On April 6 and 13 in the Norwalk Concert Hall, Troupers Light Opera will perform Victor Herbert's classic 1906 Broadway musical comedy "The Red Mill", fully costumed with orchestra and sets. Directed by Taconic Opera director Dan Montez and conducted by Jun Nakabayashi, this delightful show was one of Victor Herbert's first big successes, premiering on Broadway on September 24, 1906 and running for 274 performances. It was revived in 1945, opening at the Ziegfeld Theatre and was also performed in London.
Set in Holland during the early 20th century, “The Red Mill” has a topsy-turvy plot that resembles the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. Star-crossed lovers plan to elope; pompous village officials are outwitted by a couple of clever American vaudevillians, and true love eventually triumphs all around, amidst a series of unexpected revelations. In its performances April 6th and 13th Troupers Light Opera will be using Victor Herbert's original orchestrations and a new performing version of the script, adapted by Troupers President James Cooper from librettist Henry Blossom's original prompt book.
The Troupers cast stars New Yorkers Nate Brian and Steven Faulk as the rascally Americans Con Kidder and Kid Conner, along with Stamford-area residents Jamie Caporizo as Tina, Brett Kroeger as Gretchen, and Donald Haviland as Davis. Also featured are John Matilaine of Armonk as the Burgomaster, Wendy Falconer of Stamford as his outspoken sister Bertha, and Jim Cooper of Weston as Tina's exasperated father and innkeeper Willem. Norwalk residents Bob Scrofani (the Governor of Zeeland), Martin Diamond (the Sheriff), and Linda Palmer (the Countess), together with Ridgefield’s Rob Strom (Fanshawe) round out the principal singers. Featured in the women’s chorus are Rob Strom’s daughter Tammy, along with Deb Connelly of Norwalk, and Rosa Parrotta of Stamford.
“The Red Mill” will be Troupers’ 68th production. Starting out in 1946 as an informal group that put on Gilbert and Sullivan operas in private homes, Troupers Light Opera had by 1950 become so popular that they recruited members of the Norwalk Symphony for the orchestra and began building sets for the performances. Today Troupers is a large enterprise, performing with a live orchestra, costumes, and complete stage sets. Talented performers from throughout the tri-state area audition for roles, and Troupers welcomes new members each year.
“The Red Mill” will be performed at the Norwalk Concert Hall on April 6th at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and also on April 13th at 2:30 and 7:30. Tickets are available at www.TroupersLightOpera.org or by calling 800-838-3006.