Reviewed by Paula Citron
The Devil and Kate
Opera in Concert
Composed by Antonin Dvorak
Musical direction by Michael Rose
Performed by Giles Tomkins, Adam Luther, Marion Newman, Hillary Coote and Dean Adema
Jane Mallett Theatre
Mar. 27, 2011
Opera in Concert brought a virtually unknown opera our way with Dvorak’s fairy-tale comedy The Devil and Kate, which was sung in English. It would have been nice to hear the work in the original Czech, but that’s asking a great deal in a short rehearsal time.
Translator Ian Gledhill’s unsophisticated English text was very well compensated by music director Michael Rose’s piano. He is one of the best that OinC fields, with his detailed and nuanced playing. Once again, Robert Cooper did fine work with the OinC chorus, particularly the men who had a lot to do.
The frontline cast was excellent. Baritone Giles Tomkins as the Devil’s assistant Marbuel is fulfilling his promise with a polished, commanding voice. Tenor Adam Luther as Jirka is another fine actor with a bright copper sound. Sparkling mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, the pride of the First Nations, as Kate has a seductive vibrato that caresses the ears.
As for diction, it was almost word perfect. Kudos to Rose.