Gilbert and Sullivan operettas follow a fairly predictable format—so much so that Anna Russell once made it the basis for a sixteen-minute comedy routine on "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera." The one oddball in the G&S canon is "Yeomen of the Guard," a somewhat indifferent production of which opened Winter Opera's current season the weekend of October 30th.
I have been a big supporter of the St. Lou Fringe festival since its inception three years ago. This year I was out of town for most of the festival’s run (June 18-22), so I only got to six events. Rather than writing a review of each one, I have decided put them into three groups: hits, misses, and flops (a.k.a. “I want my 45 minutes back”). Here are two misses and a flop, in descending order of quality.
Ko-Ko san and Nanki-Poo compete for the hand of the lovely Yum-Yum as Pish-Tush and Poo-Bah tend to civic duties in the town of Titipu in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado".
Time was when St. Louis Savoyards could expect an annual Christmas present from Opera Theatre in the form of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta presented at Washington University’s Edison Theatre. Alas, either the present proved too expensive or the school had other plans for the space. These days we have to be content with the occasional production as part of the regular season by Opera Theatre or one of our other local opera companies.
I have a friend who says he loves directing Shakespeare because it’s so easy to do. Just don’t get in the playwright’s way and you can’t lose. I think the same could be said of the better Gilbert and Sullivan operettas as well. Don’t mess with G&S and you’re golden.
Arriving early for the pre-show discussion of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players production of The Mikado at the Touhill March 11, I observed first hand the infectious enthusiasm of the company founder, artistic director and general manager, Albert Bergeret, who also serves this production as conductor, co-director, and designer.