Washington Savoyards do "Pirates of Penzance"

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Washington Savoyards do "Pirates of Penzance"

Post by GK » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:23 am

The Washington Savoyards have been around for 35 years doing Gilbert & Sullivan works in various venues around the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In recent years they also began doing other operettas and musicals. Last Sunday they did "Pirates of Penzance" at the Clarence Smith Performing Arts Center of the University of Maryland. The production lived up to the high quality reputation with which the company has been identified. It was well cast, directed, and staged. However there was one curious exception. The roleof the chief constable was done by someone who did not seem to have the same singing and dancing ability as the rest of the cast. Research revealed that the performer was 79 year old Robert E. Fischell, a renowned scientist and inventor, whose life-long ambition was to appear in Gilbert & Sullivan. Still curious on how he got the role, I went to the back of the program book to check the list of donors to the Smith Center and found the names of Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. Fischell in the $10,000 and above category.

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Re: Washington Savoyards do "Pirates of Penzance"

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:34 pm

I heard the Savoyards years ago do both Pinafore and Mikado. At the time they performed somewhere in Georgetown, an auditorium affiliated with a church, I believe. A member of the chorus was the father of a friend. I compared them favorably with the Manhattan Savoyards (whom I had previously heard at West Point) at the time.

Yours is a curious story, but they don't have as much to answer to as the production company that did the most recently broadcast G&S (at least that I've seen) which featured William Conrad as the Mikado and Keith Mitchell as the Pirate King, among other atrocities.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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