Last night, the University of Toronto‘s (U of T) Opera Division opened a short run of Gilbert and Sullivan‘s H.M.S. Pinafore at the Macmillan Theatre. The performance starred Ryan Downey (Captain Corcoran), Karine White (Josephine). Charles Sy (Ralph Rackstraw), Max van Wyck (Dick Deadeye), Daniel Denino (Bill Bobstay), Daniel Robinson (Bob Becket), Lyndsay Promane (Buttercup), Nicholas Borg (Sir Joseph Porter), and Kristina Agur (Hebe.)
The production was directed by Michael Patrick Albano was in the latter 19th Century as originally written and allowed the cast to be the centre of attention, for which they excelled. The orchestra, led by conductor Sandra Horst, also excelled especially with a quick tempi.
The cast sang and acted wonderfully. One could see how in love Ralph and Josephine were thanks for the performances of Charles Sy and Karine White, respectfully. Ms. White’s rendition of “The hours creep on apace” was especially moving.
Ms. Promane’s performance of Buttercup was tender. The look of shock when she first sees Ralph in Act I gave the audience an idea that something was up. Max van Wyck’s Dick Deadeye really drew laughs at the appropriate points without playing for the laughs.
On an interesting note, when Ms. Horst came out for her bow at the end of the performances, she actually climbed out of a trap door on the set – something which caught the audience off guard, but which also attracted an extra round of applause.
The production continues through November 30th, 2014 at the MacMillan Theatre. Tickets are going fast, but can be found via this link.