Wednesday, August 05, 2015



The National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company
at the Harrogate International Centre

The opening production of the 22nd Festival – three weeks of G&S from companies large and small from far and near.
Not, alas, in Matcham's Royal Hall, or in the equally delightful Harrogate Theatre, but in the comfortable, capacious but irredeemably corporate Harrogate International Centre.
The production, directed by John Savournin, was Gilbert and Sullivan as it used to be, before polymaths and auteurs were let loose on it. Traditional, predictable, enjoyable. The most amusing thing, perhaps, was the cheeky knees-up for Regular Royal Queen.
A simple, “modern” set, an excellent orchestra [MD David Steadman], a lively, smallish chorus, and some impressive soloists: Claire Lees a brilliantly sung Giannetta, an impassioned Pair of Sparkling Eyes from Robin Bailey's Marco.
The character roles were played with assured style by Sylvia Clarke as the domineering Duchess, Richard Gauntlett as her hen-pecked little Duke, and Bruce Graham as Don Alhambra – a lubricious Grand Inquisitor done up in a cardinal's costume [think George Melly as Thomas Wolsey], nothing like an undertaker at all, it has to be said, but great fun and a serious presence vocally.

No comments:

Post a comment