Lighting set. Prepared silence. The walls echo the sounds of this small theater as Benjamin Wayne Smith, the director of the Intermountain Opera Bozeman’s fall production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore,” exclaims “even if somebody gets hurt, just keep going!” The production, showing Oct 10-12 at the Emerson’s Crawford Theater, is down to the final week of rehearsal, making such dedication and focus essential. The mounting pressure causes frequent head rubbing and mountains of emotional expression as the cast and orchestra try to piece together their intricate parts into one grand production ready to be enjoyed by all of Bozeman. This classic comic opera was Gilbert and Sullivan’s first international sensation. This play is sure to appease the musical appetite and tickle the funny bone of all ages — it has been enjoyed for over a hundred years.
Having the pleasure of sitting in on a rehearsal, it only took a matter of minutes to get the vibe of the production. The humor is made to be incredibly accessible for our modern times, yet speaks truly to Gilbert and Sullivan’s originality in this tale of love on the high seas. The premise of a young captain’s daughter falling for the honest sailor aboard the “H.M.S. Pinafore” fuels the amusing satire of class distinctions in British aristocracy of the time period. The Emerson Crawford Theater is an excellent location for the production as it is smaller than the Intermountain’s usual stage at the Wilson Auditorium, with an enclosed feeling of comfort that brings viewers even closer to the warmth of the stage. Paired with the clarity of the acoustics and ambience of each vocal, every moment feels inspiring. The “H.M.S. Pinafore” feels quite at home at the Emerson because it first debuted at the similarly small Opera Comique, in London on May 25, 1878.
A show is nothing without the right cast and orchestra, and thankfully the Intermountain Opera has exactly that. Linda Curtis, the Artistic Director for Intermountain Opera, guarantees this fall’s production has a solid star lineup with soloists from all over the country at the top of their game. To name a few, Keith Jurosko from New York will be displaying his Gilbert and Sullivan expertise as the comic bass-baritone Sir Joseph, along with the experienced Sean Anderson (no stranger to Gilbert and Sullivan, formerly playing the Pirate King in “The Pirates of Penzance”) in the role of the baritone Captain Corcoran. On the soprano side of things, we have Sarah Larsen (who has worked with The Metropolitan Opera) playing the mezzo-soprano Little Buttercup, and the notable concert soloist Caitlin Cisler playing the soprano Josephine. All in all, everyone on stage has the skills to be the best of the best. Combined with the 17 piece orchestra of the best local Bozeman musicians (some from the Bozeman Symphony itself) conducted by Steven Byess, this show is not one to miss by any means.
To snag some tickets for this fantastic production, you can call the Intermountain’s office at 587-2889, or go online at intermountainopera.org. Showings are on Oct. 10 and 11 at 7 p.m., and Sunday Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. Student rates apply at a 50 percent discount, and first-timers get 25 percent off, so there is truly absolutely fabulously no reason for anyone to miss this show. Seize the opportunity to see professional live music, British satire and unforgettable comic acting. So go dump the change out of your pockets, take a break from your homework and I’ll see you there.
To snag some tickets for this fantastic production, you can call the Intermountain’s office at (406) 587-2889, or go online at intermountainopera.org. Showings are on Oct. 10 and 11 at 7 p.m., and Sunday Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. Student rates apply at a 50 percent discount, and first-timers get 25 percent off, so there is truly absolutely fabulously no reason for anyone to miss this show. Seize the opportunity to see professional live music, british satire, and unforgettably comic acting. So go dump the change out of your pockets, take a break from your homework, and I’ll see you there.