On Jan. 18, a performance filled with elegance and scandal comes to Florida Southern College. The “Night at the Opera: The Merry Widow” will start at 7 p.m. in Branscomb Auditorium and it is free to attend for FSC students. The performers include FSC students, FSC faculty, dancers from the Florida Dance Theatre and other individuals.
“The Merry Widow” is a classic opera from 1905. “The Guardian” describes the classic in an article, “jokes, ancient but easy to spin anew, about corrupt bankers, big Balkans, adultery and loose women with names like Frou-Frou, Jou-Jou and Clo-Clo, give a perpetual fizz to Lehár’s The Merry Widow, one of the best box-office operettas ever written and the epitome of those European glamour years before the first world war said goodbye to all that.”
Jeremy Bixon, Lauren Williams and Dr. John Thomasson are just of few of the performers from FSC in “The Merry Widow.”
Williams, senior, plays the part of Natalie, which is the ambassador’s wife.
Bixon, junior, plays General Novakovich, the head of the military.
Thomasson, professor of music, plays one of the male leads as Baron Popoff. Popoff is the Marsovian Ambassador. He aims to put a wealthy widow with another Marsovian, rather than a “sexy” Frenchman named Camille.
“One of the highlights of the show is the performance of senior Lauren Williams as Natalie. The leading roles are performed by professional singers, so it is a wonderful opportunity for Lauren to sing with professionals while still a student,” Thomasson said.
To lighten up the dramatic story of the Ambassador’s wife sneaking around with Camille while Popoff’s wife, Natalie, tries to push Camille and Sonia together, and Popoff tries to put the Count with Sonia, the dancers come out to perform in Act II after a powerful Act I.
“The music is beautiful and it is a lot of fun,” Sarah White, one of the opera’s dancers, said.
The dancers a part of the Florida Dance Theatre and come from all over the world.
“We are from all over, but we are working with Florida Dance Theatre for this performance,” Eric Linder, dancer, said.
For example Molly Ahler was born in South Korea. Claudia Aragon was raised in Colombia. Those are just a couple of dancers.
Act III will be left to surprise. Will Natalie stay with her husband or will she run off with Camille? Also, who will end up with Sonia?
“They (the audience) can expect a fun, romantic comedy with crazy characters and funny mishaps along the way,” Bixon said.
Photo by Raven Leverett
Editor’s Note: In the print edition of The Southern, “The Merry Widow” was referred to as “A Merry Widow.”