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The show must go on . . . Mamma Mia! music director Sam van Betuw keeps himself busy at a rehearsal. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Music director Sam van Betuw has high hopes the Musical Theatre Oamaru production of Mamma Mia! will be a success.

The highly anticipated show, set for July 13 to 21 at the Opera House, is the biggest show the Oamaru theatre group has staged in years.

Van Betuw is feeling quietly confident at this stage.

“It’s off to a pretty good start,” he told the Oamaru Mail

“I think the cast are very apprehensive about what they saw in the score, and how intense it was, but I think they’ve been relaxing into it a little bit more.

“The last few rehearsals have been sounding pretty good.”

Last year, van Betuw graduated from the University of Otago with a bachelor of music with honours, and he now tutors at the university.

He served as music director for the Queenstown production of Mamma Mia! last year and decided he wanted to join the Oamaru production.

The biggest challenge as musical director was working with new cast members, he said.

“I think the hardest part is when you travel to work with different societies and you are doing your first show.

“You never know what type of talent you’re going to get walking through the door at the auditions.”

It was always satisfying to see the end result of a musical production that had had lots of time and effort put into it, he said.

“I think it’s very satisfying when it finally comes together and you hear the harmonies come together for the first time.

“Something clicks with the cast and they understand it and suddenly it’s easy and they can do it.”

Once the show wrapped up, he would almost immediately serve as music director for another show.