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By Dee Adcock
SHOW-GOERS wafted away to another world with this lavish production. It had all the comforts of waltzes and velvety costumes an air of nobility and a completely silly story.
Company and audience simply fell into each other’s arms in old-fashioned adoration of a fine old show, lovingly presented.Like true aristocrats this operetta is demanding and fastidious. Only the best singing, the choicest costumes, a top orchestra will do. SAOS delivered the goods under the expert team of director Camilla Burgess – replacing the original director, who was taken ill – musical director John Dempster and choreographer Kim Yew Wong. They had good material to work with, resulting in a show that looked like a dream and sounded wonderful.
Costumes were truly sumptuous with the ladies’ gowns particularly beautiful, especially when the stage filled for dance. Uniforms, saucy frocks and sparkly jewellery galore meant you couldn’t take tour eyes off these 19th century characters. As for the sight of the men somehow falling in to a Tiller Girl routine – unforgettable.
Franz Lehàr’s music and songs call for serious ability. Lorraine Blakey played the rich widow and her singing was superb – as always. She and David Coxon as the dashing Danilo were perfectly cast and a whole clutch of principals made this production special. Michael Bowyer was in his element as the Baron and the society’s supremely talented Camilla Burgess made her cameo role a treat. But they were all good on that big City Hall stage. There was undoubted quality behind it too – and in front where the orchestra alone was worth the price of a ticket.