reviewed by Paula Citron
Toronto Operetta Theatre
Composed by Imre Kalman
Conducted by Derek Bate
Directed by Guillermo Silva-Marin
Starring Lara Ciekiewicz, David Curry, Elizabeth DeGrazia, Fred Love, Amanda Jones, Gregory Finney, Rosalind McArthur and Jeffrey Sanders
At the Jane Mallett Theatre until Jan. 3
Toronto Operetta Theatre’s production of Kalman’s Countess Maritza is uncommonly well sung. The main reason is David Curry as Tassilo, an outstanding Canadian tenor whose career has been in Europe. The charismatic Curry cuts a dashing figure on stage. He also has a pure crystalline voice and near perfect diction. In fact, it is Curry with his excellent acting and singing skills who makes this operetta truly romantic, and not just a bit of fluff.
Lara Ciekiewicz as Maritza, Elizabeth DeGrazia as Lisa, Fred Love as Zsupan and Amanda Jones as Manja are fine singers. Alas, only Love has decent diction. Happily, even the small roles are well sung if lacking clarity of language.
While Guillermo Silva-Marin has become a strong stage director over the years, his choreography is lame. Nonetheless, conductor Derek Bate unleashes the passion and schmaltz of Kalman’s music to make this is a winning production.
Countess Maritza continues at the Jane Mallett Theatre until Jan. 3.