More theatre than opera. Strange choice. Some of the southern material is now extremely uncomfortable. Vast army on stage. Artistic product feels about as far from cutting edge and contemporary as could be imagined. Serious sound issues in Keller. Not the kind of show that will land a new audience.
It’s the off season.
So what’s to do but look ahead to the on season?
What’s coming up in 2013-14?
Here’s one for you.
A production of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at Portland Opera next May, directed by OSF’s Bill Rauch.
At the 2011 OSF production of this swashbuckling Gilbert and Sullivan classic (also directed by Rauch), on the night I attended the excitement level before the show was so high, and the opening tableau so (well) operatic, the audience almost gave a standing ovation at the first glimpse of the pirate king – before a single word had even been uttered!
Michael Elich strode on stage with arms raised (it’s good to be the king), flashed a ruffian’s smile that may have blinded a few patrons in the first row, and let us all know in one simple moment:
“People, it is on. This thing. IS. SO. ON!!!”
And indeed it was.
Likely one of the most adored OSF productions ever, the Ashland PIRATES roared o’er the waves on a nuclear-powered vessel of fun and silliness. Old ladies swooned, cannons fired. And no doubt a few young children in attendance decided then and there to commit themselves to a life in musical theatre.
The Portland Opera version is bound to be a little different.
Prepare to rock ever so mightily with the pirate crew…