News release
Public Information Office  SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 1/21/05
      HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop has announced the cast for its spring production, “Dido and Aeneas,” scheduled March 16-19 at the Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
      Henry Purcell’s classic Baroque opera will star Amanda Tarver of Prairieville as Dido and Mathew Packard of Chalmette and Simon Pfeil of Hammond as Aeneas, said workshop Director Charles Effler. “Dido and Aeneas” will be directed by Southeastern artist-in-residence Larry Gray.
      Composed in 1689 and with a running time of just over an hour,  “Dido and Aeneas” is the 
only opera by Purcell, one of England’s greatest composers. “This magnificent miniature was reintroduced to the opera-going public in the mid-1800s and has been performed around the world ever since,” Effler said.
      “Dido and Aeneas” features one of the most memorable laments in all of opera, “When I am laid in earth.” The libretto, based loosely on Virgil’s epic poem, “Aeneid,” tells the story of Dido, the widowed Queen of Carthage, and Aeneas, a prince of Troy until that city’s defeat by the Greeks.
      The cast also features Jessica Davis and Wendy Kinchen of Ponchatoula as Belinda; Kristin Glass of Walker and Sarah Osterberger of Baton Rouge as the Second Woman; Kay Schepker of Hammond as the Sorceress; Cassie Arnold of Ponchatoula and Maria Burkett of Chalmette as the First Witch; Christina Babin of Prairieville and Betty Turner of Hammond as the Second Witch; and Brian Martinez Jr. of Montz and Brandon Wear of Slidell as the Sailor.
      Effler will conduct the opera and serve as vocal coach. Joining him on the production staff are set designer Steve Schepker, costume designer Richard Walsh, lighting designer Ellen Sovkoplas, and choreographer Dana Brewer-Plazinic.
      Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Available at the door, general admission tickets are $10, adults, and $7, senior citizens, Southeastern faculty, staff and alumni, and non-Southeastern students. Southeastern students will be admitted free with their university I.D.
      For additional information, contact Effler at 985-549-2249 or “Dido and Aeneas” is part of the Southeastern Department of Music and Dramatic Arts annual spring performing arts series, “Encore!”