Sunday, 12 August 2007

Savoynet's Pinafore

Savoynet is an email mailing list that carries a fairly large volume of traffic, mostly related to the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is an annual event which, among other things, involves a show every night at 7:30pm, by a different performing company each time. It's inevitable that the two would meet... Savoynet people have put together a show every year since 1997 (so I'm told... I've not been around that long!!). It is unique among performing companies, because the people involved come from around the world - and assemble for a VERY short rehearsal season. There's no opportunity to audition beforehand; nobody wants to fly half way around the world only to find out that they weren't chosen this time. Auditions are done by video, which has the benefit (for the panel) that someone's audition piece can be rewound and played over, something that's just a tad difficult when working face-to-face.

So. Savoynet were performing the day that we arrived. Having seen a few Savoynet productions on video previously, we HAD to see it. Alas! The only seats available were around the side, in a place from which you can't see the whole stage. (Upside: They were only 10GBP each, the best seats are around about 50GBP.)

The show was pretty good. Strong cast, overall; I think the Carpenter needed to have a stronger voice, for "A British Tar"; and the Dreaded Recit (right before the Act II Finale) really doesn't improve the show. Criticism has been made of the inclusion of "Reflect, My Child" in the first act, but I think it didn't hurt. Corcoran (Ian Henderson - he'll be singing Grosvenor for us later) was good, and Josephine (Rebecca Hains) was EXCELLENT. The song perhaps would have been a problem if it had been sung badly, but it wasn't.

The chorus did a good job. The men's chorus, particularly, looked impressive; and worrying... because OUR chorus needs a lot of work! The choreography was moderately complicated, and ably executed; the precision of salutes and the like in the Captain's (and Sir Joseph's) entrances was, if not quite perfect, then oh so all-but! I was most favourably impressed.

Afterwards, none of us felt like attending the cabaret. I now kinda wish I had, but at the time, tiredness was just a little too strong.

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