The College Light Opera Company will kick off its 46th season with Ralph Benatzky’s “The White Horse Inn.”
An operetta, “The White Horse Inn” is a story of romantic occurrences in a successful Austrian hotel. Head waiters have had a long and unsuccessful tendency to fall for Josepha, the widowed proprietor of the inn. The plot revolves around the trials and tribulations of Leopold, the present incumbent. Josepha, however, has found interest in Valentine Hutton, a regular visitor from England, and is oblivious to the fact that his intentions are nothing beyond friendship.
Valentine’s annual visit is at hand, and arriving on the same steamer are William McGonagall, a self-made lad from Lancashire with plenty of brass; his sweet young daughter, Natalie; an impoverished professor Hinzelmann and his gawky, lisping, but appealing daughter, Gretel; and a dapper young man, Sylvester S. Sommerset (of Hammersmith).
Subplots abound as Sommerset and McGonagall discover they are hated business rivals. Hutton (also Sylvester’s lawyer) falls in love with Natalie, and Sylvester with Gretel, while Leopold repeatedly threatens to resign and wish them all a last “good-bye!” The impending arrival of His Imperial Majesty Franz Joseph, the emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, initially provides additional fuel for the chaos, but in the end his kindly understanding and wisdom do much to bring about a happy ending.
Stage director Mark A. Pearson and music director Jonathan E. Brennand lead this production. This is the duo’s 11th production together and will be followed by “Lady, Be Good!” in two weeks. Mr. Pearson, a Hull native, received his degrees from Boston College and Boston University and currently lives in Germany. Mr. Brennand, a native of Middlesex, England, studied at Drew University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
The cast is full of new CLOC vocal company members. Talents to look forward to are Amy Broadbent as Zenzi, Joshua Gronlund as Sylvester S. Sommerset, Billy Hicks as Leopold, Nell Komlos as Gretel Hinzelmann and Michael McCann as Valentine Hutton.
Members back for their second season include Nathan Kistler as professor Hinzelmann, Celeste Lang as Kathi, Maggie Langhorne as Josepha, Gunnar Manchester as William McGonagall and Caitlin Ruddy as Natalie McGonagall.
Michael Richard, an incoming freshman at Falmouth High School, will portray Piccolo for this production.
“The White Horse Inn” will run Tuesday, June 24, through Saturday, June 28, at 8 PM, with a Thursday matinee at 2 PM. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling the CLOC box office at 508-548-0668 or by visiting the box office, which is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 12:30 PM, from 2 to 5 PM and from 7 to 9 PM, at 58 Highfield Drive, Falmouth.
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Juliana MacLachlan is a rising junior at the University of Connecticut, where she studies Vocal Performance and Communications.