The Merry Widow

Franz Lehár’s 1905 masterpiece The Merry Widow epitomized why operettas were the preferred form of dramatic entertainment in early twentieth century Europe. It’s a silly, light-hearted story about love that exists only to provide a context for opera singers to dance, joke, and of course, fill up an auditorium with delightful sound. Now at the Cahn Auditorium, Light Opera Works has provided a twenty-nine piece orchestra, excellent production values, and a new English-language adaptation to complement their talented singers and Lehár’s beloved music

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Music Mad: How Chief O’Neill Saved the Soul of Ireland

Whiteman’s research lead him to Francis O’Neill and his amazing life story that featured world traveling, police work and Irish music. With the help of director Stefan Brun, Whiteman created Music Mad which includes terrific music by a band consisting of world-class Irish musicians from Chicago. As we hear Chief O “Neill ( played with zest by Brett Tewell) tell his story, the band plays transitional tunes to either underscore the mood and emotion of the story or to exemplify actual Irish traditions.

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