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Southeast music department brings fairytale to life
Southeast’s Department of Music will soon bring life to an iconic family-friendly fairytale through opera.
Pauline Viardot’s French retelling of “Cinderella,” also known as “Cendrillon,” will make its way to the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. The show is a collaborative effort between the music and theatre and dance departments, which will showcase the 1904 retelling of Perrault’s original fairytale. Audiences can expect to see familiar characters like Cinderella, her stepsisters, a prince and fairy godmother and several other old and new characters.
Vocal professor and show director Chris Goeke said the show is unique in that it is a lesser-known rendition of a popular story, particularly where the music is concerned.
“This music has not been done as much,” he said. “This particular version has kind of resurfaced - it’s a little over 100 years old but it hasn’t gotten much stage time.”
” They’re singing, they’re dancing, acting, having to do a French accent. It’s a fun story to bring to life and we’re having a lot of fun doing it.”
Musical theatre major Nicholas Ducote, who plays Cinderella’s prince, said the River Campus production offers something new, even for those familiar with the story.
“[It’s] a fun new experience of a story that they probably feel like they’ve seen 1,000 times ,“ he said. “They’re gonna see it 1,001 and it’s gonna be all new for them.”
Staff and students from the Conservatory of Theatre and Dance are helping in various aspects of the show, including costuming, staging, lighting, choreography and other technical aspects involved in the production and performances. Additionally, a live orchestra will provide accompaniment.
Goeke said it is not uncommon for the university to put on an annual opera, and this is aspect that differentiates Southeast from other undergraduate universities.
“It’s our students singing all the leading roles, and this is something usually you’d see professionals doing, and now our students have the opportunity to do it,” he said. “When I go watch students play football or basketball or play in the band I’m really impressed by all their talent, and I think the same thing holds true for this. These students are so talented; they’re having a lot of fun telling the story.”
Additionally, open auditions during the fall semester allowed students from all academic departments to audition for the production, even if they were not fine arts majors. Though the participants for this performance are all River Campus students, the operas have hosted a variety of students in past years.
‘We’ve had students from business and psychology and all kinds of different majors,” Goeke said. ‘If students are interested and have enough musical background, they’re welcome to be a part of these shows.”
Show tickets cost $18 and can be purchased at the River Campus Box office or online at rivercampus.org.