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The Theatre is Alive with “The Sound of Music” at Arizona Opera

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The Theatre is Alive with “The Sound of Music” at Arizona Opera

Meet Arizona Opera performers and real-life couple, Cadie and Jonathan Bryan, who will bring the treasured classic, The Sound of Music, to life.

Arizona Opera will produce The Sound of Music, a timeless story told against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps this March 3-5 in Phoenix and March 11-12 in Tucson. 

Whether you’ve seen The Sound of Music on film or as a Broadway musical, you’ve likely followed the footsteps of the Von Trapp family and Maria Rainer through a classic story infused with love, music and morality. 

You’ll learn that the two lead roles, soprano Cadie Bryan (playing Maria Rainer) and baritone Jonathan Bryan (playing Captain Von Trapp) who fall in love on-stage, have already fallen in love off-stage, and are married in real life!

Sit down for a behind-the-curtain look at the lives of opera performers and couple, Cadie and Jonathan Bryan in this Q&A:

by Caitlin Oldham

by Caitlin Oldham

How long have you two been married?

We’ve been married for two years and together for almost ten.

What’s it like playing the roles of two characters who fall in love, when you’re actually in love off-stage?

Cadie: It’s fun to think back to when we first got together and were falling in love. I’m really excited to play with Jonathan in that realm and to tap into real memories of newness and excitement and tie them into these characters.

Jonathan: It’s a unique challenge. Usually, when playing a romantic role, I have to focus on how I’m going to pretend to love my counterpart in front of the audience. In this case, I’m more concerned with how I’m going to pull off pretending I haven’t fallen in love with her yet for half of the show!

How does your marriage help you in your roles as Captain von Trapp and Maria Rainer?

Cadie: On a practical level, we have an open line of communication in all things, and I find it really helpful to be able to work on these roles together and communicate ideas for what we’re trying to do in any given moment and address how effectively we’re implementing and executing those ideas. We respect each other as people and as artists, and I think that’s one of the foundational qualities of the Captain’s and Maria’s relationship.

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Are there any obstacles you face in being married and performing together?

Jonathan: We’ve had a long time to develop a rhythm in our home life, but we rarely get to share the stage together. Professionally, we are both very assertive performers with strong ideas. I think the biggest obstacle is managing moments “at the office” where we might have clashing visions for our characters. Luckily, we’ve spent a decade together without finding a conflict we couldn’t resolve, so we don’t expect any obstacle this process might present to be too daunting.

Cadie: When it comes to ballroom dancing, I have a habit of leading instead of following…there’s at least one dance scene in this production, so I’m going to do my very best to follow my very capable husband!

Cadie and Jonathan Bryan (6) photography by Caitlin Oldham

by Caitlin Oldham

What is a lesson you’ve learned in your marriage that you also take on-stage with you as you perform?

Cadie: Honesty is the best policy, and vulnerability is an extremely rewarding way to be. In my marriage and on the stage, I have to give 100 percent of myself to it 100 percent of the time.

Jonathan: Both at home and on the stage, the most important thing one can do is listen to their partner. Through our marriage, I’ve learned that the most effective way I can empower both my partner and myself is to listen, learn, and move forward in mutual understanding.

What’s the key (or keys) to a happy marriage?

We came up with a list together: Kindness and consideration always and everywhere, honest communication even when it’s hard, giving each other enough space to grow and change while remembering that we are on the same team in the game of life, and avoiding the assumption that we already have all of the keys and can stop working EVER.

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by-Karli-Cadel

by Karli Cadel

The Sound of Music is a timeless classic. What’s it mean to you both to be playing two of the lead roles and what’s your personal experience with this classic?

Cadie: “My Favorite Things” is the very first song I can remember singing in front of people in a kindergarten Christmas program. I’ve always loved that song, and eventually, I fell in love with every other song and grew old enough to appreciate the musical as a whole. I think most people smile at the thought of it, whether it’s for the amazing music, the beautiful Austrian landscapes, the human ideals, or all of the above. In a way, I don’t feel like I’m playing just Maria. I’m playing The Sound of Music. It’s larger than me, and it carries a lot of weight for me. I just want to do it the justice it deserves!

Jonathan: Captain von Trapp is a man of conviction and resolute ideals. As the country he loves is enveloped in tumult, he is faced with a difficult choice: do the safe thing or do the right thing. I think we are all feeling the tumult of contemporary life in the country we love, and as we are all faced with tough choices, Captain von Trapp’s decision is just as relevant now as it ever has been. I’m thankful for the opportunity to walk a little while in the shoes of such an exemplary man, and I’m even more thankful that it means I get a front row seat to watch my beautiful wife bring the house down as Maria!

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