ON APRIL 9, 2016, the Comic Opera Guild held the 13th Annual Harold Haugh Vocal Competition. The competition has no top age limit. It is open to all singers who are not professionally represented (under management), and is won by those who can do the best job of selling a song from Light Opera.

Over $6,000 was awarded to the winners and finalists. First place went to Ashley Neumann, soprano (“Sventurata” La Cenerentola- Rossini); second place went to Emmett O’Hanlon, baritone (“Ha! Gia Vinta La Causa” Nozze di Figaro- Mozart); Third place went to Josh Lovell, tenor (“Ah, Mes Amis” La Fille du Regiment- Donizetti). Judges were Jane Schoonmaker-Rodgers (Bowling Green Univ.), Melanie Helton (Michigan State Univ.), Nada Radakovich (Flint Performing Arts Ctr.), David Troiano (Wayne State Univ.) Freda Herseth (Univ. of Michigan) and Thomas Petiet (Comic Opera Guild). The event won accolades for organization, due to the efforts of John Guidinger, chairman, Brad Rondeau, Event Coordinator and Heidi Miles, Assistant Coordinator.

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The Comic Opera Guild has now added its recording of the recent production of Offenbach’s THE GRAND DUCHESS OF GEROLSTEIN to its large archive of operettas in English.

Since its inception in 1973, the Guild’s mission has been to make European operettas and comic operas more accessible to American audiences to counter the lack of popularity and scarceness of production that dogged these works here. Although typically far more sophisticated musically than most musical comedies, they have had a reputation for silly libretti. This reputation derived primarily from operettas of the early part of the century, especially American but also European. The writers for Victor Herbert were no more than hacks, and care overall was not being taken with the books, assuming audiences didn’t care and would like the shows anyway.

Works from the late 19th century are, for the most part, superior in plot and wordsmithing than later works, and are often more edgy. Satire and parody, the hallmarks of Gilbert and Sullivan, disappeared from operetta by the turn of the century, but are rampant in the works of Offenbach. Starting his career in a small theater that appealed to a young crowd in Paris, Offenbach never lost the desire to take a shot at pomposity or hypocrisy, although he was often forced to restrain himself late in his career. The works of his prime are timeless jests that can still prick inflated egos.

The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein is one of those. It is a clever satire of militarism, employing humor and well-drawn characters to skewer the pretensions and foibles of regimentation and the folly of war. Although the Guild seldom updates its shows, the Guild’s writer, Thomas Petiet, reset the show in 1914, at the onset of World War I instead of 1867. The change is seamless, since that war was fought in a 19th Century way with 20th century equipment. It was done to make the satire more relevant to a modern audience, bringing it into sharper focus.

The music is charming, and practically every number was a hit in its time. Some, such as “Dites Lui, ” the duet for the Duchess and Fritz, and Fritz’ Rondo, have become standards of light operatic repertory. As with the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, it makes the “philosophic pill” easier to swallow.

The Guild’s English versions differ from standard translations in that they are written by singers for singers, and they are not locked step by step to the original. They are intended to sound as though they were written in English to begin with; the story line is carried forward with dialog and lyrics that vary from the original as the degree of quality in the original varies. The music is not altered, but numbers are occasionally in a different order if it will improve the story. Most translations that have been published were written by non-performers, and can sound clumsy when sung, or even be difficult to understand, which is why many people have an aversion to changing any show into English. The Guild’s creative staff has been equally averse to much that has been translated; its goal is to correct the situation.

Some of the operettas the Guild has produced have required major surgery to rescue the score from a mediocre or even terrible libretto. Offenbach’s “Robinson Crusoe” and Strauss’ “A Night in Venice” are among these. The Grand Duchess is not. Its authors were Meilhac and Halevy, the French team that rivaled W.S. Gilbert in quality libretti. Even the best were not perfect, however, and the 3rd act of he Grand Duchess seems tacked on and needlessly long as a wrap-up. Mr. Petiet combined Acts 2 and 3 and condensed the action for a stronger ending, expected by today’s audiences. The result is a better show for both audiences and prospective production companies.

The Grand Duchess was received with high praise by local attendees, but the Guild’s audience has become national. Both the audio CD and the video DVD have been released, and can be ordered by using the Guild web site: comicoperaguild.org. Clips from the show, as well as many other past productions, can be viewed on youtube.com.

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Forgotten comic opera Erminie recorded by Comic Opera Guild

The land of opera and operetta is a great place to look for buried treasure. In the past ten years, the Comic Opera Guild has uncovered over 50 shows that had lain out of sight for a much as a century and a half, and recorded them so that they would not suffer the same fate again.

Edward Jakobowski’s ERMINIE opened in London in 1885, and after a successful run came to the United States and Australia in 1886. It continued to be produced professionally for over 30 years, with new Broadway runs in 1893, 1899, 1903 and 1921 that featured many of the original performers. Then, as the new style of shows by Kern and others came about, it vanished from the boards. Although it was revived in San Jose in 2008, no recording is available. The Guild’s production in Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Towsley Auditorium delivered the first complete recording of the show.

The show is famous for the pair of robbers it introduced, Ravannes (a dashing outlaw) and Cadeaux (his bumbling accomplice), which may remind some of the Cisco Kid and Pancho. Harry Paulton, the original Cadeaux, made a career of the role, and DeWolf Hopper, a star for many years on Broadway, played Ravannes for more than 20 years.

The Guild assembled an exceptional cast to present the show in concert style at Washtenaw Community College’s Towsley Auditorium. Ravannes was sung by Richard Knapp, who recently appeared as Germont in Arbor Opera’s La Traviata. Cadeaux was David Andrews, well known for his comedic roles with the U of M Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Ann Arbor Civic Theater and other local Ann Arbor companies. Soprano Elizabeth Cedroni is featured as Erminie, tenor David Troiano is Erminie’s lover Eugene, and they are joined by soprano Natalie Emptage (Cerise), baritone Thomas Petiet (Marquis de Pontvert) James Wessel Walker (Chevalier) Elaina Robbins (Marie), Fiona Linn (Javotte), Robert Douglas (Simon), Patricia Petiet (Princess), Randy Gilchrist (Captain DeLaunay), James Cavalcoli (Ernest) Nicole Stevens (DuFois) and a chorus of 18. International singing star Nada Radakovich led the ensemble and pianist Seo Hee Kang.

Erminie is a romantic comedy with a large cast of characters. The title character Erminie is the daughter of the Marquis de Pontvert, who has betrothed her to a Vicomte she has never seen. She instead loves Eugene, secretary to the Marquis. The Marquis and guests have come to meet the Vicomte at a Festival he has provided, but that unhappy gentleman has been waylaid by Ravannes, who then claims his identity, and Cadeaux, who takes on the persona of a fictitious baron in order to con the wealthy. When the real Vicomte staggers in, dressed in the rags he was left with, he is arrested as Ravannes.

Ravannes and Cadeaux, especially, can’t quite pull off their new identities, and suspicions arise. Ultimately, their deception is discovered. Cadeaux, as he is wont to do, claims this is his “fust offence,” but he and Ravannes are led off as rejoicing ends the opera.

The production was made possible by a collaboration between the Comic Opera Guild and Washtenaw Community College. This unique initiative will be expanded next season, as the Guild will tour to universities and performing arts centers in Michigan in 2016.

The CD recording of Erminie is now available either as music-only or complete with dialog, and a DVD is also avaiIable on the Comic Opera guild web site. The recording is a continuation of the mission of the Guild to bring to life the history of the musical theater.

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12th Harold Haugh Competition proved a tight contest

The 12th Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition, held in the Jackson Symphony Hall, Jackson, MI, March 7, 2015, was heavily contested, with tenths of a point often separating the contestants. The singers, who traveled from Wisconsin to Connecticut to compete, have become more familiar with what wins this unique event… namely the ability to combine acting with vocal talent, and made the final decisions difficult.

The $2500 first place winner was Kisma Jordan, a soprano from Detroit, MI, who displayed a mature voice with impressive phrasing. She opened with a beautiful rendition of Gershwin’s “Summertime,” then added “Ach, Ich Fuhl’s” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and “Depuis Le Jour from Charpentier’s Louise. The warmth of her voice, elegant style and committed acting ability won over the judges.

Mezzo-soprano Heather McCallum, currently a student at Michigan State University, took home a second place award of $1500 with her performances of Rossini’s “Crude Sorte” from L’Italiana in Algeri, “Gooch’s Song” from Herman’s Mame and “Us” from Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Third Place and $750 was won by Amy Yekel, a soprano from Ohio, who impressed the judges with the her large voice and impressive acting. Her rendition of “My Man’s Gone Now” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess brought tears to the eyes of several in the audience.

The Roger Wertenberger Audience Favorite Award went to soprano Rachel Sparrow, who returned after winning second place in last year’s competition. A coloratura soprano, Rachel wowed the audience and the members of the Western High School Select Choir with “Una Voce Poco Fa” from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and “The Girl in 14G.”

The Shirley Verrett Young Artist Award winner was Kyle White, a 20 year old baritone studying at Michigan State University. Kyle pleased the audience with his rendition of “Largo Al Factotum from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”

The judges could not restrict themselves to seven finalists, due to the closeness of the ballots. The remaining five finalists, each winning $200, were bass Zachary Elmassian, tenor Isaac Frishman, soprano Sandra Periord, soprano April Martin, and soprano Elyse Kakacek.

Judges for the competition were Melanie Helton (Michigan State University), Carmen Pelton (University of Michigan), David Troiano (Wayne State University), Nada Radakovich (Vocal Instructor, Flint, MI) and Thomas Petiet (Managing Director, The Comic Opera Guild). The event was produced by John Guidinger. Brad Rondeau and Heidi Miles officiated.

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Comic Opera Guild’s spring production was a hilarious pastiche by COG founder Tom Petiet, with music by the father of operetta Jacques Offenbach. Not content to have produced many of the composer’s greatest hits, including La Belle Helene, La Vie Parisienne, and, most recently, The Grand Duchess, the company offered a completely new work. It is based on the one-act L’Ile de Tulipatan, adding music from several Offenbach operettas only rarely heard in the States. It is a satire on sexual orientation and expectations, set in the improbable past.

Although the music was written over a century ago, it was rewoven to form a new show. The product of a nearly a year’s research and writing, Her Highness the Prince was created over 20 years ago, waiting for an opportunity to hit the boards. Various financial concerns continued to delay its opening until this year, the 41st for the Comic Opera Guild. Its style recalls the halcyon years of Broadway, when musicals were truly comedies. Offenbach was one of the few composers who was able to make the music humorous in its own right, independent of the lyrics, and it adds another level to the cleverness of the book.

The show kept the audiences laughing throughout. The clever lyrics and script were matched by winning performances by all the principals. Kiersten Birondo, making her operetta debut as Prince Leander, displayed a brilliant voice and confident stage presence, especially in the second act aria, sung while changing from a man’s uniform into a glamorous gown. Her counterpart, Aaron McCoy Jacobs as the all-too-masculine Bella, was delightfully offhand in his dialogue, while employing his abundant and ringing tenor voice in song.

Bella’s parents, portrayed by Patricia Petiet and Jeffrey Willets, made a convincing couple, arguing about practically everything while keeping guilty secrets, and were hilarious, especially in the scene with the King, played by Thomas Petiet (the author and director of the show), in which the confusion in confessing their secrets reaches a buffo climax.

Mr. Petiet’s King, appropriately pompous and blundering, eventually winds up in the arms of the tomboy Obnoxia, played by Cynthian Knight, who, in her attempt to go from crude stablehand to debutante, brought the house down in her aria “In Days Gone By.”

Music Director Nada Radakovich seamlessly kept the ensemble, consisting of principals, staged chorus, seated chorus, piano and percussion, together. The simple set unit, which was a platform for the seated chorus, provided a decorative and effective background for the action, and the costumes, by Diane Larue, were sumptious and added considerably to the look of the show.

Although the show had a short run in Ann Arbor, it will be marketed to opera and operetta companies in the US and abroad as an inexpensive production that can make audiences wet their seats from laughing too hard.

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Each year, the Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition attracts a bevy of young vocalists vying to test their abilities against others to see if they are ready to audition for opera companies, and to add a title to their resumes. The talent level at the competition held March 8, 2014, was one of the highest ever, and put the burden on the adjudication panel of cutting some real talent from the finals.

Only a few points separated a number of the semi-finalists from the select list of eight finalists. In the end, the critical difference was how much of a show the singer put on. This competition is not solely about vocal ability; it demands that the singer entertain! The entertainment quotient is made up of acting, creativity and  physical delivery, all of which are affected by what the singer chooses as his or her “entertainment” number. It is in this area that many singers came up short, and it is to this area that the competition hopes to bring attention.

The three winners all showed that they had all thought much about this part of their training. The first place winner, bass-baritone Edward Hanlon (Chicago), wowed the judges and the audience with his imaginative acting and staging in all of his selections. Beginning with “Son Imbrogliato” from Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona, Hanlon was immediately the hen-pecked master of the house. Moving on to “When My Cue Comes,” from Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he morphed into Shakespeare’s Bottom, using many changes of voice to characterize the poor fellow and attain the finals. Adding “There Lived a King” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Gondoliers in the finals, Hanlon walked away with $2,500.

Following close behind, in second place, was soprano Rachel Sparrow (Evanston, IL), who mesmerized the panel in the semis with her nuanced delivery of the “Bell Song” from Delibes’ Lakme, and followed with the portrayal of the several characters in “If I Were on the Stage (Kiss Me Again)” from Victor Herbert’s Mlle. Modiste. It was her energetic version of “Glitter and be Gay” from Bernstein’s Candide, however, that likely won her the Audience Choice Award.

The third place finisher, tenor Allan Palacios Chan (Cincinnati, OH), disappointed in his result in the previous year’s competition, realized what he needed to do upon entering this year’s contest. Beginning with “A Wand’ring Minstrel I” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, Palacios displayed a wealth of expression that immediately pushed up his score, and followed up with a beautifully rendered Si Ritrovarla Io Giuro” from Rossini’s La Cenerentola to display the breath of his ability. The competition requires singers to have a Technical Selection as well as a Presentation Selection (Light Opera), and often singers fail to appreciate the difference, unlike Chan.

Close behind was an excellent group of finalists, including sopranos Nicole Greenidge, Lauren Auge, Sara Emerson, Elizabeth Gentner and Ashly Neumann. The Young Artist Winner (Shirley Verrett Award) was given to baritone Yazid Pierce-Gray from Greencastle, Indiana. His rich, clear voice belied his years, especially in his rendition of “Dere’s A Boat Dat’s Leavin'” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

For the third year in a row, the Jackson Symphony, a co-sponsor of the event, has awarded one singer a contract to sing with the symphony in a future concert. That prize was given to tenor Isaac Frishman (Lansing, MI), whose warm rendition of Mozart’s “Un Aura Amorosa” from Cosi Fan Tutte played a large part.

The Western High School Select Choir, from Parma, MI, performed at the beginning of the concert and also during the final tabulation. Under the baton of Ronald Rudland, these young singers displayed produced a remarkably nuanced  sound, and certainly appreciated the vocal abilities of the contestants.

The adjudication panel included The University of Michigan’s George Shirley, the Comic Opera Guild’s Thomas Petiet, and International singing stars Nada Radakovich and David Troiano. Each year, the event, now held in Jackson, Michigan, seems to get better, as it attracts singers from great distances, in this case from Maryland to Texas. Brad Rondeau, manager of the competition, and producer John Guidinger have made this a must for young professionals to discover where they stand in their chosen profession. All contestants receive personal comments from the panel to help them continue to develop their talent. The level of vocalism in this competition carries much hope for the future of classical singing.

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The Rose of Castile recorded


Music by Michael William Balfe

Book and Lyrics by Augustus Harris and Edmund Falconer

A Popular Opera Rediscovered

In the 20th century, the opera has been considered highbrow by most Americans, although in Italy, its birthplace, the citizenry clamored for new works from composers who were like rock stars.  Opera in America, especially, has been the pleasure of an elite of sophisticated music lovers.

Opera afficianados may turn their noses up at the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but he has attracted huge audiences to what must be considered operas. Phantom of the Opera is surely not “musical comedy,” but a tragic opera with dialog. Like the operas of Verdi, songs from it have become popular hits. The Rose of Castile was written by William Michael Balfe, an Irish composer who became famous for operas in English that were considered too “popular” to be taken seriously by critics. His most famous work, “The Bohemian Girl,” was the most often-produced opera of the 19th century, and was translated into many languages. Although not as well-known today, it was still famous enough in the 1930s that it was the setting for a movie by Laurel and Hardy.

Balfe’s operas were written in English and often had spoken dialog. They were often termed “Ballad Operas,” for the tuneful songs that were sprinkled throughout. Though typically quite romantic, they featured comic numbers as well as dialog, which endeared them to a public used to the unrelenting tragedy in the operas of the day. The “Rose” not only contains these elements, but differs from the “Bohemian Girl” in its more elaborate vocal writing, especially for the soprano.

As in the operas of Rossini and Bellini, the soprano was the star of the show, and had the most spectacular music to sing. Operas of the first half of the 19th century were also called “bel canto” for their emphasis on “beautiful singing.”  The well-known conductor Richard Bonynge restored many bel canto operas for his wife, Joan Sutherland, who had the ability to negotiate the florid arias in them. This Comic Opera Guild features Karin White, a specialist in the bel canto style. Karin possesses a voice of great beauty and flexibility, which is required by the role of Elvira, Princess of Leon, in “The Rose of Castile.” Tenor Kevin Newell is the muleteer Manuel (actually the heir to the throne of Castile in disguise) who saves her from the clutches of the grasping Don Pedro (Thomas Petiet). The production and keyboard accompaniment are conducted by David Troiano.


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Music by Franz Von Suppe   English Lyrics and dialog by Thomas Petiet

A Show to Match Its Overture

Although the Light Cavalry overture is world famous, the show from which it came has languished in obscurity. One of the first Viennese operettas, the show has historical significance in that it was the first operetta to incorporate Hungarian themes. But more than that, it has a sophisticated and tuneful musical score that has been unjustly neglected. Although it has been infrequently revived in Europe, it has, to our knowledge, never been performed in North America, and certainly not in English. COG’s 2013 production produced the first complete recording ever made of this show, which has been funded in part by a successful crowd funding campaign.

Finding materials for the production in involved a good bit of sleuthing, and a bit of good luck. No score of the work could be found in the collections of American libraries, until by chance a French language printing was found in California, under the title “Cavalerie Legere.” Although an orchestral manuscript was located in Wurttemburg, Germany, orchestra parts were not forthcoming. This is a common problem for shows that have fallen out of the repertory, and often the only solution is to re-orchestrate. Luck, and some good connections came into play for the Guild this time, however, when a colleague on the west coast contacted a collector in Vienna, who happened to have obtained parts for the original show to add to his collection, and was overjoyed to provide a copy of them for this production so that the show could be performed.

All that could be found of the dialog was a synopsis of the story online, so Mr. Petiet, Managing Director of the Guild, was called upon to recreate the dialog and lyrics in English. It is likely that the original story was not strong enough to keep the show on the boards, so this version has been strengthened considerably to make the definitive performing version.

It is the story of Wilma, a beautiful young girl found wandering as a child, who has been treated as a cleaning wench by the Mayor and his wife, and kept from her lover, Hermann. When a troop of Hussars comes to town, it turns out that she is the lost daughter of the Colonel, who makes it his business to see to it that some comeuppance is delivered, in a very amusing way.

The score features some songs and ensembles that are true discoveries.  Wilma’s  haunting Gypsy song is actually the center section of the overture and is beautifully rendered by Natalie Emptage, making her third appearance in a lead role for COG. Johnathan Riesen, a winner in last year’s Haugh Vocal Competition, is Hermann, whose second act lament is a bravura aria for tenor. The plot culminates in an astonishing eleven-voice ensemble that is unique in operetta. Comic Opera Guild veterans Chris Grapentine (bass) and David Troiano (tenor) also return as lusty

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The 10th Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition 10th Annual Harold Haugh Vocal Competition, held Saturday, March 23, 2013 in the Jackson Symphony Orchestra’s Performance Hall, attracted over 30 finalists from all over the United States. John Riesen, who recently starred in COG’s LIGHT CAVALRY, won the First Prize Award of $2,000.

John, who currently studies at MSU with Rick Fracker, another COG alum, was also a Metropolitan Opera Regional finalist this past year. Among the finalists following the afternoon’s semi-finals, John brought down the house with his rendition of the “Story of Kleinzach” from Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. This comes as little surprise to the cast and audience of Light Cavalry, in which John was a standout. In a clean sweep, John also won the Audience Choice Award, as well as the Jackson Symphony Contract.

The level of talent was extremely high for this competition, and the scores in both the finals and semi-finals were very close. As always, it came down to which singer made the best choices of repertoire, and did the best overall job of combining singing and acting. Out of the 29 contestants, the winners and finalists were:

FIRST PLACE– John Riesen, Okemos, MI, $2000
SECOND PLACE– Anne Slovin, Chicago, IL, $1000
THIRD PLACE – Timothy Bruno, Toledo, OH, $500
FINALISTS, $100 each:
Julie-Anne Hamula, Fair Lawn, NJ
Adrian Sanchez, E. Lansing, MI
Sara Emerson, Kalamazoo, MI
Abigail Krawson, Jamaica Plain, MI
Zachary Elmassian, Chicago, IL

AUD. CHOICE – John Riesen $100
JSO CONTRACT – John Riesen $500
YOUNG ARTIST Katy Early Oberlin, OH,$100

Anne Slovin, a soprano from Chicago, IL, impressed the judges with her silky voice and expressive performances of “A Simple Sailor” from HMS Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan, and the song “Yes!” from the French operetta of the same name by Maurice Yvain. An alumna of Northwestern University, Ms. Slovin won the “Best Female Voice” Award at the Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.

Timothy Bruno, who was a finalist in the 2011 Competition, got the Third Place Scholarship with his ringing bass voice and energetic rendition of “Ha! Wie Will Ich Triumphieren” from Die Entfuhrung Aus dem Serail by Mozart. He showed his versatility as well in “One Alone” from Romberg’s Desert Song.

The event was once again beautifully run. John Guidinger, our Jackson Board Member, did a fantastic job handling the venue arrangements as well as the fund raising, always a major challenge. There was a catered lunch for everyone, dinner was provided for the judges, accompanists and finalists, and there was even an afterglow reception. John really puts out a spread.

Brad Rondeau and Heidi Miles once again managed the event, which proceeded flawlessly through the seven hour semi-finals and evening finals. Many of the singers required a COG accompanist, since they were coming, in many cases, from distant states. Margaret Counihan, Jon Krueger and Seung Youn Kim provided expert accompaniment. A number of singers were competing again, including Elizabeth Toy, who was competing for the third time. Shawn Mlynek, Sara Emerson, Christian Ketter and Julie Barber were also repeating. This is a statement on how well the event is run, the fun, and the support the singers get from the judges.

The Adjudication Panel, once again, was a stellar group of professional performers and educators who were gracious enough to donate their time to give these singers much needed advice to spur their careers:
George Shirley
Melanie Helton
Susan Anthony
Nada Radakovich
David Troiano
Thomas Petiet

With what has now become the full support of the Jackson Symphony, the event attracted a nice audience. The event was not in the Michigan Theater this year due to grant considerations, but the intimate surroundings of the JSO Hall seemed to the crowd’s liking.

Because the date conflicted with school events, there was no choir involved, but steps are being taken to have one in next year’s competition, since it’s important for high school singers to see and hear what real vocal talent is like.

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The Comic Opera Guild has just released its recording of Naughty Marietta, combined with the composer’s one-act farce Miss Camille. Recordings exist of this show, often regarded as Herbert’s best, but the Guild offers more than one additional take on this show.

The new recording, a concert performance, includes previously unrecorded material, and is the most complete version of the show. The Guild’s cast includes Kim Dolanski as Marietta, John Riesen as Captain Dick, Chris Grapentine as Etienne, and Leslie Mason as Adah. For folks who want to know what the show was like when it opened in 1910, this is a must-have. It is available as music-only or complete with the original dialog.

The Guild has also offered a stage recording of its 1981 production of Naughty Marietta, but in a new performing version with revised dialog. This production is important in making the show most likely to hold the stage with modern audiences.

Miss Camille was a send-up of the story of Camille, noteworthy for also being the inspiration for La Traviata. This short musical farce was produced for the Lamb’s Club in New York, a haven for literati, which requested its talented membership to come up with entertainment each year. Herbert teamed up with lyricist George Hobart for the show.

The Guild has become the preeminent producer of Victor Herbert recordings, with 32 titles to choose from:

❑ NAUGHTY MARIETTA (stage version)
❑ BABES IN TOYLAND (stage version)
❑ BABES IN TOYLAND (music only)

An order form can be downloaded for Herbert shows and many others from the Comic Opera Guild web site using the link: www.comicoperaguild.org/PAGES/RECORDINGS.html


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