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"The Merry Widow" features confusion, misdirection -- and love

Merry WidowUNT Opera will perform the comedic operetta The Merry Widow, telling the tale of a wealthy widow whose fortune is coveted by her native country’s ambassador.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 and Nov. 14 and 3 p.m. Nov. 9 and Nov. 16 at in the Murchison Performing Arts Center, Lyric Theater.

Directed by Paula Homer with music direction by Stephen Dubberly, the classic tale has been re-told numerous times in film and theatre over the last 100 years.

“This was one of the most popular operettas of the early 20th century and it continues to be an audience favorite,” said Homer.

Originally written in German, UNT Opera’s production will be performed in English.

“We found an excellent English translation that is faithful to the original operetta,” said Dubberly. “It captures all of the show’s original humor superbly.”

Set in Paris, the operetta, which is a bit like a musical in that parts are both sung and spoken, tells the tale of the wealthy widow Hanna from the fictional country of Pontevedro who has loved countryman Count Danilo for many years but refuses to marry him until he professes his love to her.

The Pontevedrin ambassador tries to manipulate Danilo into marrying Hanna, afraid that if she marries a foreign national that she will take her sizable tax payments elsewhere and bankrupt the country. Secretly, Danilo does love Hanna, but he refuses to marry her for her wealth.

The audience will be drawn into the comedic confusion that results from the characters’ manipulation of each other as the performance takes place in a theatre-in-the-round setting. Tables for the $35 seats will be on the first floor among the singing actors.

There will be an “In The Know” lecture 45 minutes prior to each performance. The lecture, presented by Dubberly, will offer insight into the opera and the time period in which it was written.

Tickets are $15-$35 for adults, with discounts available for senior citizens; students; children; UNT faculty, staff and retirees; and groups of 10 or more. The $35 tickets include dessert and wine.

  • Purchase tickets online or by calling the Murchison Box Office at 940-369-7802.

- Margarita Venegas, News Promotions

From left to right, Robert Cardwell, Michael Alonzo and Anna Valcour perform in the UNT Opera production of Lehar's "Merry Widow." Photo by Gary Payne/UNT.

Posted on: Tue 04 November 2014

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