This production of THE MIKADO by the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Sydney , smoothly and niftily directed by Dean Sinclair, is in some ways presented as a Victorian pantomime as it opens and closes with a little girl falling asleep in her maid’s arms in the nursery and dreaming of the events in Titipu , the characters being figurines on the mantlepiece that come alive.
The complicated , twisted plot involves two young lovers, faked death, disguise and arranged marriages plus lots of social and political comment , greed , power and corruption , blending a dash of Aussie irreverence, Gilbertian British humour ,theatrical in-jokes and Sullivan’s glorious music. All gently poking fun at Mother England supposedly in an ‘exotic’ environment and celebrating the craze for the orient at the time it was written.
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’→
An outstanding relatively ‘traditional ‘ version of this much loved Gilbert and Sullivan favourite is currently showing at Shore school North Sydney.
The operetta is named after a naive village milkmaid named Patience. With its counterfeit pop idols, lovesick ladies and macho military men it is still very contemporary. The play is a witty satire on the Aesthetic movement of the 1870s and ’80s in England and, more broadly, on superficiality, pretentiousness, fads, vanity and hypocrisy; it also satirises pastoral simplicity, romantic love and military bluster. Continue reading GILBERT AND SULLIVAN OPERA SYDNEY PRESENTS PATIENCE @ SHORE SCHOOL NORTH SYDNEY→
If you like a straight, quite traditional version of G & S then this is for you. This year the production by the renowned Savoy Arts (now performing as Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Sydney) is HMS PINAFORE, first performed in 1878 and regarded. as one of their ‘big three‘ ( along with The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance). Directed by Elizabeth Lowrencev and under the graceful , inspired musical direction of maestro Rod Mounjed this is a production that vocally and musically delights and enchants .