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METROPLEX

 OPERA COMPANY, INC.

Spring Concert 2012
Marriage of Figaro
Spring Concert 2011
Double Bill
Valentine's Concert
Figaro Act II
The Student Prince
Fall Fundraiser
Suor Angelica

Student Prince, Lakewood Theater, April 11, 12 and 13, 2008
 

The Four Lackeys

Shane Hurst,Curtis Thompson, Michael Madrinkian and Edward Andrion

The Students Crown Kathie Queen of the Saxon Corp

Soprano Laurie Spohn as Kathie

The Prince Joins the Saxon Corp

Tenor Will Whitmire as The Prince

The Cast at the End of Act I

At Court, Countess Leyden and Baron Arnheim Insult the Duchess

Kirsten Wiest as Countess Leyden, Fouatchao Moua as Baron Arnheim amd Ann Petty as the Duchess

The Prince with Prime Minister von Mark and Members of the Court of Karlsberg

Mike Lobpries as Prime Minister von Mark with Courtiers Stephanie Willing and Tiffany Hillert

The Prince Returns to Heidelbrg

Tenor Will Whitmire as The Prince

The Prince and Princess Margaret are Finally United

Jessica Anderson as Princess Margaret

The Student Prince Orchestra

Jeffrey Sprecht, Music Director

I went to the Lakewood Theater Saturday night, for the new production of Sigmund Romberg’s operetta, The Student Prince, as produced by Ann Petty’s Metroplex Opera Company. I enjoyed the evening.

 

First of all, I was amazed at how stage worthy the operetta is.  I am not sure how much they cleaned up the text, or if they made any changes at all, but the story was believable in its context, and the music was definitely nice to listen to. There were lots of funny lines and standard operetta clichés that really worked. And of course, the famous songs.

 

The biggest surprise of the evening was the orchestra. Not a squeaky violin or scratchy string player in earshot. This orchestra was good and filled the old movie theater with a rich sound. They played crisply and cleanly, and very much in the style of the music. I understand they were instrumentalists from Meadows School of Music. Afterwards, I complemented the conductor, Jeffrey Sprecht, who is working on a Master's Degree in conducting at SMU. I guess he hired his friends. If so, they all did a great job!

 

Will Whitmire did a good job as Franz. He is a singer who is still trying to find his way, and, although he has some clarion high notes, this is not really his fach. But he managed to pull it off and was touching when he needed to be.

 

Laurie Spohn was fine as Kathy. Her delivery was sometimes a bit insecure. But she is a pretty woman and a good musician, and especially shined in the ensembles.

 

Other standouts in the cast were Shane Hurst as Detlef and Brian Combs as Lutz, who had a lot of funny lines in the comic relief role. Even Curtis Thompson in the small roles of Ruder and the First Lacky was highly amusing. I had not seen Combs before, but he is a natural actor. I have known Shane Hurst for several years, on a casual basis. He is one of Sheila Harms’ former students and a reliable singer who is active in a lot of local theater.

 

The rest of the show lacked polish, not to mention sets adapted from a previous incarnation as the convent in Suor Angelica and turned into a Heidelberg Tavern. Somehow, none of this mattered. It was just a good home grown production done with love and respect for Romberg's still remarkable score.

 

The attendance was good, especially considering the lack of publicity. I would say the theater was nearly half full, and everyone stayed to the end. There is obviously an audience for this repertoire - me included!

 

Bottom line: Worthwhile and very entertaining!

 

The final performance of Metroplex Opera Company’s production of The Student Prince will take place Sunday afternoon, April 13, at the Lakewood Theater. General Admission tickets are $21 at the door. The show starts at 3:00.

 

Ed Flaspoehler,
Wagner Society of Dallas

Cast of the Student Prince

FOUR LACKEYS

Curtis Thompson, Shane Hurst, Michael Madrinkian, Edward Andrion

PRIME MINISTER VON MARK

Mike Lobpries

DR. ENGEL

Benjamin A. Petty

PRINCE KARL FRANZ

William Whitmire

GRETCHEN

Stephanie Willing

RUDER

Curtis Thompson

TONI

Jose L. Zamorano

LUTZ

Brian Combs

HUBERT

Michael Madrinkian

COUNT HUGO DETLEF

Shane Hurst

VON ASTERBERG

Shane Hurst

LUCAS

Michael Madrinkian

KATHIE

Laurie Spohn

GRAND DUCHESS ANASTASIA

Ann Petty

PRINCESS MARGARET

Jessica Anderson

CAPTAIN TARNITZ

Sergio Garcia

BARON ARNHEIM

Fouatchao Moua

COUNTESS LEYDEN

Kirsten Wiest

MEMBER OF THE CHORUS AND DANCER

Tiffany Hillert