Southeastern announces cast for Opera "Street Scene"
Contact: Rene Abadie
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1) Kayla Louis of Ponchatoula and Grady Sandidge of Abita Springs rehearse a scene in the Southeastern Louisiana University Opera/Music Workshop’s production of Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene.” The production will run Feb. 2-5 at Southeastern’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
2) Sarah Bertrand, left, of Covington and Kayla Louis of Ponchatoula rehearse a musical number in the production of Kurt Weill’s American opera “Street Scene,” a production of the Southeastern Louisiana University Opera/Music Workshop. “Street Scene” will be performed at the university’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium Feb. 2-5.
HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana University Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene,” considered one of the first of the performance genre known as American Opera, Feb. 2-5 at the university’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
Weill, a German-Jewish composer who fled the Nazi regime in the 1930s, selected Elmer Rice’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name as his source material, while enticing Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes to add the everyday language of people of Depression-era New York City.
Opera Workshop Director Chuck Effler said “Street Scene” opened on Broadway in January 1947. The production won a Tony Award for best original score, which Weill composed.
“Weill referred to his piece as an ‘American Opera,’ meaning an opera that drew upon the formal techniques of European opera but utilized a musical language distinctly American, incorporating jazz, blues and Broadway,” Effler said. “Like Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess,’ it was originally written for the Broadway stage but has never had a Broadway revival. Nevertheless, both shows have been taken into the repertory of opera companies and performed all over the world.”
General admission tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performances are available at the door at $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, Southeastern faculty, staff, alumni and non-Southeastern students. Southeastern students are admitted free with an ID card.
“Street Scene” is led by guest director Rachel Harris of Baton Rouge. She has directed Opera Workshop productions in recent years, including “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Die Fledermaus,” and last spring’s double bill of Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi.”
Cast in leading roles are Sarah Bertrand of Covington as Ann Maurrant, Grady Sandidge of Abita Springs as Frank Murrant, Kayla Louis of Ponchatoula as Rose Maurrant and Joshua Williams of Mandeville as Sam Kaplan. Supporting roles will be played by Damian Faul, Amite; Jordan Leggett, Slidell; Allison Joiner, Ponchatoula; Jonathan Dupre, Luling; Krista Filopoulas, Abita Springs; Mary Malbrough, Covington; Trey Miller, Deville; Bridget Lyons and Whitney Vickers, Ponchatoula; Fiona Allen, Jackson; Kyle Brian, Denham Springs; Oliva Sprick, Kenner; Kalee Broussard, Destrehan; Alyssa Carranza, Lafayette; Audrey Ducote, Zachary; and Ivanna Brooks, Thibodaux.
Three Department of Fine and Performing Arts alumni join the cast of students in the production: Tyler Smith of Baton Rouge, Tyrone Hayes of New Orleans and Scott McDonough of Slidell. Other cast members are CharlotteAnne Barbour, Folsom; Kayla Blanchard, Lafayette; Kim Dupre, Luling; Heather Hand, Denham Springs; Amada Lucas, Albany; Todd Melancon, Prairieville; Luke Nettles, Lafayette; and Geoffrey Thompson, Kenner.
Several actors will play speaking roles: Chris Giffin of Baton Rouge, Drew Zeringue of Pearlington, Miss., Tom Anderson of Hammond, Paul Wimberly Jr. of New Orleans and Michael Warren of Bogalusa.
The cast includes four children in various roles: Connor Scott and Rachael Knaps of Hammond, Tylon Kennedy of Springfield, and Haylee Hue of Gonzales.
Effler is serving as vocal coach and conductor, while Department of Fine and Performing Arts faculty and staff members Steve Schepker, set design, Ellen Sovkoplas, lighting design, and Richard Walsh, costume design, will provide their expertise to the production. Caleb Courtney of Hammond will serve as stage manager.
For more information about the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop or the production, contact Effler at firstname.lastname@example.org.