The Arts

Toronto Operetta Theatre – Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado

Toronto Operetta Theatre – Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado featured image

by Paula Citron.
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The Mikado
Toronto Operetta Theatre
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Conducted by David Speers
Directed by Guillermo Silva-Marin
Starring Peter McCutcheon, Michèle Bogdanowicz, David Ludwig, Gerald Isaac, Wendy Hatala Foley, Sean Watson, Gillian Grossman, Rory McGlynn and Anna Bateman
At the Jane Mallett Theatre until Apr. 27
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Toronto Operetta Theatre’s production of The Mikado is a mixed blessing. I just don’t want to hear Sullivan. I want to hear Gilbert too which means diction. The women soloists are deplorable and the chorus is hopeless. Chorus director Nathalie Doucet-Lalkens has to go back to the drawing board.

The pick-up orchestra has a questionable violin section and an iffy trumpet player. That being said, conductor David Speers does one of the best modulated and nuanced readings of a G&S score I’ve heard. Director Guillermo Silva-Marin has his stage shtick down pat, particularly highlighting comic moments in the dialogue.

Terrific performances come from Peter McCutcheon as Nanki-Poo and David Ludwig as Pooh-Bah. Gerald Isaac is a good Ko-Ko, but he seems to be singing lower than he should. Wendy Hatala Foley as Katisha sports a magnificent voice but words are lost. Everyone else can sing but fail to articulate.

The Mikado continues at the Jane Mallett Theatre until Apr. 27.

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