Narducci returns to ‘A Little Night Music’ for Indy Opera


Daniel Narducci has a history with Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music,” beginning in 1988 as a junior in Indiana University’s music school.

“It was my first appearance at IU and my first experience performing Sondheim,” Narducci said.

Narducci, who plays Fredrik Egerman in Indianapolis Opera’s production of “A Little Night Music” May 3-5 at The Toby Theater at Newfields in Indianapolis. The musical examines the romantic lives of several couples in Sweden in 1900.

Narducci, a Unionville resident, played Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm at IU.

“I did two tours of Lancelot and then eventually ascended to the throne as King Arthur in ‘Camelot’ with Indianapolis Opera,” Narducci said. “I’ve kind of matured into the role of Fredrik versus Carl-Magnus.”

Narducci performed in other Sondheim pieces in concerts through the years and performed in “Sweeney Todd” with the Cleveland Opera.

“What is amazing to me (is) how the music just stuck with me when I listened back intently when preparing the role,” Narducci said. “All of Carl-Magnus’ lines came flying back into my mind. It’s almost like it never left. We sing a duet together, so I had to learn the other part.”

His wife, Heather Hertling Narducci, plays Desiree Armfeldt in the production. The couple plays the two principal lead characters in the musical.

“The joke around the house is she sings the hit song and I have a song as well, and she’ll say, ‘What is your song called again?’” Narducci said. “My song is called ‘Now,’ one of the more challenging in the baritone world because of the expediency of text.”

His wife sings “Send in the Clowns,” later a huge hit for Judy Collins.

“It’s been wonderful preparing for this role with (Heather) and digging into (the) backstory of the two characters,” Narducci said.

The Narduccis have a duet album called “Our Broadway Romance.”

“We’ve appeared in shows together but mostly in concerts,” he said.

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Kathleen Hacker, who plays Madam Armfeldt, appeared in “A Little Night Music” way back in the last century, she said jokingly.

”The show was offered by Starlight Musicals, an iconic summer musical series presented for many years in Indianapolis, and I was cast in the repertory ensemble for that summer season,” Hacker said. “I fell in love with ‘A Little Night Music’ and it made a profound impact on my musical tastes moving forward. I have admired the genius of Sondheim ever since.”

As director of the University of Indianapolis Opera Theatre, she produced this musical with her students.

“They became better actors and singers through the process,” Hacker said. “They learned the importance of telling a story and how to mine for gold in each phrase. There is no richer teaching vehicle than a Sondheim lyric, and in the meanwhile, they committed an extraordinary musical score to memory.”

Hacker said the production brings everything full circle with the Indianapolis Opera.

“I came to Indianapolis as a young singer to work for the Indianapolis Opera as part of their Outreach Ensemble back in the 1980s and have made Indianapolis my home ever since,” Hacker said. “I am delighted to share in this production at this stage of my life, to be in the hands of such a formidable artistic staff, and to create good theater with a truly talented cast.”

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Whiteland resident Zoe Lowe plays Fredrika. Lowe, a sophomore homeschool student through Indiana Online via Martinsville High School, is excited to make her Indy Opera debut.

“I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to be a part of this incredible show and work with some incredible talent,” Lowe said. “This will be my 22nd show that I have been in. Musical theater is my favorite outlet and I always treasure every moment I spend on stage.”

Lowe said the main challenge is fully memorizing her role before going on stage.

“This is a new phenomenon for me, but I think that it has helped grow my discipline as an actress and has encouraged me to continue to work hard in what I do,” she said.