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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 8, 1999
Lend a tenor, a few soprano and baritone voices to J. Ernest Green, and he'll transform them into a big, beautiful choral sound.He has been doing that with the Annapolis Chorale since coming to direct it in 1985. What was then a 70-voice chorale is now 145 voices, performing Renaissance to contemporary music during its regular season, and pop classics at its summer outdoor concerts.And he has been doing that with Baltimore's Young Victorian Theatre Company since 1985, when he became music director of the operetta company, which specializes in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 9, 2014
For the seventh time since 1971, when Young Victorian Theatre Company was launched in Baltimore to champion the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, the company will present "The Gondoliers. " Devotees of the G&S canon will need no encouragement to catch the production, which opens Saturday at Roland Park Country School. Newcomers should find the piece an easy introduction to the genre's many charms. "This is definitely one of Gilbert and Sullivan's best," says Brian Goodman, general manager of the Young Vic. "I love it - really, I'm not just saying that.
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NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | October 15, 1993
Aficionados of the Gilbert and Sullivan style might well go into coronary arrest while viewing the Annapolis Dinner Theater's current production of "The Pirates of Penzance."What with vaudeville shtick superimposed everywhere, Broadway voices employed to the exclusion of more operatic ones and synthesized accompaniment droning throughout, the show's atmosphere is a far cry from that of the Victorian Age.But most people aren't Gilbert and Sullivan purists, after all, and the theater-goer who isn't so doctrinaire should find plenty to enjoy in this fast-paced, exceedingly funny production.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2013
This being summer, Baltimore's Young Victorian Theatre Company is reveling in the glories of Gilbert and Sullivan. This year's production of 'H.M.S. Pinafore' got Midweek Madness thinking about this sequence from a "Peter Pan" cartoon that finds Captain Hook breezing through the score to the operetta in one minute.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | July 15, 2008
Light entertainment and a heavy heat/humidity quotient somehow go together perfectly. In one of Baltimore's more charming summer traditions, the Young Victorian Theatre Company makes that point each year with the help of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The work chosen for the troupe's 38th season is as welcome for its relative novelty as for the general quality and flair of the presentation. The Gondoliers marked the final triumph of the extraordinary Gilbert and Sullivan franchise. Shortly after the premiere in 1889, an absurd, protracted quarrel over the expense of new carpeting at the duo's home base, London's Savoy Theatre, took a hefty toll on creative juices.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | July 10, 2008
One of the greatest partnerships in musical theater - wordsmith W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan - encountered periodic misunderstandings and conflicting goals. A particularly trying time for these two strong-willed creators of the world's most-popular operettas came in 1889, when Sullivan decided he needed a text that would be secondary to the music. Naturally, the librettist took severe umbrage at the idea. Testy letters were exchanged, egos severely bruised. The duo seemed on the verge of disunion when, thanks to diplomacy by producer Richard D'Oyly, who had made a fortune on G & S, a handshake saved the day. The result was the 12th Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration, and one of their biggest successes: The Gondoliers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2010
In February 1971, a hearty bunch of teens sang in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" at the Gilman School and enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to try another G&S operetta five months later, this time largely on their own. The students — most were from Gilman and Bryn Mawr schools in the beginning — called themselves the Gilman Summer Theater and chose as their inaugural venture that July a staging of...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | July 9, 2000
"The first time I saw 'The Mikado,' I thought it was funny," Brian Goodman says. "And I thought the music was great. I still do. It's timeless." Goodman might be a bit prejudiced -- he's the longtime general manager of Baltimore's Young Victorian Theatre Company, which is marking its 30th anniversary with a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado." But it would be hard to argue with Goodman's assessment. Of the 13 stage works created by the team of librettist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan, "The Mikado" stands at the peak.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | November 30, 2007
Gilbert and Sullivan fans - and those not yet in their ranks - will find 2nd Star Productions' The Pirates of Penzance at Bowie Playhouse a highly entertaining show. Considered by many Gilbert and Sullivan devotees to be the best and funniest operetta ever penned by the British duo, Pirates is their only work to premiere in the United States, when in December 1879, Arthur Sullivan conducted the New York theater's orchestra. 2nd Star's current reincarnation succeeds on several levels - as a tuneful musical, a clever spoof and an old-fashioned romance that is well cast.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2010
The folks at Annapolis Opera celebrated the end of tax-filing season and the arrival of spring last weekend with an "Opera Lite" concert featuring tuneful moments from comic operas and operettas. The program was created and conducted by Annapolis Opera artistic director Ronald J. Gretz. This final concert of the season was a nostalgic diversion and welcome antidote to the weekend news of volcanic eruptions Wall Street investigations. "Opera Lite" audience members were seduced by gorgeous melodies from the pens of Viennese composers Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar, and from Victor Herbert, who began his musical career in Vienna and came to the United States at age 27. Also on the program was the wit of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and the melodic genius of opera composer Gioachino Rossini, who was so gifted that he was able to retire at age 37 after writing 30 operas and live comfortably for 40 more years without ever writing another opera.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2010
In February 1971, a hearty bunch of teens sang in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" at the Gilman School and enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to try another G&S operetta five months later, this time largely on their own. The students — most were from Gilman and Bryn Mawr schools in the beginning — called themselves the Gilman Summer Theater and chose as their inaugural venture that July a staging of...
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2010
The folks at Annapolis Opera celebrated the end of tax-filing season and the arrival of spring last weekend with an "Opera Lite" concert featuring tuneful moments from comic operas and operettas. The program was created and conducted by Annapolis Opera artistic director Ronald J. Gretz. This final concert of the season was a nostalgic diversion and welcome antidote to the weekend news of volcanic eruptions Wall Street investigations. "Opera Lite" audience members were seduced by gorgeous melodies from the pens of Viennese composers Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar, and from Victor Herbert, who began his musical career in Vienna and came to the United States at age 27. Also on the program was the wit of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and the melodic genius of opera composer Gioachino Rossini, who was so gifted that he was able to retire at age 37 after writing 30 operas and live comfortably for 40 more years without ever writing another opera.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | July 16, 2009
There is something gloriously indestructible about the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan. The music sounds fresh and charming, even in the most jaded or cynical of times. The plots manage to hold up, even when their seams show, and still generate sufficient interest and humor. The Pirates of Penzance is a particularly strong example, boasting a felicitous score that reveals the remarkable depth of Sullivan's lyrical craft and his ability to complement Gilbert's clever words imaginatively.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | July 15, 2008
Light entertainment and a heavy heat/humidity quotient somehow go together perfectly. In one of Baltimore's more charming summer traditions, the Young Victorian Theatre Company makes that point each year with the help of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The work chosen for the troupe's 38th season is as welcome for its relative novelty as for the general quality and flair of the presentation. The Gondoliers marked the final triumph of the extraordinary Gilbert and Sullivan franchise. Shortly after the premiere in 1889, an absurd, protracted quarrel over the expense of new carpeting at the duo's home base, London's Savoy Theatre, took a hefty toll on creative juices.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | July 10, 2008
One of the greatest partnerships in musical theater - wordsmith W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan - encountered periodic misunderstandings and conflicting goals. A particularly trying time for these two strong-willed creators of the world's most-popular operettas came in 1889, when Sullivan decided he needed a text that would be secondary to the music. Naturally, the librettist took severe umbrage at the idea. Testy letters were exchanged, egos severely bruised. The duo seemed on the verge of disunion when, thanks to diplomacy by producer Richard D'Oyly, who had made a fortune on G & S, a handshake saved the day. The result was the 12th Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration, and one of their biggest successes: The Gondoliers.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | January 23, 2008
By putting a current spin on The Pirates of Penzance, Anne Arundel Community College Opera may well transform students and other young audience members into Gilbert and Sullivan devotees. This production, which opens Friday for a two-weekend run, is even more accessible than the operas presented in past seasons, though all gained relevance by changing location and period. The Bartered Bride was transported to Maryland's Eastern Shore and The Elixir of Love was set in a 1930s village in Tennessee.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 12, 1998
What better place to take in a clever musical play about the arts and the military than at the Naval Academy.Local show-goers will have a chance to see the proof of that proposition over the next two weekends as the academy glee club presents Gilbert and Sullivan's delightful "Patience."Composed in the late Victorian era when the writings of Oscar Wilde were all the rage, the story line of "Patience" involves the officers and men of England's Royal Dragoon Guards who are in love with a chorus of maidens led by the imposing Lady Jane.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 7, 2002
My learned profession I'll never disgrace by taking a fee with a grin on my face," sings the Lord Chancellor, Britain's chief legal authority, in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe, "when I haven't been there to attend to the case."
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | November 30, 2007
Gilbert and Sullivan fans - and those not yet in their ranks - will find 2nd Star Productions' The Pirates of Penzance at Bowie Playhouse a highly entertaining show. Considered by many Gilbert and Sullivan devotees to be the best and funniest operetta ever penned by the British duo, Pirates is their only work to premiere in the United States, when in December 1879, Arthur Sullivan conducted the New York theater's orchestra. 2nd Star's current reincarnation succeeds on several levels - as a tuneful musical, a clever spoof and an old-fashioned romance that is well cast.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,sun music critic | July 10, 2007
For its annual production of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, the Young Victorian Theatre Company has not so much sprinkled Baltimore-isms on H.M.S. Pinafore as drowned the old vessel in them. That's not to say the result is all wet, but merely to point out that anyone who prefers G&S reasonably undiluted may have some trouble swallowing this concoction. Saturday night's opening performance at the Bryn Mawr School generated enough musical values and high spirits, though, to keep the ever-fresh spark of Sullivan's brilliant score burning nicely.
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