by J.D. Goddard
“Beginning in the 1870s, two Englishmen — playwright William S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan — revolutionized the musical theatre, creating a series of witty, melodic operettas that set a new standard for stage professionalism. Sullivan’s music sparkled with fresh melody, and Gilbert’s librettos blended silliness and satire in settings that ranged from pure fantasy to the utterly realistic. Innovative producer Richard D’Oyly Carte publicized these shows as “light operas”, but by any name, they were musicals — some of the finest the world would ever see in any language.” —John Kenrick
On Thursday afternoon, June 27, I traveled to Wooster to be delightfully entertained once again by a musical production of the Ohio Light Opera, the resident professional company of The College of Wooster. This was the opening performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s 1878 operetta H.M.S. Pinafore (The Lass that Loved a Sailor). This season marks the fifteenth time the OLO has counted Pinafore among its 120 productions over the past 35 years.