SCV’s Mission Opera to be featured in OperaFest LA 

Theater news
Theater news

News release  

The Santa Clarita-based opera company, Mission Opera, has been selected through OperaFest LA to present “The Merry Widow: Madonna” as part of the Opera America National Conference and World Opera Forum, being held in Los Angeles in early June.  

Four performances are scheduled for June 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and June 8 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. at the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center.  

“The Merry Widow” by Franz Léhar features some of the most famous musical melodies of all time, according to a news release from Mission Opera. This version is a brand new translation, libretto and dialogue, written by Mission Opera Artistic & Executive Director Joshua Wentz and set in 1989 at Buckingham Palace.  

The show is in English and will feature a wide variety of dancing, including vogue, classic Viennese waltzing, the can-can, and a men’s kick line.  

“The show will have you roaring with laughter at the comedic dialogue, as you take a trip down memory lane remembering the fashion and the culture of the glamorous ’80s, as the British crown and rock stars like Elton John, Freddie Mercury and George Michael desperately try to hold on to power,” the release said. 

Mission Opera veteran Jessica Schneiderman stars as Madonna (yes, that Madonna), alongside MO newcomer Julia Behbudov in the titular role. The show also marks the debut performances of Jacob Stucki as George Michael and Lily Berthold as Princess Di, joined on stage by returning cast members Gabriel Manro, Elias Berezin, Kirk Garner, Robert Dunlap, Jason Vincent, and Catherine Samartin. Maestro Brian Stone returns to the helm of the orchestra with Music Director & Accompanist Lindsay Aldana.  

The production is directed by Wentz and features a multimedia design on the LED screen, creatively combining traditional theater with contemporary video design and virtual settings.  

“This show is a wonderful treat for anyone who doesn’t know about opera but loves musicals and theater,” the release said. “This hybrid show features folk music, dance, and an experience that one would more likely find on Broadway than in an opera house.”  

The entire performance will last 2 hours and 5 minutes, which includes a 15-minute intermission. 

Four tiers of tickets available for this live show ranging from $30 to $65 and sold at Student and senior tickets available for $25 with ID at the box office. Concessions and merchandise sold before the show and during intermission. 

Canyon High School is located at 19300 Nadal St., Canyon Country. 

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