According to the person who attended with this writer, “Pirates of Penzance” was a little like the British TV sitcom, “Absolutely Fabulous”; it had the audience thoroughly entertained and laughing during most of the opera. The vocal range of the actors was fabulous from the sopranos to the basses. The costumes were periodically on cue and the choreography was good.
The musical director (Albert Bergeret), unlike other conductors who stay concealed in the orchestra pit, seemed to be part of the cast as he would occasionally pop his head out of the pit and bow to the assembly. At the end of the performance he came out on stage with the other actors, to accept an ovation for a job well done.
Major-General Stanley (Stephen Quint) stole the show with his antics and his speed of singing “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General”. The Chief of the Bobbies and the other policemen were hilarious with their singing and stage showmanship.
Pirates of Penzance was a great show for those who like comedic opera. The fact that this is an opera that is sung in English, made it a little easier for those attendees to understand some of the plot. Nonetheless, the ‘sound’ for this performance, in the Moran Theater at the Times Union Center for Performing Arts, made it very difficult for this reviewer to understand what the actors were trying to convey. Thank goodness for the synopsis in the program. The sound in this theater is usually extraordinarily great.
The auditorium was not packed, but if you are like the person that Richard Geer speaks about in “Pretty Woman”, and you like the opera (“Peoples reaction to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic. Either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it; if they don’t-they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.”), then you were in attendance. All-in-all, it was a fun night out and this columnist appreciated the beauty that was in the music and the dance.