31 March 2007: Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado

Simsbury Light Opera Company, Simsbury, Connecticut. Artistic director, Thom Griffin. Music director, Ed de Groat

Thom Griffin is a very old hand at G & S. I’ve been on stage with him more than once, over the years, in Valley Light Opera productions. Rumor has it that, after a large palace revolution and some key departures (including that of the artistic director to Commonwealth Opera in Northampton), the Simsbury group was left in something of a shambles. Thom Griffin was invited in to set things right.

He did a creditable job, but there was still much to be improved in this prod­uction of a G & S fav-orite. The first act went on rather lackadaisically, then the second act improved somewhat. Steve Curylo looks the part of Pooh-Bah — he is noticeably obese — but played his role without much energy or character (and this, in my view, being the most delicious role in all of comic opera). The set was a bit simplistic, the costumes were garish and ill-matched, though the three little maids and their schoolgirl followers (women are very long at school in amateur comic opera) were nicely attired.

One may hope that, having survived its ordeal, Simsbury Light Opera is on its way back to the standard of sumptuous, polished productions of years gone by.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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

Share This Book