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WSU opera workshop to perform Naughty Marietta

(Photos by Tim Marsh, University Relations)
PULLMAN – Students in the School of Music Opera Workshop at WSU will present Victor Herbert’s Naughty Marietta in Bryan Hall Theatre Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 12, at 2 p.m. 

Julie Wieck, director of WSU’s Opera Workshop and associate professor in the School of Music wants to demystify opera and the popular perception that it is an exclusive art form and high-brow entertainment for only the elite.
“One of my missions is to break down that barrier and introduce the wonderful world of opera to the community at large, while also educating our students,” Wieck said.

The WSU performance features a diverse cast including students studying in the fields of music, communications, English, speech and hearing sciences, elementary education, theatre, social sciences and humanities.

First opening on Broadway in 1910, Naughty Marietta gained popularity when the classic 1935 MGM film version starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy was released. French casquette girls, American frontiersmen, an escaped Italian countess, pirates and quadroon mistresses all take the stage in the romantic operetta, which is set in New Orleans at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. 

The operetta tells the story of Captain Richard Warrington and his quest to expose and capture a notorious French pirate who calls himself “Bras Pique.” It also tells of how Contessa Marietta, a spirited young woman who has run away from her noble European family by disguising herself as a ‘casquette girl’ sent by the King of France to the French settlement of New Orleans, helps and hinders that mission.

Herbert’s most famous songs with lyrics by Rida Johnson, are from the score of Naughty Marietta and include: Ah? Sweet Mystery of Life, The Italian Street Song, ‘Neath the Southern Moon, I’m Fallin in Love With Someone, and Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!
The WSU Opera Workshop program undertakes a full production every spring for Mom’s Weekend, alternating between opera and musical theatre, and also presents musical theatre performances in the summer.
Naughty Marietta is produced and directed by Julie Wieck.  The WSU Orchestra will be conducted by Nicholas Wallin, assistant professor in the School of Music. The cast of thirty includes Christopher Akers (senior, vocal performance) as Captain Richard Warrington; Karina Brazas (Junior, vocal performance) as Marietta d’Altena; Zach Peterson (sophomore, music composition and aerospace) as Etienne Grandet; Elizabeth Giesbers (sophomore, vocal performance) as Adah Le Clercq; Dallas Rawlins (senior, political science) as Acting-Governor Grandet; Tracy Martin (freshman, music education) as Silas Slick; and Glen Milligan (freshman, music and zoology) as Rudolfo.
Tickets can be purchased in the lobby of the Kimbrough Music Building April 9 – 11 between 10 am. and 2 p.m. and at the door in Bryan Hall 90 minutes prior to the beginning of each performance. General admission tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students.

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