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This production of Iolanthe by MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall portrayed the essence of superlative artistry coupled with modern technological tools. Audience members were masterfully delivered full access to every quip, idiom, and reference intended by Gilbert and Sullivan. During the production, laughs, chuckles, cheers, and other affirmations continued. Applause occurred frequently, and the denouement was acknowledged through an extended standing ovation and multiple bows. The soloists, dancer, orchestra, costumes, choreography, and lighting were superb. Sperling’s conducting was masterful, precise, effective, and expressive.
Tonight’s O How Good was a celebration of the life of MasterVoices board member Lois Conway and the years of philanthropy and insightful leadership characterizing her service. The venue chosen for this event was inspiring and magnificent and set in New York City’s Central Synagogue, a stunning example of Moorish Revival architecture and a testament to the beauty and richness of Jewish tradition and culture.
With the production’s delights of flamenco dancing, passionate arias, magnificent costuming, staging, lighting, soaring melodies, and powerful drama, we ultimately gasp in awe at the power of Bizet’s Fate theme, akin to the tragedy of the last act in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with its piercing melancholy. Carmen’s impact is profound, in part due to Bizet’s launching of the verismo school, where contemporary characters live true to life.