by Paula Citron.
Toronto Operetta Theatre
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Conducted by David Speers
Directed by Guillermo Silva-Marin
Starring Peter McCutcheon, Michèle Bogdanowicz, David Ludwig, Gerald Isaac, Wendy Hatala Foley, Sean Watson, Gillian Grossman, Rory McGlynn and Anna Bateman
At the Jane Mallett Theatre until Apr. 27
Toronto Operetta Theatre’s production of The Mikado is a mixed blessing. I just don’t want to hear Sullivan. I want to hear Gilbert too which means diction. The women soloists are deplorable and the chorus is hopeless. Chorus director Nathalie Doucet-Lalkens has to go back to the drawing board.
The pick-up orchestra has a questionable violin section and an iffy trumpet player. That being said, conductor David Speers does one of the best modulated and nuanced readings of a G&S score I’ve heard. Director Guillermo Silva-Marin has his stage shtick down pat, particularly highlighting comic moments in the dialogue.
Terrific performances come from Peter McCutcheon as Nanki-Poo and David Ludwig as Pooh-Bah. Gerald Isaac is a good Ko-Ko, but he seems to be singing lower than he should. Wendy Hatala Foley as Katisha sports a magnificent voice but words are lost. Everyone else can sing but fail to articulate.
The Mikado continues at the Jane Mallett Theatre until Apr. 27.