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.