Show Photographs

28th Festival Season - 2006

The New Moon

By: Sigmund Romberg
Premiere: Imperial Theatre, New York, September 19, 1928
Performance Dates:
  • June 16th, 2006 - 2:00pm
  • June 22nd, 2006 - 2:00pm
  • June 25th, 2006 - 2:00pm
  • June 30th, 2006 - 8:00pm
  • July 6th, 2006 - 2:00pm
  • July 7th, 2006 - 8:00pm
  • July 12th, 2006 - 2:00pm
  • July 15th, 2006 - 8:00pm
  • July 18th, 2006 - 2:00pm
  • July 22th, 2006 - 2:00pm
  • July 29th, 2006 - 8:00pm
  • August 3rd, 2006 - 8:00pm
  • August 10th, 2006 - 8:00pm

Hungarian-American composer, Sigmund Romberg, was educated in Vienna and came to the United States in 1909. Romberg is credited as being a link between two musical worlds. His charming, delightful music blends the opulent and rich melodies of the old world with the new emerging melodies of American music. Within a short span of time, Romberg produced The Student Prince (1924), The Desert Song (1926), and The New Moon (1928), something no other composer has ever done with such success and of such quality. The New Moon ran for 509 performances and is perhaps one of Romberg's most impressive works. The 1940 film version, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, is similar to the stage work.

The operetta begins as Robert, a young French aristocratic revolutionary, is forced to flee his country. He sells himself as a bondservant to a planter and ship owner, Monsieur Beaunoir and his family in New Orleans. As the police of Paris are looking everywhere for him, Robert cannot tell Beaunoir or his beautiful daughter Marianne, with whom he has fallen in love, that he is of noble blood. He is eventually tracked down by Vicomte Ribaud, the detective villain, and put aboard The New Moon, so he can be deported back to France. Robert thinks he has been betrayed by Marianne, who has gained her father's consent to travel on the same ship by pretending to be in love with Captain Duval. Mutiny occurs, and the bondservants come into power. Everyone goes ashore on the Isle of Pines, and a new republic is founded, which flourishes under Robert's guidance. Vicomte Ribaud makes a final attempt to conquer the island for the king of France, but fails. Through twists and turns, a happy reunion follows for Citizen Robert and Marianne. Bring your children and grandchildren to Freedlander Theatre to experience the grace and charm of Sigmund Romberg's The New Moon. Songs include: Lover, Come Back to Me; Marianne; One Kiss; Softly as In a Morning Sunrise; Stouthearted Men; and Wanting You.

Romberg's 'New Moon' Rises Over The Ohio Light Opera

Show opens Friday, June 16, at 2 p.m. at The College of Wooster�s Freedlander Theatre

WOOSTER, Ohio � Sigmund Romberg's "The New Moon" rises above the stage at The College of Wooster's Freedlander Theatre (329 E. University St.) on Friday, June 16, at 2 p.m., when The Ohio Light Opera opens the second of seven shows featured in the 2006 summer festival. Veteran cast member Ted Christopher directs this romantic operetta in three acts.

Romberg, a Hungarian-Jewish composer, blends the old-world Viennese operetta style with the early 20th American style in the music for "The New Moon". Growing up in Hungary and moving to Vienna to study engineering, Romberg came to New York City in 1909. He was playing piano in cafés when Broadway Producers J.J. and Lee Shubert discovered his talent for composing. Throughout his career, he formed many successful collaborations with Broadway legends, including Oscar Hammerstein and George Gershwin. Oscar Hammerstein II, along with Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab, wrote the book and lyrics for "The New Moon".

Based in 1792 New Orleans, "The New Moon" is a love story between Robert, a young French aristocratic revolutionary, and Marianne, the beautiful daughter of ship owner, Monsieur Beaunoir. Gary Moss and David Krohn share the role of Robert, while Sara Gartland and Amanda Kingston will alternate in the role of Marianne.

Forced to flee France, Robert sells himself as a bondservant to Beaunoir, played by Boyd Mackus. The police, led by the evil detective Vicomte Ribaud (played by Tyler Oliphant), finally catch Robert and deport him back to France on the ship "The New Moon." Under the guise of being in love with the captain, Marianne follows Robert onboard. During the voyage, the bondservants commit mutiny and everyone goes ashore to the Isle of Pines. With swordfights, tropical moonlight, and the popular songs "Lover, Come Back to Me," "Stouthearted Men," and "Wanting You," everything works out in the end as the lovers, Robert and Marianne, are happily reunited.

Ohio Light Opera Artistic Director Steven Daigle, himself a native of Louisiana, said the setting "gives a flavor of our history." Set in New Orleans, the score has an early jazz quality. "The song 'Lover Come Back to Me' feels like Gershwin," he said. Robert Trevino will be conducting The Ohio Light Opera Orchestra for this production.

According to Daigle, the romance and singing between the two characters is the highlight of the work. "New Moon's focus is on the sheer beauty of singing," said Daigle. "Where Friml's "The Firefly' has more fun and upbeat tunes, 'The New Moon' has a much more developed relationship between the two leads."

This is Romberg's third in a string of high-quality and incredibly successful operettas. Of the three, which include "Student Prince" (1924) and "Desert Song"(1926) � both performed by Ohio Light Opera in the past � "The New Moon" is considered Romberg's best.

The show's success prompted two film versions after its premiere at Broadway's Imperial Theatre on Sept. 19, 1928. In 1930, Grace Moore and Lawrence Tibbett starred in a rework of the story set in Russia. In 1940, Robert Z. Leonard directed a version with Nelson Eddy playing opposite Jeanette MacDonald, which was relatively faithful to the 1928 original production.

"Movie versions are good in that they open up the art form to a bigger viewing audience," said Daigle. "The problem with this is that Hollywood toyed with the music a lot in movies. We try to think of this as historical presentations�the music is primary, which is why we don�t alter the music." These works have historical importance, something, according to Daigle, The Ohio Light Opera audience "has developed a taste for."

Article written by Laura McHugh
Production Team
ConductorRobert Katkov-Treviño
Stage DirectorTed Christopher
ChoreographerCarol Hageman
Assistant DirectorStephen Carr
Set DesignerShelley Barish
Costume DesignerDaniel Jones
Lighting DesignerKrystal Kennel
Robert, a Bondservant of Beaunoir'sGary Moss
David Krohn
Marianne, Beaunoir's DaughterSara Gartland
Amanda Kingston
Philippe, a Friend of Robert'sGrant Knox
Tyler Nelson
Alexander, another BondservantPatrick Howle
Jacob Allen
Monsieur Beaunoir, a Ship Owner of New OrleansBoyd Mackus
Captain Georges Duval, Commander of The New MoonKevin Blickfeldt
Vicomte RibaudTyler Oliphant
Besace, Boatswain of The New MoonPeter Bush
Julie, Marianne's MaidJessie Wright Martin
Sahara Glasener-Boles
Clotilde Lombaste, of The Bride ShipJill Anna Ponasik
Stina Marie Eberhardt
FouchetteMark Snyder
Captain DeJeanJack Beetle
Jacques, a SailorBen Robinson
Women of the Ensemble: Sarah Asmar, Robin DeLeon, Stina Marie Eberhardt, Ashly Evans, Kemper LeCroy Florin, Sara Gartland Sahara Glasener-Boles, Karla Hughes, Erin Jackson-Legris, Amanda Kingston, Claire Maloney, Jessie Wright Martin, Valerie Hart Nelson, Jill Anna Ponasik and Maren Tenney
Men of the Ensemble: Jacob Allen, Jack Beetle, Kevin Blickfeldt, Anthony Buck, Peter Bush, Cory Clines, Michael Denos, Nicholas Hartley, Patrick Howie, Grant Knox, David Krohn, Adam Lloyd, Boyd Mackus, Spiro Matsos, Gary Moss, Tyler Nelson, Tyler Oliphant, Benjamin Robinson, Mark Snyder, Brian Tanner and Joseph Valone.