“This was pure operetta. Within minutes the glasses were filled with Bordeaux ... Tunes were alternately zesty and sentimental; dialogue was droll. Direction by Guillermo Silva-Marin was fluid in the comedy-of-manners manner."
"From the very first notes of the overture, one knows that the evening will be filled with sparkling music. Gorgeous tunes pour out of the orchestra. Tangos and waltzes fill the air with gaiety, and delightful solos, duets and ensembles abound, not to mention inside jokes… "
"Once again the TOT deserves the gratitude of Torontonians for opening the window a little wider on a cultural world we know far too little about ... "
"Beckwith has crafted a beguiling score that blends a modern sensibility with historical and folk references. His clever orchestration is a textbook example of how to use each instrument for maximum colour and effect. The music provides drive, as well as atmosphere...The production contributes some fine singing from many of the soloists, as well as the whole ensemble."
"With Taptoo! the TOT has reached a new level of excellence. Musically and dramatically this is probably the most difficult work the company has ever staged and it was marvellous to see it rise so confidently to teh challenge to present the piece in the best possible light."
"The Lt. Governor of Ontario, David Onley was present and he paid tribute to his antecedent, John Graves Simcoe, the first Lt. Governor of our province. His Excellency stated that TOT is 'Canada's finest operetta company.' No argument."
"Toronto Operetta Theatre's coup is in casting two excellent singing actors in those two principal roles. Soprano Leslie Ann Bradley brings the stage to life whenever she sets foot into the spotlight, and sings her catchy melodies with total conviction and verve. Tenor Adam Luther brings a big, warm voice as well as an affable, human presence to the bounder's role."
"What makes this Merry widow stand out from the many others I've seen is the real feeling of community on stage. It is not the usual principals out front and the chorus in back. Rather Silva-Marin's use of the full dialogue sets up relations between the principals and the other characters and suggests, as the plot insists, the fate of everyone depends on waht happens between Anna and Danilo."
"Toronto Operetta Theatre's production of arguably the world's best-loved light opera classic this holiday season is both satisfying and affecting and does ample justice to the mighty Lehar legacy...Director Guillermo Silva-Marin leads his likeable, high-spirited cast around the hairpin turns of love and misadventure fuelled with high octane farce. The destination, where Silva-Marin delivers us, is a place of innocence, charm and unexpected poignancy."
"[The action] plays out to a feast of delightful melodies. Larry Beckwith...shows us why Rossini called Offenbach the 'Mozart of the Champs-Elysees' for the ceaseless flow of his melodies. Beckwith has imagininatively re-orchestrated the score for a six-piece ensemble while preserving the character and texture of the music. Under his baton the playing is always crisp and lively."
"Jacque Offenbach's fun filled operetta was further enhanced by artistic director Guillermo Silva-Marin's additional dialogue. As lovers of this genre we look forward to his added bon mots that are always current and spot on. Like Knallbonbons (crackers) they explode just at the right time and in a production like this one they are extremely welcome."
“Lara Ciekiewicz, as the cabaret-singer title character, literally carries the show. She lit up the stage with charisma and a voice that just wouldn’t quit! Ciekiewicz’s stellar work was abetted by Keith Klassen, her earnest princely suitor, and Elizabeth Beeler, a mugger extraordinaire in her best impersonation of the late Madeline Kahn as she stole her every scene.”
“It has one great tune after the next, with no lack of that typical Hungarian dance, the czardas, and a plot that moves forward less because of artifice than because of the interplay of complex human emotions. The current TOT production has much to recommend it, particularly the stunning performance of Lara Ciekiewicz in the title role!”
“Lara Ciekiewicz as Sylia and Keith Klassen as Prince Edwin are excellent in the lead rolls, particularly Klassen whose diction is perfect.”
“The Gypsy Princess is a delightful show that will definitely have you smiling...The costumes were beautiful and the entire show exuded an air of colourful liveliness it was funny, sad and happy and you just can’t beat the amazing voices singing such beautiful operetta songs.”
“the current production is full of vim, some wonderful singing and a good way to end the old year and greet the new one! The directing is efficient and well done. This broad comedy is handled ably and there are a few references to current events that are funny without being glaringly inappropriate! Once again TOT has managed to do a superior job in producing an operetta against a background of reduced arts funding.”
"Give this group a classic genre piece like The Merry Widow, which opened last night at the Jane Mallett Theatre, then watch them rise to the occasion beautifully. Beeler's comic touch is deft and her singing a joy. The way she sings "Vilja," turning a folk tale into a saga of personal longing, is sheer magic. But then, so is this whole production of The Merry Widow. Go see it and smile!"
"Toronto Operetta Theatre's mid-season offering (Dec. 27-Jan 7) was a lively, cabaret-like staging of Leonard Bernstein's Candide - The phantasmagoric auto-da-fe scene and colorful Venetian episode were also great examples of how creative direction (by TOT General Director Guillermo Silva-Marin) can make a little go a very long way ! TOT assembled an accomplished vocal cast that was both individually distinguished and impressive in ensemble."
"I don't think I have heard some of the musical numbers sung better than they were last night. Nowhere was a "less is more" philosophy better illustrated than in Guillermo Silva-Martin's simple but effective staging."
"Toronto Operetta Theatre has certainly shown itself to be a deft hand at producing Gilbert and Sullivan. This year's offering is The Mikado which fielded a terrific cast and effective ritualized staging by artistic director Guillermo Silva-Marin"
"The performances remained lively and charming, bathed in rich, melodic content"
"Up in the sky-high, sky-high! sings the cast in the finale of "Iolanthe", and that's pretty much exactly how you'll feel after watching this effervescent production from Toronto Operetta Theatre. The best-sung and the most clearly directed "Iolanthe" I have ever seen."
"A timely revival of this thirties operetta! Baritone David Ludwig shines in a tour-de-force performance as the villainous Governor Stuyvesant."
"It was an earnest, straightforward reading of the complete script and score, performed without apology and with abundant affection. The audience loved it"
The Count of Luxembourg - "This is a fine romance"
"In the can-do spirit of the title character's family - Toronto Operetta Theatre successfully conjures up the retro-Vienna of The Count of Luxembourg. This is a fine, fun night out"
"I'm grateful for a production that reminds us what a gently charming evening The Chocolate Soldier affords."
"This 'Chocolate Soldier' is an ideal treat for the holidays, a warm, delectable entertainment you will savour long after the final chords have sounded."
"Seven virtually sold-out performances at the Jane Mallett - tenor Marcel van Neer has a sweet, steady sound and a dignified manner - soprano Tamara Hummel, was at her best in the operetta's finest ensemble, Love said Goodbye with princess Mi (soprano Saemi Chang) - one of the musical high points of the production."
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