As part of their Spring 2022 production line-up, the Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM) and the Queens College Department of Drama, Theater & Dance are collaborating to present their adaptation of The Merry Widow, originally written by Franz Lehár in 1905.
The QC rendition of this comedic tale about a rich widow is one of the first in-person productions for the college’s dramatic departments since the campus closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With performances set to take place April 7-10, 2022, The Merry Widow features some big names in the industry, including guest stage director Dorothy Danner, who has previously served on the faculties of the Julliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music.
Queens College Production Manager Ralph Carhart, who also is involved in The Merry Widow, is excited by the prospect of in-person performance. Reflecting on the school’s previous productions, Carhart made a point of emphasizing the deep cooperation between the School of Music and the Department of Drama Theater & Dance (DTD) on this production. He acknowledged that “DTD and ACSM have a long history of working together and it is always a pleasure to be able to collaborate with our artistic colleagues. We have collaborated on every musical and opera for the last 20 years, including The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Damn Yankees and South Pacific.”
The Merry Widow features a wide cast of characters with varying personalities, which helps to further accentuate the comedic attributes of the operetta, including the witty and voluptuous Hannah, the unassuming buffoon Zeta, and the improvisational clown Njegus. Both ACSM and DTD are confident that the production will be a huge hit for those who will attend, helping to reestablish the ACSM’s traditional reputation of delivering exceptional theatrical experiences here at QC’s Goldstein Theater.
These sentiments are further echoed by ACSM Director of Vocal and Opera Studies and voice coach Sherry Overholt, “The production of The Merry Widow has all the elements of success,” she says. “The cast is diverse and full of talent. The collaboration between the Drama, Theater & Dance department and the Aaron Copeland School of Music continues to expand. The legendary Stage Director Dorothy Danner will direct the students. Mark Powell, the conductor for ACSM, will not only conduct the opera but will educate his conducting students on how to prepare an opera as opposed to symphonic work.”
While tickets have yet to be released for the production, potential attendees are encouraged to follow both the Aaron Copland School of Music and the Queens College Drama, Theater & Dance Department for updates on the schedule as well as any release dates.
Other performances scheduled in the official ACSM Spring 2022 Production Line include The Misanthrope, playing from March 3-13, 2022, and The Student Choreography Showcase playing from May 12-15, 2022. We can’t wait to see you there!