Lyric Opera of Chicago

Chicago-area actors cast as von Trapp children in Lyric's THE SOUND OF MUSIC

For immediate release:
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

 

 

Accomplished young Chicago-area actors 
to portray von Trapp Family children 
for Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of   
Rodgers and Hammerstein's iconic musical 
The Sound of Music

Additional casting announced for 
Rolf, Sister Margaretta, Sister Berthe, Sister Sophia, Frau Schmidt, Franz, 
Herr Zeller, and Admiral von Schreiber

A roster of accomplished young singing actors from the Chicago area will portray the von Trapp Family children in Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of The Sound of Music, the company announced today.

The Sound of Music  opens Saturday, April 26 (including 24 performances and one preview performance on April 25) at Chicago's Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, and continues through Sunday, May 18. The seven von Trapp Family children are being played by artists ranging in age from 6 to early 20s, with combined experience at acclaimed musical theater houses Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook, Marriot Theatre in Lincolnshire, the Apollo Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and The Muny in St. Louis.

Betsy Farrar  (Liesl) is currently appearing in Gypsy (Waitress/Caroline/Ethel Mae)  in her Chicago Shakespeare Theater debut. The Ball State University graduate's other Chicago credits include Hello, Dolly!  (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook) and the Apollo Theater's Million Dollar Quartet.

Brady Tutton  (Friedrich) has appeared in an episode of Chicago Fire, is the voice of Little Jack in the Disney TV show Doc McStuffins and has played Michael Banks/Mary Poppins at the Marriot Lincolnshire and title role/Oliver! in Drury Lane's production.

Julia Schweizer  (Louisa) has studied voice and dance (ballet, jazz and tap), and has appeared in productions of Beauty & the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Sound of Music at The Muny in St. Louis. 

Michael Harp  (Kurt) is an accomplished dancer (tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop) and has appeared in numerous musicals at The Muny in St. Louis including Bye Bye Birdie, Les Misérables, Damn Yankees, Shrek the Musical, and Mary Poppins.

Isabelle Roberts  (Brigitta) is currently in sixth grade and in addition to singing and acting, plays percussion and piano. She loves tumbling and circus arts and recently appeared in the role of Young Fiona in Shrek the Musical at Northwestern University.

KyLee Hennes  (Marta) has been singing in church since she was 5. With her sisters and classmates she formed a band (Drivin' Hennes) to play at church picnics. KyLee is a student of tae kwon do and achieved the level of black belt last September.    

Nicole Scimeca (Gretl) first appeared onstage when she was only two (Music Man). She's been in regional community theater productions of Beauty & the Beast, Bye Bye Birdie, and most recently Oliver!    

Additional casting includes:

Zach Sorrow (Rolf) has appeared in TV episodes of As the Word Turns and Law & Order: SVU.  A recent graduate of Northwestern University, he's appeared regionally in Finian's Rainbow and The Who's Tommy at Berkshire Theater Group, and in NU productions including the Waa-Mu show, The Pajama Game as Sid Sorkin, and Henry Ford in Ragtime.

Cory Goodrich   (Sister Margaretta) has appeared in a host of Chicago-area productions. Her 2010 portrayal of Mother in Ragtime at Drury Lane Oakbrook won her a Jeff Award for best actress.

Erin Elizabeth Smith   (Sister Berthe) has portrayed Mrs. Lovett/ Sweeney Todd at the Juilliard Theatre and Edith/The Pirates of Penzance at New York City Opera. At Washington National Opera she performed the role Emilia/Otello opposite Plácido Domingo. 

Susan Moniz   (Sister Sophia) debuted on Broadway as Sandy and Rizzo/Grease and starred as Josephine and Monica/Romance Romance on A&E. She has previously appeared in Lyric Opera productions of The Merry Widow,Show Boat, and Oklahoma!

Mary Ernster   (Frau Schmidt)  has appeared in numerous Chicago-area productions including Sylviane/The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera, Aunt Julia/The Dead at Court Theatre, and Mrs. Anna/The King and I at Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre.

Dev Kennedy   (Franz)  has numerous cinema and television credits including such diverse films as Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Barbershop, and The Kill Reflex. He's appeared in a host of local theater productions and this year appeared in an episode of NBC's Chicago PD.

Rob Hunt   (Herr Zeller)  has performed on Broadway as Javert in Les Misérables and on national tours in Forever Plaid and South Pacific. Locally he's appeared in productions at Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, Writers Theatre, and Light Opera Works.

Michael Weber   (Admiral von Schreiber) has appeared in everything from Gypsy to The Winter's Tale in local productions at such venues as Ravinia, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Apple Tree Theatre.  

Lyric Opera of Chicago's new production of The Sound of Music stars Jenn Gambatese as Maria, with Edward Hibbert as impresario Max Detweiler, and renowned operatic sopranos Christine Brewer as Mother Abbess and Elizabeth Futral as Baroness Elsa Schraeder. This new production will be conducted by Rob Fisher (Lyric debut), directed by Marc Bruni (Lyric debut), designed by Michael Yeargan, choreographed by Denis Jones (Lyric debut), lighting by Duane Schuler and costumes by Alejo Vietti (Lyric debut). Michael Black is chorus master. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

In addition to the stellar cast, 37 members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra will perform with a 25-member choral ensemble (including 12 members of the Lyric Opera Chorus). This company premiere is the second work in Lyric's American Musical Theater Initiative, which launched last season with a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!

The official media opening for The Sound of Music will be Sunday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29, and are now available at lyricopera.org/soundofmusic or at 312-827-5600.  Tickets for the extended week are on sale now!

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND TICKETS

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music in 25 performances only at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, April 25- May 18,with the following schedule:  Friday, April 25 at 7pm (preview); Saturday, April 26 at 7pm; Sunday, April 27 at 1:30pm (media opening); Wednesday, April 30 at 1:30pm and 7pm; Friday, May 2 at 8pm; Saturday May 3 at 1:30 and 7pm; Sunday, May 4 at 1:30pm; Tuesday, May 6 at 7pm; Wednesday, May 7 at 1:30pm; Thursday, May 8 at 1:30 and 7pm; Friday, May 9 at 7pm; Saturday, May 10 at 1:30 and 7pm; Sunday, May 11 at 1:30pm; Tuesday, May 13 at 1:30pm; Wednesday, May 14 at 1:30pm; Thursday, May 15 at 1:30 and 7pm; Friday, May 16 at 7pm; Saturday, May 17 at 1:30 and 7pm; and Sunday, May 18 at 1:30pm.

Single tickets, which start at $29, can be purchased at the Civic Opera Box Office at 20 N. Wacker Drive; by visiting lyricopera.org (24 hours a day); or by calling 312-827-5600 (M-F, 9-5; Sa. 10-5). 

The new Lyric Opera production of The Sound of Music  is generously made possible by Exclusive Corporate Sponsor Northern Trust. Cosponsors: An Anonymous Donor, Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance, Mr. and Mrs. W. James Farrell, Jim and Vicki Mills/Jon and Lois Mills, and The Neundorf Trusts in Memory of Maynette V. Neundorf and John K. Neundorf.

For more information on the Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, please visit lyricopera.org/soundofmusic. 

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