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by Daniel Hathaway

Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Savoy Operas” most often get performed by amateur theatrical companies, or, if you’re lucky, by professional musical theater troupes. Those productions can be charming and entertaining enough, but when you put such delightful works into the hands of experienced opera singer-actors and a skillful director, something quite extraordinary can happen.

Last weekend, Opera Per Tutti joined forces with the Chagrin Falls Studio Orchestra to present three performances of William Schwenck Gilbert and Arthur Seymour Sullivan’s 1879 operetta, The Pirates of Penzance, that took the work to an entirely new level.

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by Daniel Hathaway

WitchIntoOvenWarning to all witches: you’re courting danger if you try to turn children into gingerbread in Northeast Ohio. You’ve been punished for that many times recently — at the Cleveland Institute of Music (March 2012), at Youngstown State University (April 2013), at the Oberlin Conservatory (November 2013) and at Baldwin Wallace University (February 2014). The children rebelled once again last weekend at the Barlow Center in Hudson, as Nightingale Opera Theatre staged three performances of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. And once again, the witch didn’t survive the trip through her own oven. I saw the show, which was sung in English, on Sunday, June 29.

It was talented student casts who turned the tables on the sorceress in those previous performances. Nightingale, a company of professional singers, brought an especially high level of vocal prowess and acting experience to Humperdinck’s retelling of the famous fairy tale, while retaining the feel of a community production by casting young human beings as children and angels. Read the rest of this entry »

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