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Nov. 13, 2023

MSU Opera Theatre presents a charming celebration of wit and love

Sondheim’s 'A Little Night Music' presented in four performances at Fairchild Theatre

MSU Theatre performing "Xerxes" in 2015

MSU Opera Theatre brings a classic work by Stephen Sondheim to the stage in a comedic and engaging interwoven tale of harmony and heartbreak. Staged by MSU Opera Theatre Director and Professor of Voice Melanie Helton, "A Little Night Music" captures audiences with its beautiful compositions and enthralling narratives, with multiple performances in November at Fairchild Theatre on Nov.15, 17 and 18, at 7 p.m.; and Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. Click here for details and tickets

Helton produces the MSU Opera season and serves as the stage director for the fall production. MSU Director of Orchestras Octavio Más-Arocas will conduct the MSU Symphony from the pit, and Assistant Professor of Scene Design Ranae Selmeyer from the MSU Department of Theatre is the set designer.

Set around the year 1900 in Sweden, "A Little Night Music" follows the romantic lives of five individuals, making the Tony Award-winning musical more like a love pentagon than a love triangle! Hilarious and devastating, this work with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler is about a lusciously tangled web spun by an actress, her two lovers, and their wives. With captivating music featuring Send in the Clowns—one of the most recorded songs of all time—this production is witty, engaging, and ultimately a joyful honoring of love. A critically acclaimed performance from Broadway and beyond, it is perfect for the new or contemporary operagoer.

“'A Little Night Music' is a timeless example of the genius of Stephen Sondheim. The music is entirely in ¾ time which amplifies this tale of mismatched couples who, on one endless Swedish summer night, find their soulmates,” said Helton. “We can all see something of ourselves in the characters. In fact, the elderly Madame Armfeldt says it best: ‘the summer night smiles three times: once for the young, who know nothing; then for the fools, who think they know; and for the old, for whom it is too late.’”

Helton, a soprano with a rich performance resume, has directed the award-winning MSU Opera Theatre program for over 20 years. She artfully directed "A Little Night Music" 10 years ago and with her expertise is gracefully bringing it back to the MSU stage.

Following the fall production, other events in the MSU Opera Theatre season are A Celebration of the Beautiful Voice, Jan. 20, 2024, and Mozart’s "Don Giovanni," March 20, 22, 23 and 24, 2024. All MSU Opera Theatre events are held in the Fairchild Theatre, with preview lectures held 45 minutes before the performance.

Reserved seating tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (age 60 and older) and $7 for students. Information on this and other concerts, recitals and performances in the 2023-24 MSU Music Season can be found at

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