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Musical Arts Center - Indiana University
United States
Bloomington, IN

IU Opera & Ballet Theater's 'H.M.S. Pinafore' Delightful

by Rita Kohn
February 28, 2014
Musical Arts Center - Indiana University
101 North Jordan Ave
Bloomington, IN 47406
(812) 855-7433
This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.

Indiana University Opera & Ballet Theater
H.M.S. Pinafore
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University,
Musical Arts Center Bloomington, IN
Feb. 28-March 8, 2014
To our utter delight, Michael Shell directed and choreographed this old chestnut to Springtime sparkle like the tree's verdant flowers ripe for interaction. Movement was as strong as the singing, and character development opened through the combination.

Both women's and men's choruses brought verve to their lyrics with tricky footwork and Broadway show numbers. Christopher Seefeldt delivered Sir Joseph Porter as a seasoned song and dance man. Connor Lidell gave Dick Deadeye the heft of Vaudeville and Olivia Yokers and Ralph Rackstraw deftly breezed through a combination of pas de deux, unfolding the growing infatuation between Josephine and Ralph Rackstraw.

But the showstopper number belonged to Anna Prokop as Little Buttercup who, Carmen-like marked the space with her intentions, past, present, future, ensnaring us within her turns and twists moving ever-inward into herself, into us, and ultimately into Reuben Walker, who perfectly melded within her gyrations. He might have lost his title as "Captain" Corcoran, but he got the lady of the hour. The two earthily wrapped themselves within Bizet's mastery, letting us know that they know Carmen's reach was within their grasp. [Carmen premiered in 1875, Pinafore in 1878]

Rarely does an operetta so richly earn a dance review as does this production.

Constantine Kitsopoulos conducted. C. David Higgins designed the set, Patrick Mero designed the lighting, Walter Huff served as chorus master.

Learn more at music.indiana.edu
With Elana Marie Fiorini and Madeline Stern.

With Elana Marie Fiorini and Madeline Stern.

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