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Drawing on their musical experience, they use various instruments to convey specific characters; the most notable is the bassoon portraying Mr Collins! Perfect. They also wrote in a variety of styles as needed, waltzes included, and vocal solos, duos, trios and ensemble, mostly ballads. They also borrowed a bit of the Moonlight Sonata for 'If Only it Were Today' as Lizzie accompanies herself at the pianoforte. There are a total of 41 very tuneful songs; 26 in the first act, and 15 in the second.

In this production OLO veterans Ted Christopher and Julie Wright are Mr and Mrs Bennet, respectively, and their experience enables them to provide fully-fleshed, wryly humorous characterizations, not always present in some of the younger artists. The Bennet daughters, especially flighty and exuberant Lydia (Karla Hughes) are exactly as we imagine them from the various film versions. Jane is indeed calm and beautiful as portrayed by Sarah Asmar, and soprano Sara Gartland uses her 'fine eyes' very well as Elizabeth, the female half of the title duo.

Baritone Joseph Valone was suitably stiff as Mr Darcy, although it was a neat touch to have him take Miss Austen's plume from her to write the famous letter to Lizzie. For which effort, he was rewarded by a slap! (Of course, one immediately thinks of the marvelously brooding Colin Firth in that role regardless of the situation, a daunting task for any other actor.) Adam Lloyd was the slightly more lively Mr Bingley, while Patrick Howle was charmingly rakish as Mr Wickham.

Sara Gartland as Elizabeth Bennet and Joseph Valone as Darcy in the Ohio Light Opera production of 'Pride and Prejudice'. Photo © 2006 Matt Dilyard
Sara Gartland as Elizabeth Bennet and Joseph Valone as Darcy in the Ohio Light Opera production of 'Pride and Prejudice'. Photo © 2006 Matt Dilyard

Elizabeth Mitchell made Charlotte Lucas into a warm and loving woman, who, although she knew her worth, could easily see herself as wife to Mr Collins, as she explains to Lizzie in 'I Am Not Romantic'. Tyler Nelson, as that erstwhile clergyman could have stolen the show had he tried. As it was, he nearly brought down the house with 'I Aim to Please'.

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Copyright © 1 August 2006 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA

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