W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan made life very easy for producers who wanted to put on operettas. He wrote a number of sure-fire hits that provided fantastic tunes, very funny and silly plots, and the possibility of creating a high-spirited, indeed energetic, production.
Opera in the Village has taken its cue and produced The Pirates of Penzance at the River Walk Plaza. The outstanding tent seats 900 people and is situated on the magnificent River Walk Plaza in East Village – a jewel in the crown of Calgary theatre venues. On top of it’s killer location add the beer garden, food trucks, non-alcoholic drink kiosks and the cool late summer evening breeze and it’s difficult to imagine a more inviting atmosphere.
From the opening bars to the final scene this is an imaginative, funny, well-sung, exuberant production that provides a thrilling night at the theatre. The direction is clever, inventive and simply brilliant. The key performers do excellent work and ensemble dancing and singing of the three groups: the pirates, the wards of the Major-General and the police provide much of the energetic movement of the production. In the end, my compliments go to the organizers of the overall conception, design and execution of the production. Excellent performances all around that may well prove The Pirates of Penzance to be one of the best productions of the season.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing the robust menu of productions from Calgary Opera and the Imperial Oil Foundation.