November 07, 2023

 Hartke Theatre will be alive with the The Sound of Music sung by current students and next generation of Cardinals at the alumni-led production premiering Friday, Nov. 10. 

Director Tracy Olivera, B.M. 1999, said this will be the first time most, if not all, of the audience will have the opportunity to hear the big, bold Sound of the Music as originally intended for the stage. With 38 cast members and an over 30 piece orchestra, she said this show has a bigger cast and live orchestra than any musical on Broadway today. 

“Our huge ensembles create a giant choral sound,” said Olivera, noting the original play has more and bigger numbers than the 1965 film adaptation. “We have 20 nuns singing on stage and it sounds like a wall of angels,” said Olivera. 

This production of the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, inspired by the true story of how postulant-turned-governess Maria transformed the lives of widower Captain Georg von Trapp and his seven children, is close to the heart of the community and a labor of love for the Cardinals involved. The music director Marc Bryan Lilley, B.M. 2006; choreographer Gabriella Giegerich, B.M. 2023; and production manager Briana Manente, M.F.A. 2015; are all alumni. Three of the children playing leading roles are from alumni families.

Proud parent Jose Sousa, B.A. 2001, said it is a family tradition to say grace to the tune of “Edelweiss.” Now, Sousa said it’s all “coming full circle” with his son Carlos learning his do-re-mi’s as Kurt von Trapp. Sousa said his son is making new friends and he is enjoying reminiscing with fellow alumni at the iconic Hartke Theatre. 

“It’s been great to reconnect with some familiar faces from my time at Catholic University and to experience how surreal it is to have our children in this cast,” said Sousa. “The talent and dedication shown by everyone involved in the production is really inspiring and showcases how fortunate we are to have the Rome School in our backyard.”

There will be two performances this weekend, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. The following weekend, the cast will say so long, fair well at two 7:30 p.m. shows on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. 

The Sound of Music is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals
on behalf of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.