian Faul, Amite, as Papageno; Sarah Bertrand, Mandeville, as Pamina; Leon Moore Jr., Byhalia, Miss., and Joshua Williams, Mandeville, as Tamino; Kim Dupre, Luling, and Bridget Lyons, Ponchatoula, as Queen of the Night; and Grady Sandidge, Abita Springs, as Sarastro.
     Joining them are BriAnna Dewar, Slidell, and Kristina Temple, Amite, as First Lady; Fiona Allen, Jackson, and Allison Joiner, Ponchatoula, as Second Lady; Whitney Vickers, Birmingham, Ala., and Anastasiia Ped, Kherson, Ukraine, as Third Lady; and Chase Ledet, Schriever, and Jordan Leggett, Slidell, as Monostatos.
     Cast as First Priest and Speaker is Robert Roy, Lacombe, and double cast as Second and Third Priests are Jarred Frey, Metairie, and Todd Melancon, Prairieville.
     Also cast are Bernard McPherson, Nurnberg, Germany, as the Man in Armor; and Karista Filopolous, Abita Springs, and Bethany Putnam, Mandeville, as Papagena.
     Serving as slaves are Kayla Blanchard, Lafayette, Kelly Todd, Houma, Kalee Broussard, Destrehan, Mindy Guidroz, Houma, and Heidi Mathern, Bourg.
     Effler will serve as vocal coach and conductor, while Department of Fine and Performing Arts faculty and staff members Steve Schepker (set design), Cody Stockstill (costume design), and Ellen Sovkoplas (lighting design) will provide their expertise to the production.
     For more information about the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, contact Effler at

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