Friday, April 10, 2009


The North Shore Light Opera Company has outdone itself at Presentation House. Iolanthe, the Gilbert and Sullivan production of fairies in parliament parodying the House of Peers is thoroughly uplifting and utterly hilarious. "Wholly whimsical" could well be said of it as well. Producer Roger Nelson, Director Mathew Bissett, Musical Director Frank Klassen and Assistant Conductor Francois Koh have gone all out. It was amusing to hear the musicians light heartedly nitpicking about timing between sets when it was obvious to the audience that with Francis Koh's direction they'd been perfect. Superb violins and cello, horns, flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon. The first act finale was a wall of music accompanying the impeccable opera voices of the ensemble at full force. It was magnificent!
Trent Glukler as Lord Chancellor was adorably sleazy. Jeziorski as Stephon, half fairy half mortal member of parliament sang the finest full throated duets with Rachel Stewart as Phillis his mortal fiance. Rachel's voice was captivating. Jacqollyne Keath as the Fairy Queen brought character voice and costume to this rich role. She also had the shoes for it. Lindsay Renner Wallace as Iolanthe was simply terrific. Nicolas Rhind as Lord Tolloller and David Wallace as Lord Mountararat were comedic to the extreme. Best though was the full chorus of fairies and parliamentarians joining voices.
I was first introduced to Gilbert and Sullivan by my medical school classmate Simon who would go off at any moment in song or recital of the racing inane lyrics. Later I loved Monty Python take offs as well. This was the best by far. It could only be made better by having Simon do a follow up fast forward synopsis of the whole production in an adjoining pathology lab.

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