15 March 2009

Mikado @ Philo

I’ve been busy with family visits and an upcoming jazz event (attendance is essential, see JazzUncovered.net) so CJ has suffered of late, but my musical outings picked up over this weekend. Friday evening was to be a Toucani gig, but that ended up as a double booking, so it was a free night and they owe us one.

But Saturday was more productive: an outing to comic opera, Savoy opera as in Gilbert & Sullivan. It was surprisingly good and quite funny. It took me some time to adjust to the style, the Victorian themes, and settling in to the skills of catching the lyrics, but it turned out to be a very satisfying night. My 21st Century mind found the theme of executions a challenge, but it was also a cute love story, and works out OK in the end: as long as you accept that the matching of meek Lord High Executioner, Ko-Ko, with the she-wolf, Katisha, is acceptable. I love the duets with tenor and soprano harmonies, and there were some lively choral parts. Joseph McGrail-Bateup played the central charater of Ko-Ko. He has years of experience in Dirty Dick’s theatre and it shows. He minced around as this innocent executioner who couldn’t swat a fly, to the hilarity of all. Erika Tolano, as one of the three little girls, was hilarious throughout. Robyn Collins and Yum-Yum, and Grant Pegg as Nanki-Poo were well voiced; not that I felt their love so intensely, but it is comedy. Peter Dark was in great humour as the corrupt public servant, Pooh-Bah, with his all-knowing bass voice. Miriam Miley-Read as Katisha was imposing and fearful; no longer a sweet nun in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. The theatre was a surprise, too. Erindale Theatre is well presented, well raked, well provided with a little phased-array PA and a decent orchestra pit: most impressive. We all know of Canberra Philharmonic, but I must admit this is my first outing. This is a semi-professional group, but their output is worthy. I enjoyed the night immensely, and I trust it’s not my last. They are doing my favourite musical in Aug/Sept, West Side Story, so I must pencil that in.

No comments: