Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts
By Henry C. Mayer

Kentucky Opera Stages First Ever Performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's Rollicking 'H.M.S. Pinafore'

Mark these dates down: Dec. 7, Dec. 10, the matinee of Dec. 11, and Dec. 14. Starting times, except for the 11th, are 8:00 p.m. at the Macauley; the matinee begins at 1:00 p.m.

The event is Kentucky Opera's first performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's playful presentation of the arrogance and snobbery of the British naval tradition. There's laughs galore throughout the action, highlighted by Michael Sokol, who so delighted all of us with his patter song about the "modern major general" in Pirates of Penzance. This time, he struts and swaggers while delivering his autobiographical "When I Was a Lad" — and we all learn how anyone or almost anyone can become ruler of the Queen's Navee! Nobody has mastered the art of these songs, which still demand attentive listening, better than Sokol, who is a delight to hear and to interview. And when we have Thomson Smillie directing the whole shebang, we have a sure winner. Thomson and Gilbert & Sullivan go together like they were made for each other.

Our community also benefits, for Kentucky Opera joins up with Louisville Jaycees Charities "Toys for Tots." One adult ticket and a toy will let a child twelve and under get in free — and Kentucky Opera's Gerald Farrar tells us that we hope this collaboration will provide toys for 15,000 children this Christmas.

As usual, Gilbert & Sullivan have given us a list of unforgettable characters. Besides the unique Sir Joseph Porter, Her Majesty's First Lord of the Admiralty, there are longtime favorites Richard Rebilas, Pamela Hinchman, Antoinette Hardin and Ben Madden who bring the Captain, his daughter Josephine, and the mysterious Little Buttercup to life. At least five newcomers, headed by Bradley Williams and Donald Sherrill as well as Kim Kodes, will charm you with their beautiful voices and skillful acting. And put David Berger in the orchestra pit with a baton and what more could you want, to have an unforgettable evening.

Nuf said? Don't miss it! We will be looking for you!