Opera Idaho opens with ‘The Merry Widow’ this weekend

The Merry Widow
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Collins

Opera Idaho’s season will open with “The Merry Widow,” a romantic comedy full of memorable music and performances, starting Oct. 8-9 at 7:30 p.m.. 

The story focuses on Hanna, the titular “merry widow,” as she navigates a new romance with the charming Danilo. As Opera Idaho website puts it, “Their burgeoning romance is hampered by mishap, intrigue and comedic misadventure.” 

Despite opera’s reputation as being “elite” or “inaccessible,” “The Merry Widow” challenges these ideas with its relatable storyline and characters. 

Cecilia Violetta Lopez is a native Idahoan and plays the main character. Lopez related to how her character is particularly memorable.

“Hanna is seen as the ‘country girl.’ She’s witty and outsmarts everyone. Being born and raised in Idaho, I identify with being a ‘family’ or ‘farm’ girl,” Lopez said. 

The Merry Widow
[Photo of The Merry Widow cast]
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Collins

Not only are the characters fun and memorable, but the plot’s comedic nature and relatable moments also allow the viewer to connect with the story.

“There’s a lot of poignant moments, and it’s not just silly for the sake of entertainment. There are moments when [the] characters are being extremely honest,” Dr. Jeffery Seppala said. “Finding the truth and what motivates people is something we can all relate to.” 

Seppala plays Baron Mirko Zeta and is a current Boise State professor and director of opera and musical theatre. These moments are something everyone can relate to, but particularly college students.

“For college students, the amount of miscommunication … the sense of unrequited love … having to figure things out … I see that all the time in my students,” Seppala said.

For both Lopez and Seppala, opera is a way to express themselves, their characters and to simply tell a story. 

“There’s no glitz and glamour,” Lopez said, “It’s just fun being able to work together and tell these stories. At the end of the day, we’re all human.”

If you’re unsure whether opera is your “thing,” Seppala said this is the “perfect” show to come and as a first-time opera-goer.

The play will run this weekend, Oct. 8-9, with both performances at 7:30 p.m. Ticket discounts are available for students with valid ID, groups of ten or more and seniors 65 and above.

To buy tickets visit: https://www.morrisoncenter.com/events/detail/the-merry-widow
For more information about the opera and its cast visit: http://operaidaho.org/the-season/the-merry-widow/

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