Ohio Wesleyan’s Opera Workshop navigated the twists and turns of relationships on stage during their rendition of “A Little Night Music” by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler.
This dramatic and comedic show follows 10 people as they work through marriages, old loves and liaisons to find their happiness. In the end, one marriage is broken, one is rekindled and one is formed.
Junior Ryan Haddad played the role of Madame Armfeldt, the elderly mother of Desiree Armfeldt, played by Meg Linebaugh. He said he auditioned for this role because he loved the part.
While Haddad didn’t think he would get the part, he thought the college setting would be his only chance to perform as Madame Armfeldt, as there are no elderly students auditioning for the role.
“I never thought I would play a woman in the middle of Ohio,” he said on receiving the role. “But I’m honored by this opportunity.”
Junior Annie Fishleigh said Haddad’s character was her favorite part, particularly his wig.
“I felt like he was the comedic relief and kept the show together,” she said. “He helped explain what was going on in the show.”
Freshman Kiersten Payne said, “I really enjoyed the show-it was a lot funnier than I expected.”
In the past, the Opera Workshop has focused on performing various scenes from different shows instead of one whole musical.
Director Tim Veach said this show was different because the singers would have to act and talk besides just singing well.
Maeve Nash, Hannah Simpson, Reggie Hemphill and Haddad are cast members, as well as theater majors.
Veach is a guest director from Columbus Dance Theatre who has worked with the Opera Workshop for about six years. He said this musical is not done all the time because it is a “pretty spicy story.”
It was chosen because the “music is spectacular and appropriate for serious singers,” he said.