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by J.D. Goddard

TLK2

The Ohio Light Opera premiere of The Little King. (Photo by Matt Dilyard)

On Wednesday, July 23, in the College of Wooster’s Freedlander Hall, Ohio Light Opera presented the opening performance of its seventh and final work of the summer season, Emmerich Kálmán’s The Little King (Der kleine König) with libretto by Karl von Bakonyi, Franz Martos and Robert Bodanzky. This was OLO’s premiere performance of the rarely performed 1912 work and its eleventh Kálmán operetta.

The convoluted plot deals with a boyish monarch who falls in love with a famous visiting opera singer. She also happens to be the daughter of a revolutionary plotting his assassination. Read the rest of this entry »

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by Kelly Ferjutz, Special to ClevelandClassical

MFL1-(Matt-Dilyard)

“The majesty and grandeur of the English language,” as Henry Higgins put it to Eliza Doolittle, is on glorious display in My Fair Lady, currently on the boards at Ohio Light Opera in Wooster. In a word, this production is magnificent. I’d say perfect, but someone would be sure to quibble. But still, it must be more difficult to produce a stellar version of what is arguably the ‘world’s most popular musical’ than to do a fabulous version of something that no one has ever seen or heard until that very moment. (One can easily confirm this popularity by the number of audience members singing or humming along, under their breath, so to speak, right along with the performers.) Read the rest of this entry »

by Robert Rollin

OLO-King-and-IThe Ohio Light Opera’s June 22nd performance of The King and I was most enjoyable. The 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical sparkled in this well paced production filled with good singing, excellent blocking and acting, lovely costuming, fine sets, Jerome Robbins’ original choreography, and especially imaginative lighting, made all the more effective through use of backlit shadow puppets.

The King and I is a gem of a musical, though by no means without a few flaws. The presence of a mature widow and mother firmly loyal to her husband’s memory and actively engaged as a caring parent, centers the show, as does the King, a dominating personality who, nonetheless, wants to bring his country closer to the more enlightened Western culture.

This musical is over three hours long, and the lengthy “play within a play” with its succession of dances can sometimes drag a bit. The OLO’s production never flagged and the play on Uncle Tom’s Cabin moved quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

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