by Paula Citron
Glamorous Nights: A Tribute to Ivor Novello
Toronto Operetta Theatre
Music direction by Michael Rose
Starring Elizabeth Beeler, Deanna Hendriks, Fred Love, Robert Longo and Stefan Fehr
At the Jane Mallett Theatre
Toronto Operetta Theatre’s season opener was called Glamorous Nights: A Tribute to Ivor Novello, and the music was enjoyable over-romantic schlock. Novello was the matinee idol/composer who dominated British musical theatre between the world wars.
Musical director/pianist Michael Rose was superb in both sensitivity and interpretation, while artistic director Guillermo Silva-Marin’s narration was amusing. There were, however, serious problems with the quality of the singing.
On the positive note, baritone Robert Longo, who had the least to do, sang richly and warmly throughout. His manly voice was made for musical theatre. Similarly, tenor Fred Love did a very nice job with the novelty numbers and the odd romance. He’s a musical veteran and his polish showed.
While soprano Elizabeth Beeler has the fulsome voice for operetta, sadly her high notes are tarnished. Deanna Hendriks’s light soprano was just buried in Novello’s big romantic sound. Tenor Stefan Fehr has to cope with a very noticeable vibrato throughout his voice.