Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A successful High Desert Opera Summer 2009 Opera Festival

Audience members at three different performances on the Western Slope enjoyed Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The Sorcerer”. Guest were greeted at the door by local villagers from “Ploverleigh” (the town where “The Sorcerer” takes place) inviting everyone to join the feast celebrating the “plighting” (betrothal) of Alexis and Aline.

Prior to the curtain rising, Gilbert himself (aka Thom King) announced that the original actor cast to play “John Wellington Wells” was taken ill from eating some questionable oysters for lunch. Due to management’s good fortune, the audience’s disappointment soon subsided when Gilbert announced that he had agreed to perform the sorcerer’s role.

This production provided many humorous and memorable moments to expound upon. To mention a few; the character played by James Werner “Sir Marmaduke Pointdexter” appeared to have the most grave face and demeanor. Once he drank the philtre (potion) his obvious un-bounding joy, plus his choice of love, took his son (Alexis) and his betrothal (Aline) completely by surprise. The humorous change was not lost on the audience. Alexis and Aline quickly regained their composure to support Marmaduke’s near rapturous affections.

Christopher McKim’s character, “Dr. Daly, the Vicar of Ploverleigh”, wistful thoughts of “love unfulfilled” transformed after drinking the philtre. He found every woman of Ploverleigh “quite comely” (attractive). You could hear the chuckles from the audience as he sought to control his affectionate heart upon meeting some one new of the fairer sex. Expressing that they to where “quite commonly”. McKim’s choice of character attributes made one feel humorously sympathetic towards Daly’s magically induced desire for love.

With “John Wellington Wells”, played by Thom King, it was easy to get caught up in his energetic and contagious personality when it came to the use of his family’s magical “philtre”. His addition of current events used during his deflection of the unwanted philtre induced affections of “Lady Sangazure”, played by Shazy King, caused a resounding laugh from the audience.

The mixture of all the talented vocalist/performers in this production set in motion a performance filled with fun and memorable scenes. It just must be said that this was a production that should not have been missed.

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