by Kevin McLaughlin
The variety of titles that make up Ohio Light Opera’s annual summer series is its secret sauce. Go to a few shows and you’re bound to find something you’ll like, or maybe in this case a dark horse to love. Emmerich Kálmán’s Arizona Lady is an unknown in these parts — an OLO premiere this summer, which I heard on July 6 at Freedlander Theatre. It stumbles a little at times, but in the end she’s a winner.
Kálmán, who was born in Hungary, always sounds middle European to me, no matter the setting of a particular show or scene. Though the music and setting in Arizona Lady occasionally seem at odds, it’s fun to hear Hungarian-tinged folksong one minute, Viennese tradition the next, and Western cowboy songs the next.