TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Soprano Maria Jacobi will take the role of the leading fairy Leila when the Troupers Light Opera performs Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Iolanthe” in Norwalk.
This will be Jacobi’s first performance with Troupers. Joining her in “Iolanthe” are fellow Westchester County residents Miran Robarts, of Mamaroneck as Phyllis; David Richy, of Larchmont as Strephon; Linda Mekeel, of Shrub Oak as the Fairy Queen; and John Matilaine, of Armonk as Lord Tololler.
One of Gilbert and Sullivan’s masterpieces but not performed as often as some of their other operas, “Iolanthe” opened in London in 1882 and was an immediate hit, not least because of its biting satire of the House of Lords.
The plot involves the usual star-crossed lovers, frustrated by a Lord Chancellor who, though initially the villain, eventually saves the day in a series of typically Gilbertian plot twists.
An active classical singer and music teacher throughout New York, Jacobi made her Lincoln Center debut with the London Symphony Orchestra under maestro Valery Gergiev in 2011. She has performed several opera roles, including Oscar in “Un Ballo in Maschera,” Mabel in “Pirates of Penzance,” and Olympia in “Les Contes d'Hoffmann.”
Starting out in 1946 as an informal group that put on Gilbert and Sullivan operas in private homes, Troupers Light Opera had, by 1950, become so popular that it recruited members of the Norwalk Symphony for the orchestra and began building sets for the performances.
Today, Troupers is a large enterprise, performing with a live orchestra, costumes, and complete stage sets. Talented performers from throughout the tri-state area audition for roles, and Troupers welcomes new members each year.
This year, Troupers is under the professional stage and musical direction of Dan Montez and Jun Nakabayashi, with full orchestra, period costumes and professional set design.
“Iolanthe” will be performed at the Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, Conn., on Saturdays, April 11 and April 18, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.TroupersLightOpera.org or by calling 800-838-3006.
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