1 November 2008: Gilbert and Sullivan, Princess Ida; or, Castle Adamant

Valley Light Opera, performing in Amherst Regional High School Auditorium, for five performances: November 1, 2 (matinee), 7, 8, and 9 (matinee). Stage director, Steve Morgan; music director and conductor, Michael Greenebaum; choreography, Graham Christian

In order to avoid what today’s audience might view as an anachronistic deflation of feminist hopes and energies, Greenebaum has done some moving around of scenes and updating of lyrics. All in the spirit of grand fun it is, and the experi­ment works quite well. This is surely one of the most joyous and spirited of VLO productions in recent years — and the first in which newly designed costumes by Elaine Walker have graced the stage. After so many years as costume chief, it is high time that Walker be given the charge to work from whole cloth (pun intend­ed); the results were perfectly stunning.

There were some demanding fast costume changes, partly the result of the challenge set by Greenebaum’s transformation of G & S’s three-act opera into a two-act, four-scene show. And Greenebaum’s pit orchestra sounded uncommon­ly good. Good singing by principals and a melodious (though, as always verbally indistinct) chorus made for a predictably enjoyable evening.


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An American Playgoer at Home by Joseph Donohue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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