Cast chosen for Southeastern Opera Workshop’s “Fairy Tales”

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
Date: January 29, 2013


     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University's Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present two classic Fairy tales, "Hansel & Gretel" and "Cendrillon" – better known as Cinderella – Feb. 7 and 8 in the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. nightly.
     Tickets are $21 for adults, $16 for seniors, Southeastern faculty/staff and non-Southeastern students, and $4 for children 12 and younger. Southeastern students are admitted free of charge with their university ID.
     Opera Workshop welcomes guest stage director Rachel M. Harris.
     "Rachel has been directing operas for me since 2008," said Chuck Effler, director of Opera/Music Theatre Workshop. "Several years ago she told me about a version of the Cinderella story by French 19th century composer Pauline Viardot; she had translated about two-thirds of it and staged it as a project when she was working on her doctorate. I knew of Viardot slightly -- I had played several of her songs when accompanying vocal students, and I found her music quite charming. The problem with the piece, however, was that it was too short to fill an evening, and it was written for piano, not for orchestra."
     Effler said he decided to pair another fairy tale opera, the famous Humperdinck "Hansel and Gretel" with 'Cendrillon' and write orchestrations for it himself.
     "So this production of Viardot's 'Cendrillon' is the premier performance of Rachel's complete translation of the opera and of my orchestrations," he said.
     Lead cast in the production of "Hansel and Gretal" are Allison Joiner, Hammond, as Hansel; Kim Dupre, Luling, as Gretel; Brent Alan Goodrich, Sulphur, as Father; and Sarah Bertrand, Covington, as Mother.
     Joining them are Mindy Guidroz, Houma, and Amanda Lucas, Albany, as Sandman, the Sleep Fairy; Katherine Smith, Slidell, as Dewman, the Dew Fairy; Fiona Allen, Jackson, and Chase Ledet, Shriever, as Gingerbread Witch; and Olivia Lowentritt, Hammond, as Ginderbread Child.
     Cast as Churus of Echos are Allen, Bertrand, Guidroz, Lucas, Kayla Blanchard of Lafayette, BriAnna Dewar of Slidell, Anastasiia Ped, Kherson, Ukraine, Smith, and Kristina Templeof Amite.
     Cast in the production of "Cendrillon" are Temple as Cendrillon (Cinderella); Dewar as as La Fée (Fairy Godmother); Jeremy Lloyd, Baton Rouge, and Joshua Williams, Mandeville, as Prince Charming; Dustin Johnson, Covington, and Jordan Leggett, Slidell, as Comte Barigoule; and Todd J. Melancon, Prairieville, as Le Baron de Pictordu (Cendrillon's stepfather.)
     Joining them are Blanchard and Ped as Armelinde (Cendrillon's stepsister); Bertrand as Maguelonne (Cendrillon's stepsister); Alexander McConnell, Violet, as Horse; and Goodrich as Coachman.
     Cast in the chorus are Blanchard, Johnson, Goodrich, Guidroz, Ledet, Leggett, Lloyd, Lucas, Ped, Smith, and Williams.
     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) are providing their expertise to the production.
     For more information about the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, contact Effler at



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