The Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor, MI has launched its Light Cavalry orchestra fundraising project on Kickstarter.com, a crowd funding site. It is attempting to raise $2,000 to fund the orchestra for the American premiere of Franz Von Suppe’s 1866 operetta Light Cavalry. The show will combine all the original music with a new English performing version in a top-flight performance and recording.
“Light Cavalry” is an early Viennese operetta that is known today only by its overture. It is a clever romantic comedy, and will be performed in Ann Arbor’s Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, February 7-9, 2013, with full cast, chorus and orchestra.
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 revived occasionally in Europe, it has, to our knowledge, never been performed in North America. Our performance will produce the first complete recording ever made of this show.
THE NEED TO PERFORM
Operettas may seem dated today, but much of that is due to stilted performances with bad translations that fail to engage modern audiences. By “recreating” rather than simply reviving these shows, the Guild is essentially putting together a new show for the composer, who unfortunately is no longer able to enjoy it. Shows mounted by the Guild utilize the original score and are not “updated,” but rather made new in their original settings. They are rescued from the scrap heap of history and become, at least in part, a product of today.
In addition, operetta is an ideal showcase for young, aspiring singers as they perfect their vocal techniques and gain the acting experience of doing a musical production with spoken dialog. By keeping musicals with full orchestras viable, we are also providing needed opportunities for instrumentalists.
THE NEED FOR FUNDING
The musical show is the most expensive form of live theater. It requires a cast of thirty or more singers, special dancers, an orchestra of up to thirty, scenery, props, lighting design and a team of directors to put it all together. Add the cost of the theater and marketing and the expenses typically override the revenue. Since “Light Cavalry” is not a common show, it creates an additional hurdle to overcome. By recording the live performance, we can reduce the cost of a recording studio and retain the spirit of live performance. We feel the challenge and reward of creating a unique recording is worth it, and we hope you will agree by lending a hand.
Visit Kickstarter.com to see our project video and review the rewards we have placed for investors in the project. People may pledge as little or as much as they like to become partners in this project.