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Madison Opera’s “A Little Night Music”
February 8, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
One event on February 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm
This Event: May be of interest to the LGBTQ community
Madison Opera presents Stephen Sondheim’s classic A Little Night Music on Friday, February 8 at 8pm and Sunday, February 10 at 2:30pm in the Capitol Theater. One of the most popular stage pieces of the 20th century, this modern operetta waltzes through a story of the complications of love across generations, spiced with sparkling wit and rueful self-awareness.
Set in Sweden in the early 1900s, A Little Night Music tells of multiple couples with mixed ideas of love. During a weekend in the country, marriages are made and unmade and the summer nights smile on the young and old alike. Through delicious humor and a ravishing score, human folly eventually gives way to happily-ever-after.
“A Little Night Music is an absolutely delicious piece,” says Kathryn Smith, Madison Opera’s General Director. “I think of it as a grown-up operetta, with some of the best dialogue and lyrics ever written, all to Sondheim’s brilliant score. It’s a delightful way to spend a winter evening, and I’m so thrilled with our cast and production team, who are creating a new production for the Capitol Theater.”
A Little Night Music opened on Broadway in 1973 to rave reviews; the New York Times wrote: “At last, a new operetta! A Little Night Music is heady, civilized, sophisticated, and enchanting.” It has since been performed by both theatre and opera companies all over the world and was revived on Broadway in 2009. Sondheim composed the score entirely in variations of waltz time, and it includes several now-classic songs, such as “Send in the Clowns,” “A Weekend in the Country,” and “The Miller’s Son.”
“Can you imagine? An entire musical composed in some form of waltz time,” says John DeMain, Madison Opera’s Artistic Director. “I love this score, which feels like Johann Strauss meets the harmonies of Ravel. It’s an incredible verbal and musical achievement that gets better every time I hear it. Madison Opera’s cast should prove to be sensational as we bring this Sondheim masterpiece to life. I so look forward to conducting it.”
Madison Opera’s cast features both returning artists and debuts. Emily Pulley returns to Madison Opera as Desirée Armfeldt, a famous actress searching for “a coherent existence after so many years of muddle.” Daniel Belcher returns as Fredrik, Desirée’s ex-lover, who is currently married to the 18 year-old Anne, played by Wisconsin native Jeni Houser, who recently made her debut at the Vienna State Opera. Sarah Day, a member of the core company of American Players Theatre, makes her debut as Madame Armfeldt, the elegant ex-courtesan who is Desirée’s mother. Charles Eaton returns as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Desirée’s current lover; his wife Charlotte is played by Katherine Pracht in her Madison Opera debut. Rounding out the cast are Quinn Bernegger as Henrik, son of Fredrik; Emily Glick as the maid Petra; and Maddie Uphoff as Fredrika, Desirée’s 13 year-old daughter. The Liebeslieders, who function as a waltz-prone Greek chorus throughout the show, are portrayed by Emily Secor, Cassandra Vasta, Kirsten Larson, Benjamin Liupaogo, and Stephen Hobe.
Doug Scholz-Carlson returns to direct. The artistic director of the Great River Shakespeare Festival, his most recent Madison Opera production was Romeo and Juliet in 2016. The set is designed by R. Eric Stone and is being built in the Madison Opera Scene Shop; the costumes are designed by Karen Brown-Larimore, who most recently designed costumes for Madison Opera’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Members of the Madison Symphony Orchestra accompany Sondheim’s gorgeous score.
Events leading up to the performances can help the community learn more about A Little Night Music. A free community preview will be held at Capitol Lakes Retirement Community on January 17. Opera Novice takes place on January 18 and offers a free, entertaining look at the works of Stephen Sondheim including A Little Night Music. Opera Up Close provides an in-depth discussion of the production, including a cast roundtable, on February 3.
Related event details and full cast and production information are enclosed. To request production photos, to schedule artist interviews, or for more information, please contact Marketing Manager Jonathan Schroerlucke at Schroerlucke@madisonopera.org or 608.238.8085.
Madison Opera’s production of A Little Night Music is sponsored by Thompson Investment Management, Inc., Fran Klos, David Flanders & Susan Ecroyd, and Charles Snowdon & Ann Lindsey.