“The Merry Wives of Windsor” arrives at the Columbia Theatre

The Columbia Theatre taken by the Columbia Theatre’s Facebook page.

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Opera and Music Theatre Workshop is presenting “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” an opera based on the play created by William Shakespeare. On Feb. 23 – 24 at 7:30 p.m., Southeastern students will perform the opera at Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. 

There are some differences between the opera and the play. The opera has three acts, while the play has five. “It is easier to speak lines than to sing them. You repeat music ideas over and over,” Charles Effler, the conductor of “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” said.

Charles Effler and the students rehearse compositions from the opera.

Southeastern students are allowed free entry with a student ID. Ticket prices are $21 for adults, $16 for Southeastern faculty/staff and seniors and $8 for kids 12 and under. 

Charles Effler has worked as head of the opera program since 2002. “The best part is working with the students,” he said, “and helping them get to the point where they can perform in public.”

The Southeastern music department rehearsed “The Merry Wives of Windsor” for approximately seven weeks. “Only music majors can audition for operas because it requires that they are studying vocals and developing their classical vocal technique,” Effler said. Any students can audition for musicals that are held in the fall.

Sara Cage rehearses her lines for the upcoming opera.

Sara Cage, who plays Mrs. Ford, is a sophomore Vocal Music Education major. “Mrs. Ford is a sassy, smart, playful and outgoing 20-year-old woman who likes to have fun when she wants to teach someone a lesson,” she said of her character. “I am going to miss this experience. I believe she brought out the confidence in me, and I am grateful for it.”

Cage also enjoys being apart of the cast. “My favorite part about being a part of the opera is to see the gifts of God being used on stage. Everyone is so talented and dedicated. It definitely shows on stage,” she said.

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