Cast members of Don Quixote (from left): Suzanne Conrad (The Duchess), David Gabriel (Sancho Panza), Mimi LaRussa (the bearded Countess Trifaldi), and George Ianetta (Don Quixote).
Photo by Wade Williams/Woodinville Weekly.
by Wade Williams
Don Quixote, a 1909 comic opera in two acts, is the latest production of The New Savoy Opera, opening Mar. 16, 8 p.m., at the St. Thomas Center in Kenmore.
The libretto and voice parts were found among a musty pile of old manuscripts in the dank basement of a London music store in 1992. It was discovered by Richard Lewis, director of the New Savoy Opera Company, and his daughter Sara. Lewis has written new orchestrations and updated the show where necessary.
The opera portrays Don Quixote's vain attempts to revive the laws of chivalry. The local Duke, thinking him mad, devises a few practical jokes as Quixote, along with his faithful squire Sancho Panza, attacks windmills and frees galley slaves. In one scene, Don Quixote sets out to lift an enchantment that has left several ladies of the court bearded.
The humor is broader than that of Gilbert and Sullivan, but no less funny, and the music is quite jolly for the most part. Anyone who likes this kind of musical comedy will enjoy this show.
The New Savoy Opera hopes to bring lesser-known but amusing shows like Don Quixote to the public along with their regular Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Don Quixote plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. through March 31. Call 526-4969 for ticket information.