Southeast Music Academy Student Performing in MUNY Opera’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’



July 15, 2005 – A student in the Southeast Missouri Music Academy at Southeast Missouri State University is getting an experience of a lifetime this week.

Catherine Moreton of Cape Girardeau, who will be senior this fall at Cape Central High School, is a member of the teen ensemble performing this week in “Jesus Christ Superstar” at The Muny in St. Louis. Moreton has singing, dancing and acting roles in the production that runs through Sunday at the outdoor musical theatre in Forest Park.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity,” Moreton said. “It’s been amazing to watch the professionals work. They are all really nice. I just love being backstage, behind the scenes and seeing how it all works.”

“Jesus Christ Superstar” is arguably Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterwork. The show dramatizes the last seven days of Christ’s life with reverence and outstanding musicality.

Moreton said she plays the role of a rebel in the Simon Zealot scene and a cripple in another scene. She also performs with the entire cast in the singing of “Jesus Chris Superstar.”

She said she auditioned for the show last February with about 350 other teens at St. Louis University High School. Fifty teens were selected, she said, and she is the only student who is not from the immediate St. Louis area. The entire cast for “Jesus Chris Superstar” totals about 100, Moreton said.

“We’re very excited for her and so proud of her,” said Lori Shaffer, an adjunct faculty member in Southeast’s Department of Music and Moreton’s vocal music instructor in the Southeast Missouri Music Academy. “This is a professional job for her with a professional company that will give her a taste of what she will be doing for the next four years. This is an experience she is so lucky to have” and one she has worked hard to attain.

Moreton said she wants to pursue performance as a major in college and is currently auditioning for musical theatre programs. She has been taking voice lessons at the Southeast Missouri Music Academy since she was in the fifth grade and with Shaffer since she was in the seventh grade.

 “I love my voice lessons,” Moreton said. “It’s so much fun. Lori’s a great teacher.”

Moreton said the Music Academy has been a good training ground for her. The Academy’s recitals have been good experiences for her, she added.

“It’s good to practice performing in front of people,” she said.

Shaffer said Moreton is not the first Music Academy student to be selected to perform at The Muny. Two Music Academy students were selected a couple of years ago to perform in the production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Moreton has performed in the Academy’s production of “Noye’s Fludde” and in nearly all the musicals sponsored by Cape Central High School, including “Beauty and the Beast” and “South Pacific.” She is the daughter of John and Nancy Moreton of Cape Girardeau.

All performances of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at The Muny are at 8:15 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at The Muny’s Ticket Office in Forest Park, any MetroTix outlet location or online at