“HMS Pinafore” – all the ‘♫Whys & Wherefores ♫’ Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin

The first time we saw Gilbert & Sullivan’s 1881 operetta ‘HMS PINAFORE’, it was presented by a community theatre group that considered the lyrics remedial for folks with some speech challenges, and certainly singing was more fun than reciting tongue-twisters! The play has a strong but subtle message and denigrates ingrained British snobbism and oligarchic political attainment (think today’s White House). Stratford’s Lezlie Wade meticulously underscores the play’s comedic bent with impacting visual images; a creative and functional set, plus acute physical activity. Her choreographic utilization of the set’s two curved staircases will remind older individuals of the Busby Berkeley routines from the late fifties.

Admiral Laurie Murdoch chastising Captain Steve Ross before the crew & all those sisters/cousins/aunts!

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“CARMEN”, tempts Don José; seduces him & dies 5

Review by Terry Gaisin

Bizet’s 1875 opera ‘CARMEN’ is undoubtedly the most popular and beloved of the genre. Understandable given the libretto by Meihac & Halèvy; exceptional music and unrivalled lyrics. Who can’t instantly recall the memorable “ Toreador-a, don’t spit on the floor-a, we have a cuspidor-a; that’s what it’s for-a ♪ “!
The plot deals with a conscientious Spanish soldier, engaged to a hometown girl. He meets a sexy Gypsy; and is ordered to arrest her. Falls head-over-heels and lets her escape. After release he re-joins her, but she meets a popular bullfighter. The soldier is jealous and stabs her -Curtain & rousing applause.

Carmen (red dress) seducing the entire local constabulary

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“PopOpera”; a panacea for us aficionados Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

An evening of operatic aria selections, especially differently chosen from the ‘same old, same old’ fare of the most familiar, is a palliative for those of us unable to zip down to the Glimmerglass festival (this year – Porgy & Bess plus Oklahoma) and that other Cooperstown icon. Boris Brott’s N.A.O. enlisted the talents of ten professional vocalists to interpret sixteen compositions ranging from eighteenth century to 1966. Some choices were well-known and proverbial but most were new to us scribblers … a nice personal anniversary (54th) gift.

All the soloists (& audience) singing “Libiamo”

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Gotterdammerung (or part 4 of the cycle) Reply

Review by Michael PiscitellireviewerMichael P2
The Ring Cycle is one of the longest pieces of theatrical performance in recorded history coming in at approximately fifteen hours long. To put that into perspective, the final part of the entire four-part cycle, Götterdämmerung, was about 330 minutes including both intermissions. This length is not for the faint of heart and I highly recommend being very interested in Wagner’s music and the German language if you have any notion of seeing this show. That being said, it was an absolutely lovely performance and if given the choice to see the rest, would at least, see the parts I know from my childhood.

a dramatic Wagnerian operatic moment

a dramatic Wagnerian operatic moment

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A wonderful night of opera and ‘magic flutes’ Reply

Review by Michael Piscitellireviewer-m
            It’s one of the higher-class events I’ve ever attended, The Four Seasons opera house is one of the nicer buildings in the city, and with its large transparent glass walls one can be assured that the opera isn’t just for the hoity-toity and the elite. Having the opportunity to see this first-hand while at The Magic Flute has been a delightful experience to say the least.  The story of The Magic Flute revolves around the Prince Tamino (Andrew Haji) and his friendly companion Papageno (Joshua Hopkins) as they set off to save Pamina, (Elena Tsallagova) the daughter of the Queen of the Night (Ambur Braid).

a dramatic moment with Papagano early in THE MAGIC FLUTE

a dramatic moment with Papagano early in THE MAGIC FLUTE

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NOZZE Di FIGARO or “Fun with Suzy & Rose” 2

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Episode 2 in the Figaro Saga. When we left off; Figaro- the factotum cum barber had finessed Rosina away from her patron Dr. Bartolo and arranged for her to be with her Count Almaviva (aka) Lindoro.
Mozart takes up the story a half-decade later. Almaviva has turned into a horny married old man; hired a maid for his countess (Rosina) and employed Figaro as his butler. Figaro wants to marry maid Susanna; Almaviva wants to deflower her before the wedding.
Cue the overture! Nozze di Figaro
l-r   Bartolo; Basilio; Marcellina; Almaviva; Figaro; Susanna & Rosina

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