by Sara Mitton Cox, photos by Mark Dyrud
In 2010, Opera Idaho began offering a summer musical-in-concert , much to the delight of their fan base. It’s been held at locations such as the Egyptian Theatre and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater. This year, they’ll perform at these two locations, and add a special family-friendly show at the Scentsy Amphitheater in Meridian.
“We want to invite people who live in the Western part of the Valley to enjoy one of our most popular performances,” said Fernando Menéndez, Marketing and Education Manager at Opera Idaho. “We have very loyal fans, most of them in Boise, and we hope this new location will attract a larger crowd from Meridian, Eagle, and the surrounding areas.”
Opera Idaho will perform South Pacific in concert, the show that started the musical-in-concert series six years ago. It includes songs such as Some Enchanted Evening, There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame, and I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair. Soprano Leslie Mauldin returns as U.S. Navy nurse Nellie Forbush, and baritone Jason Detwiler joins the cast as Emile de Becque.
The plot features a spunky American nurse stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II, who falls in love with a middle-aged French plantation owner. The nurse has a difficult time accepting the plantation owner’s culture and mixed-race children. Meanwhile, a second romance between a U.S. lieutenant and a young Tonkinese woman leads to further complications brought on by racial prejudice.
The original Broadway production, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II premiered in 1949 on Broadway and was an immediate success, becoming the second-longest running Broadway musical to that point, behind Rodgers and Hammerstein’s earlier Oklahoma!, and has remained popular ever since.
Menéndez said that overall South Pacific shares a positive message of love winning over hate. People of all ages tend to enjoy it, and some of the performers are children. “It’s the perfect show to debut at Scentsy’s amphitheater, a family-friendly venue in a non-alcohol environment,” added Menéndez.
The South Pacific musical-in-concert shows will be held Friday, August 19 at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise; Sunday, August 21 at the Scentsy Amphitheater in Meridian; and Monday, August 22 at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater in Boise. Each show begins at 7:30 p.m. and prices range from $24 to $48 for adults. Prices for seniors, children, military, and groups of more than 10 are also available. Tickets can be purchased at OperaIdaho.org/tickets or by calling the Egyptian Theatre at 208-387-1273, the ticketing agent for all three venues.