July openings at the Ohio Light Opera

A scene from "The Student Prince." Photo courtesy of the Ohio Light Opera.
A scene from "The Student Prince." Photo courtesy of the Ohio Light Opera.
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Steven Daigle is the Artistic Director of the Ohio Light Opera. He made the trip up from Wooster to chat with WCLV's Jacqueline Gerber about the four shows opening at OLO in July. 

Primrose, opening July 6
Music by George Gershwin
Book by Guy Bolton and George Grossmith Jr.
Lyrics by Desmond Carter and Ira Gershwin

Offering a tip of the hat to Gilbert and Sullivan, Edwardian musical comedy, and British music hall, the show centers on dapper Toby Mopham, who finds himself engaged to vulgar beautician Pinkie Peach. To help him out of the situation, he calls on his friend, houseboat-dwelling author Hilary Vane, who himself has fallen in love with ingenue Joan, who reminds him of the character Primrose in his latest story. After many (and we do mean many) complications, characters, and disguises, everyone winds up with his or her ideal mate. 

The Student Prince, opening July 12
Music by Sigmund Romberg
Book and Lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly
Based on the play Old Heidelberg by Wilhelm Meyer-Forster

Prince Karl-Franz, accompanied by his tutor Dr. Engel and pompous valet Lutz, arrives at Heidelberg University, but finds his studies less enticing than the waitress Kathie at the local inn. The age-old clash between love and duty rears its head when he is summoned back home to the deathbed of his grandfather and ordered to marry Princess Margaret.

Countess Maritza, opening July 19
Music by Emmerich Kalman
Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grunwald
English Translation by Nigel Douglas

Count Tassilo, now penniless, has taken a menial position as manager of one of the estates of the wealthy Maritza. He hopes to earn enough money to pay off his debts and provide a dowry for his sister Lisa. To ward off a constant barrage of suitors, Maritza announces a mock engagement to a fictitious pig farmer, a Baron Koloman Zsupan. To her surprise, a real Baron Zsupan shows up and claims her hand. Tassilo, also, has some covering up to do when Lisa appears as part of Maritza’s house party. As romantic feelings blossom between Tassilo and Maritza, so do their pride and stubbornness as employer and employee – Maritza has no choice but to fire her manager. But...she has a change of heart.

The Lady of the Slipper (or A Modern Cinderella), opening July 26
Music by Victor Herbert
Lyrics by James O’Dea
Book by Anne Caldwell and Lawrence McCarty

repertoire than with Victor Herbert’s zany musical comedy The Lady of the Slipper. With stepsisters named Dollbabia and Freakette, a cat named Mouser, and two fellows named Punks and Spooks who emerge from a cornfield (a la Wizard of Oz) to entice Cinderella to the ball and then into the prince’s arms, “zany” is indeed the right term for a show that captured the public’s fancy and became the second-longest-running book musical of 1912.

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