<< -- 3 -- Kelly Ferjutz IN NIMBLE FASHION
The Queen's handkerchief, inscribed to Cervantes, is misplaced and used against her by the nasty prime minister Villalobos of Brian Tanner, who wants to usurp the throne for himself. Did I mention this is set in Portugal in 1570? Maybe such frivolity really happened then, who knows? At any rate, the music is perfectly fine, if not Strauss' best, and well done by the large cast and the orchestra conducted by Jason Altieri. Choreographer Carol Hageman had her troops prancing around in nimble fashion, especially Grant Knox as the lovable nit-wit Don Sancho. When not dancing, he had been busily worshipping from afar (for 18 years!) the Marquise de Villareal, endearingly brought to life by Claire Maloney.
It's good to know the Queen had a secret weapon -- seems she's a marvelous cook, as we learn from the King's wistful 'I dreamed the night away with truffle glaze' his paean to oyster pâté with truffle glaze. Really. It proves to be the solution in the third act, when in disguise, the Queen serves up a plate of her specialty, allowing the King to discover his true love.
In between, there are light-hearted moments, such as 'Great Professors, Learned Doctors' in which Cervantes is tried for treason. This patter song ranks among the very best of its kind, based on this performance.
Ohio Light Opera's 2006 season has now come to a close. They'll announce the 2007 season in the spring, generally April or so. In the meantime, you can keep up with them through the web-site: www.OhioLightOpera.org
Copyright © 17 August 2006
Kelly Ferjutz, Ontario, Canada