by Paula Citron
Toronto Operetta Theatre’s turn of the year offering is Franz Lehar’s tuneful The Count of Luxembourg. The always astute Kevin Mallon is the conductor, but diction continues to be a big problem.
Unfortunately, guest director/choreographer Anne Allan has created stage business that is too busy. The characters and the chorus are never still and there is an irritating restless energy that underpins the piece.
Only veteran tenor Keith Klassen as the Count and young soprano Allison Angelo as Juliette sing with distinction. Mezzo-soprano Margaret Maye is excellent in the speaking role of Princess Kokozov.
The rest of the cast has some problems. Soprano Elizabeth Beeler as Angèle is really showing a shrill top, while tenor Michel Corbeil as Armand blasts his high notes. Tenor Rory McGlynn sounded very under the weather, and his Russian accent as Prince Basil was a mumbled blur. Happily, all can act.
The Count of Luxembourg continues until Jan. 6.
From the Jane Mallett Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.