Tag Archives: Daniel Verschuer



 After an absence of 12 years, Gilbert and Sullivan’s much loved operetta, THE MIKADO, will make its welcome return to Rockdale Town Hall in a brand new production.

THE MIKADO is arguably the most popular of all of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. It is set in a mythical Japan and tells the story of the star-crossed lovers Nanki Poo and Yum Yum, the cheap tailor Ko Ko who has been elevated to the Exalted rank of Lord High Executioner, Pooh Bah Lord High Everything Else, Katisha an elderly lady from the Emperor’s court in love with Nanki Poo, and the Mikado himself. The opera is filled with glorious singing from the cast of principals and the ensemble. The wonderful score features some of the most beautiful and popular melodies including Three Little Maids from School, I Have a Little List, and the well-known Tit-Willow.

This new production is being directed by Elizabeth Lowrencev with Musical Direction by Vincent Colagiuri. Brett Crocker will play the part of The Mikado, Daniel Verschuer will play Nanki Poo, Andrew Brunsdon Ko Ko, Gordon Costello Pooh-Bah, Vi King Lim will play Pish-Tush, Kirralee Elliott will play Yum-Yum, Zoe Yalouris will play Pitti-Sing, Imogen Bilinksy will play Peep-Bo and Carli Partridge will play Katisha.

The season will run from the opening night on Saturday 22nd June to Sunday 30th June. Performances are Saturday 22nd June at 7.30pm, Sunday 23rd June at 2pm, Saturday 29th June at 7.30pm and Sunday 30th June at 2pm.

The show will run approximately 3 hours including one 20 minute interval. Duration: Tickets range from $35 to $50. The season will run from the opening night on Saturday 22nd June to Sunday 30th June. Performances are Saturday 22nd June at 7.30pm, Sunday 23rd June at 2pm, Saturday 29th June at 7.30pm and Sunday 30th June at 2pm.


Sydney Arts Guide has one double pass to give away to the opening night. Email  editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com with The Mikado giveaway in the subject heading. In the body of the email give your main reason why you would like to see this show.  The winner will be advised by email with the tickets being available for collection at the Box Office.

Editor’s Note : This promotion has now closed and the winner has been advised.



Tobias. Pic by Dawn Pugh

The latest production from the GILBERT AND SULLIVAN OPERA SYDNEY is the relatively now rarely seen THE GHOSTS OF RUDDIGORE. The tenth of the Savoy Operas by Gilbert and Sullivan it is both typical G&S with its wonderful melodies and biting lyrics, and here is a satire on the Victorian Gothic spooky horror melodrama genre.

It has a silly complicated plot of curses, disguises, ghosts and yes includes witches and a dastardly villain . All of the Baronets of Ruddigore are under a terrible curse called up centuries ago by a witch – each of the Baronets must commit some sort of crime daily, or they will die in terrible agony.

Our hero Robin Oakapple has been living as a farmer for years, trying to find the courage to ask the beautiful village maiden Rose Maybud for her hand, but he is also hiding a secret–he is really Sir Ruthven , the Baronet of Ruddigore, and has been in disguise while his younger brother Despard assumed the title–and the curse. Betrayed by his foster-brother Richard, Robin’s real identity is revealed and he therefore must take on the burden of committing a crime every day in order to appease the curse– and the ghosts of all his ancestors past appear in Act 2. They are not at all happy with his attempt to dodge fulfilling his title and the curse. Will Robin be able to counter the curse and live the honest life he craves? Continue reading GILBERT AND SULLIVAN OPERA SYDNEY PRESENT ‘THE GHOST OF RUDDIGORE’



On a rocky beach in Cornwall … ahoy – there be Pirates!

Originally premiered 1879 it is one of the ‘Big Three ‘ of the Gilbert & Sullivan works – the others being HMS Pinafore and The Mikado.

Readers will probably be familiar with the Opera Australia version (Anthony Warlow as the Pirate King) or the Essgee version starring Jon English as the Pirate King. There also has been the all male version directed by Sasha Regan that toured here in 2012 from the UK.

Overall, this was a strong, traditional performance.  Musically and vocally, under the excellent direction of Rod Mounjed, this production was splendid. The Orchestra was in fine form and gave a beautifully multi layered finely nuanced performance. Mounjed conducted precisely and energetically.

Under Victoria Watson’s direction the pacing and timing was great. The choreography was tight and stylised, albeit that it, at times, came across a little stiff.

The set design by Bradley Hawkins was very effective. One half of the stage was the pirate ship, the other a  flight of stairs, a plinth, and a gargoyle like sculpture for the tomb in Act 2. There was a trapdoor for the Pirate King and for Ruth’s first appearance for ‘When You Had Left Our Pirate Fold ( the ‘Paradox ‘ trio Costumes were mid to late Victorian with bustles etc, for the ladies.

Our leading lady Mabel was excitingly sung by Sarah Arnold. I am not sure why she sat in a throne like chair to one side aloofly reading before her big first entrance?

Our darkly Byronic hero Frederic, ‘a slave to duty’, was terrifically performed by Daniel Verschuer, who was in fine voice.

As the dashing, charismatic Pirate King Chris Lewis had much fun swaggering and strutting around. His Oh Better Far To Live And Die  was joyous and exhilarating.

Ruth the Piratical Maid of All Work was given a strong performance by Zoe Arthur.

As vibrant and ebullient Major General Stanley, Mitch Bryson was magnificent. His breathless, tongue twisting, patter song I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General, where he was gloriously resplendent in his imposing uniform brought the house down. In Act2 he is troubled and lamenting when ‘he thought he heard a noise. ‘ His bevy of daughters and chaperoning relations gave a terrific performance. Tall, hulking ,brooding Samuel was finely played by Joshua Knight.

Our Sergeant of Police was terrifically played by Toby Page, who was in fine, gravelly voice, lamenting, “A Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One’ with his chorus of policemen.

Tarantara , tarantara…Gilbert and Sullivan’s PIRATES OF PENZANCE is playing the Shore Auditorium, Shore School, Blue Street, North Sydney until 8th October.

Running time 2 hours 20 including one interval .

Stage Director& Choreographer – Victoria Watson
Musical Director – Rod Mounjed
Choreographer – Sarah Pearce

Mabel Sarah Arnold
Frederic Daniel Verschuer
Ruth Zoe Arthur
Pirate King Chris Lewis
Samuel Joshua Knight
Edith Laura Griffin
Kate Angelique Tot
Isobel Holly Champion
Major-General Mitch Bryson
Sergeant of Police Toby Page
Chaperones & Daughters Fiona Ashton, Joann Balasuriya,
Kyran David, Marie Deverill, Alice
Dunne, Georgina Hughes, Jane Makin,
Ellie Singer, Judy Singer, Anna Skocz,
Sara Wakeling, Sonia White
Pirates & Policemen Nick Adams, Peter Chappell, Scott
Crichton, Michael Darmody, Terence
Hogan, Terry Matthews, Mary
O’Bryne, Dawn Pugh, Gary Selby,
Rory Struthers, John Wollaston