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Vol. XXVIII No. 6
May-July 2004
 - Our impetuous May and June -

ELECTIONS/FANTASY MEETING
Sunday, May 2 at 2:00 PM

 In This Issue: 

NEGASS Business

Calendar:
Performances and auditions
in NE and elsewhere

Meeting News

Articles

Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ELECTIONS / FANTASY MEETING

(How to get there - The Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Road, Arlington, MA

On Sunday. May 2 at 2:00 PM at the Park Avenue Congregational Church in Arlington, MA Yes, this was originally going to take place June 6, but the memory of last year’s extremely successful Election/Fantasy meeting, which was held in mid-May at the Park Avenue Church, has led the board to switch the date.

ELECTIONS: This year Members-at-Large Linda Silverstein, Janice Dallas and Marion Leeds Carroll are up for re-election or replacement. So are our Vice President (Tony Parkes), Secretary (Jennifer Morris - who has already abdicated), and Program Chair (Dave Leigh). If you think you’d like to try - if you’d like to know more about these positions - please check out our contact info, and be in touch!

Note: The three contested M-a-Ls actually hold extra roles, independent of our M-a-L positions: Linda is our Company Promoter, Janice is our Membership Chair, and We are the Bray editor/web-mistress... is anyone eager to take on part or all of any of these roles? Another option: Anyone who’d like to try on a position can serve as Apprentice, doing some of the work and learning what’s involved.

FANTASIES: Last year we started out with an ad-hoc TRIAL, and went on to have a fabulous time playing around with gender-bending fantasies. What will it be this year? Come join us - throw your own fantasies into the pot, and see what happens! - mlc

Found: A Bray editor’s apprentice. T. Skyler Wrench (that’s me - tsw) is now learning the Ways of the Bray at the feet of the Master (that’s mlc).

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MARCH 21: MAGICAL LMLOSORCERER The stars were in alignment yesterday for a perfectly delightful performance of SORCERER, my favorite in the G&S pantheon. Though unrehearsed, it all came together magnificently.

The orchestra, led by David Larrick in his attractive brown tuxedo (purchased expressly for conducting the Sudbury SORCERER some 10 years ago), with Eric Schwartz at the keyboard, provided an exciting, if sometimes overloud, musical background. Closing the lid of the piano for Act II helped the singers be heard. David tried an innovation this year of replacing the large string section with piano, and I thought it was an improvement.

The chorus, comprised of assorted random audience members, did excellently well in following David's musical direction, and Some Of Us really got into our parts. (Thank you, Skyler Wrench, for being my enthusiastic partner during "If you will marry me"!)

But the leads were truly magnificent. Juliet Cunningham was a delightfully vulgar Mrs. Partlet. When she declared emphatically "We will try again!" after her failed "probing" of Dr. Daly's feelings, I was convinced that with or without the love potion, Dr. Daly's bachelor days were numbered. Rebecca Burstein as Constance was a lovely timid Victorian miss, singing her airs sweetly, and getting a big laugh from the audience in Act II when she led on the Notary. Allegra Martin was a dignified and later lovesick Lady Sangazure, with a beautiful deep mezzo voice. To complete the quartet of ladies, Marion Leeds Carroll sang the role of Aline as gorgeously and gloriously as ever, and her impersonation of the role was totally charming.

The men were equally excellent. Tony Parkes owned the role of the Sorcerer, singing his opening patter song with perfect control and calmness. Lee Patterson was a remarkably effective Alexis, highlighting the character's unpleasant dictatorial side, and singing his two arias in clear, ringing tones. As Sir Marmaduke, David Leigh was grave and mellifluous (I do love his voice!), kicking up his heels quite in character during "Eat, drink and be gay." Irv Hodgkin was a magnificent Notary. He has a fine basso profundo voice, which made us all step back in awe and admiration when he declared "All is prepared for sealing and for signing." And Tom Dawkins was irresistibly appealing as Dr. Daly. His voice has deepened wonderfully in the past few years (we knew him when!), his characterization was delightful, and he did his own flageolet playing to perfection in his Act II Solo. Finally, Carl Weggel took the speaking role of Hercules.

Excellent refreshments were organized by Carol Mahoney, including a bewitched version of a gay Sally Lunn. What a perfect afternoon!

-- NANCY BURSTEIN

[Behind-the-scenes secrets revealed: Replacing the strings with a piano wasn't entirely David Larrick’s decision - orchestra manager Vic Godin and program chair / casting director Dave Leigh made that choice, in the absence of a complete string section this year.

David and Dave made other important contributions to the festivities: David’s orchestral scores (both conductor’s score and individual parts) and Dave’s piano-vocal scores were great improvements on the old, unreadable editions. Both David and Dave are producing these and other editions professionally: Visit David's web site, and then visit Dave's site, for more info - mlc]

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UPCOMING MEETINGS:

AUGUST 29: PICNIC MEETING / PIRATES We’ll hold this year’s picnic on Sunday, Aug 29, starting with a sing-through of PIRATES. Anyone have a favorite role? - let Current (and possibly Future) Program Chair Dave Leigh know: (781) 894-3009 or preeta3@yahoo.com.

Roles:tackling the mutton

Major-General Stanley (comic baritone)
The Pirate King (baritone)
Samuel (tenor or baritone)
Frederic (tenor)
Sergeant of Police (bass-baritone)
Mabel (soprano)
Edith (soprano or mezzo)
Kate (mezzo)
Isabel (speaking role)
Ruth (contralto)

Shall we try to talk Dave Sheldon into offering his home again, or would anyone else like to volunteer? - let the Board know! - mlc

      
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Tentative Meeting Schedule, 2004 - 2005 

August 29 Picnic Meeting and PIRATES sing-through
September possible informal sing in Watertown, MA
October 17 probable informal sing of IDA in Arlington, MA
November 24 non-meeting Bray
December 11 Holiday party, probably in Lexington
January (23?) 2005 Film TBA at the Newton Free Library
March 13 LMLO PINAFORE
April 17 G&S Potpourri - TRIAL plus Gilbert plays and/or legal-topic Bab ballads, plus Sullivan - TBA
June 5 or 12 Elections/Fantasy meeting

Next Bray Copy Deadline: August 1 2004

Next Bray Stuffing: Sunday August 15, 2004 at 3:00 PM at 111 Fairmont St, Arlington, MA. Call Us at (781) 646-9115 evenings and weekends, or send email to editor@negass.org for directions to Our easy-to-get-to Arlington home. -mlc

spring and summer

Member News

fall and winter

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome We New Members Deborah Sager and Howard Rosenkranz..

Deborah, of Somerville, MA, says she's a singer as well as Enthusiastic Audience. Howard, of Lexington (who happens to be related to a Peer - er - to our Company Promoter Linda Silverstein), says he's Enthusiastic Audience, but he also does well at reading Bab Ballads. We have enjoyed seeing him at meetings - notably at the September Bab Ballad meeting.

- Tell Us, Tell Us All About It! Hearty Greeting Offer We!mlc

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CHICAGO SINGOUT? The planned Toronto Gilbert and Sullivan Singout has been cancelled, but there’s talk of one over Labor Day weekend - in Chicago. More news as it breaks!

OLD MEMORIES CROWD AROUND ME Some Reflections on the 1980 Maynard Savoyards Production of SORCERER David Stieber wrote in response to Bray notices about the March LMLO SORCERER: On the subject of "The Sorcerer", I see that the personnel of our Maynard 1980 production are again present in force in the current "Bray." Rollin Jeglum (the last still-performing cast member?) on the board of the re-vamped Savoyards, David Larrick (in those days a chorusman at Maynard but already MD at Sudbury) honored at Sudbury, along with his ex-wife and our then costume mistress (alas, I don't think I knew of her demise) Sally Osborn, and now joined by our then reed section, the Burdines. Plus ça change, as I'm sure someone once observed..... David also sent scanned copies of old Maynard programs, and went on to mention Cary Leahey in connection with that Maynard - and then Cary wrote in:

I have very fond memories of this production, which was really quite good from top to bottom... The first thing that sticks in my mind is the interesting casting of the title role. Instead of choosing the standard patter lead, the role of The Sorcerer was played by Larry Littlefield, who one would have thought should have played Sir Marmaduke. And the role of Sir Marmaduke was played by Ernie Gumm, who would have normally been cast in the title role.

So in two major cases, our director (Connie Miller-Clinton) cast against type. And with great results. Larry was a very scary Sorcerer. He was able to do something with his eyes right from the beginning, which was quite chilling. I remember how many of my friends told me how frightening he was when he entered in Act I in a puff of smoke. Ernie was a great Sir Marmaduke. I had the pleasure of doing the “teacup brindisi” (as Dennis Crowley, our music director, called it) in the finale of Act I. As Dr. Daly I had a very hard time keeping a straight face.

I could go on and on with the encomiums. John Ostrowski was a standout Alexis. (He made what I think is the hardest tenor part in G&S look easy.) Ronni Marshack was a fine Lady Sangazure and worked well from Ernie. Michelle Yundt was a wonderfully fresh and radiant Aline. Tanya Fleishman was a charming Constance. And the smaller parts of Mrs. Partlet and the Notary were luxury casting indeed with Sara Ballard and Warren Colson. Connie and Dennis were great--I learned a lot from them, giving me the opportunity to sing one of the great songs in the English language “The Air is Charged…Time Was Love and I Were Well Acquainted.” I always felt this would be a tremendous recital number. Oh to hear someone like Thomas Hampson dig his teeth into that number.

And all my old G&S friends-David Larrick, Wacky, etc. I remember you fondly. You make me wish I had never left Boston!

One final point. At the cast party, we were shown a series of photos from the production. Any thoughts that I could ever go pro rapidly vanished. I saw about 12 picture of Ernie and me. In every one, Ernie had a different and interesting expression—I had only two. I was born into the Richard Tucker school of acting--one arm slight emotion, two arms deep emotion.

-- CARY LEAHEY
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PINAFORE COSTUMES SOUGHT Somerville Community Chorus in Somerville, MA has contacted Us, seeking costumes for their upcoming production of PINAFORE. They may already have'em by now - but it's worth asking: Contact Sara Karwacki at skarwacki@comcast.net. Visit Our Calendar for more info on the production.

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE G&S CDS Alan Combs recently asked about sources of CDs and other recordings of G&S productions sung in various foreign languages. Bray apprentice T. Skyler Wrench writes: I have a CD of the German Die Piraten (1968 live radio broadcast). It's on Gala: GL 100.566.

D’OYLY CARTE CHORAL MASTERCLASS D’Oyly Carte is collaborating with The Creative Masterclass Company to present “choral only, non-residential Masterclasses” to take place in London. The first one, planned for May 12-14, will be TRIAL, led by DC music director John Owen Edwards, with DC principals, including Vakerie Masterson, joining as leads or audience members.

Contact Producer Simon Warwick at 0207 907 7005 or DC General Manager Ian Martin at 0207 793 7100 for more info.

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&&& Looking for the reviews in this issue? Visit our new review page.

IN-PROGRESS PDF BRAY ARCHIVE We've been posting PDF versions of recent Brays on the web. What does this mean? It means that if you have a (free and easily accessible) copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, you can print out a copy of the issue you want, looking pretty much the same as the copy you received in the mail - in case you lost your old copy, or want to give a copy to someone else. Ultimately, We hope to create a more nearly complete archive of old Brays in PDF format.

NEW! INDEX TO RECENT ON-LINE BRAYS There are no links yet to the out-of-date calendar pages - but the articles are now available. Enjoy! - mlc

Note: Very old issues of The Trumpet Bray are still available in The G & S Archives.

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ABOUT CONTRIBUTING TO THE TRUMPET BRAY:

All contributions are welcome, of course - but, strictly speaking, only activities and articles relating to G&S ought to be published. (…although an occasional Yes We Know It's Not slips by when the subject relates to a promising activity presented by long-standing and active member of NEGASS.)

  1. E-mail is the best way to send things! - marion@leedscarroll.com or editor@negass.org will get to Us equally well. (So will nearly anything else @negass.org, eventually...)
  2. The US Postal Service (aka "snail mail") is fine, too - send letters, preferably typed, or hand-written very clearly so that We can read and correctly reproduce names, dates, etc. - to NEGASS, PO Box 367, Arlington, MA 02476-0004.
  3. The Telephone is a very last choice. We do have an answering machine, but spellings of names and specifics of dates are awfully hard to be sure of when delivered by Word of Mouth (Oricular or otherwise), and We rarely have time to phone people back to check details. Please use the phone only if you have no other choice!
 -- mlc   
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* ... why We see a neurologist...

 

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