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TOT TELLS - August 2015

AHOY!      PROST!       OLÉ!

Ahoy mate and you’re on board the H.M.S. PINAFORE
Shout  Prost and raise a glass to THE STUDENT PRINCE  
Cries of Olé fill the stage for TOT’s Canadian Premiere of LOS GAVILANES

 Ernesto Ramirez (left) and Miriam Khalil (right) in LUISA FERNANDA (2011)
And before you know it, you’re off on another amazing adventure with Toronto Operetta Theatre featuring the very best of operetta from Great Britain, Broadway – via  Olde Heidelberg! – and Spain.

Gilbert and Sullivan were one of the greatest creative teams of all time and H.M.S. PINAFORE was their first smash hit.  TOT pays tribute to this brilliant pair with a staged concert performance of this rollicking tale of young love, mixed up babies and political shenanigans at the highest level. One performance only.  Bring your Union Jack and join in for “He is an Englishman”.

Legend has it that Romberg rebelled against his producer and insisted that the Prince’s serenade to Kathie, ‘Overhead, the moon is beaming’ be integrated into the first act at its climactic moment. Romberg was right and the ‘Serenade’ and ‘The Student Prince’ are now inseparable in the public’s imagination. Along with ‘The Drinking Song’, ‘Deep in my Heart’ and ‘Golden Days’, the score is one memorable tune after another. 

“Zarzuela is part of my heritage”, says our Puerto Rican born General Director, “and I want to share this amazing musical entertainment with a new public”.  Guillermo has been instrumental in introducing Spanish operetta to Canadian audiences who have responded enthusiastically to our productions of EL BARBARILLO DE LAVAPIES, LA REVOLTOSA, and LUISA FERNANDA.  LOS GAVILANES or The Sparrow Hawks rounds out the 2015-2016 season with its rich mixture of exiting Spanish rhythms and poignant romantic ballads.  It is one of the zarzuela masterpieces of the early 20th Century.  


Many cultures around the world welcome a new year with festivities but none more so than the Viennese.  Not content with a lavish dinner and drinks, they indulge with a riotous operetta at the Volksoper followed by champagne and dancing late into the night.  Our Canadian version of this festivity has grown immensely, eagerly attended by many converts and enthusiasts. It begins at the HotHouse Bar and Restaurant with dinner and strolling strings.  Partiers move on to the St. Lawrence Centre for  the Performing Arts for the operetta – this year it’s Romberg’s THE STUDENT PRINCE - and then return to the HotHouse for dessert, champagne and dancing to a live band.  Popular for many years, it’s a perfect way to bid adieu to the old year and say hello to the new in the company of friends and the TOT cast. 
New Year's Eve Gala Package is available through Box Office: 


Curtis Sullivan was a dashing and irresistible Henry Higgins in MY FAIR LADY a few years ago and he will bring his distinguished presence to the role of Dr. Engel in THE STUDENT PRINCE this season.  And yes, you did see him onstage at Stratford this summer! 
A man of many parts Gregory Finney has stolen scenes in DIE FLEDERMAUS as Prince Orlovsky, COUNTESS MARITZA and THE MERRY WIDOW.  Never having gone to sea, his performance as Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty will be the icing on his TOT cake! 
One of our most exciting shows ever was LADY IN THE DARK and Rosalind McArthur was front and centre as Miss Foster. Originally from New Zealand, her performance as Little Buttercup in HMS PINAFORE is bound to be special.  
Soaring to romantic heights, tenor Ernesto Ramirez brought tears to our eyes as Prince Sou Chong in THE LAND OF SMILES and his passion heated up the stage in LUISA FERNANDA. This season, passion and romance unite when he sings the famous ‘Serenade’ to his beloved sweetheart Kathie.
Miriam Kahlil brought fire and flirtatiousness to the role of Princess Carolina in the zarzuela LUISA FERNANDA.  As Rosaura in LOS GAVILANES, she adds another Spanish heroine to her repertoire which already includes leading ladies in Mozart’s operas set in Seville. 
Heard just last season in our Canadian operetta EARNEST, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING, Charlotte Knight returns to the TOT stage as another young English lass who knows what she wants and is determined to get it. As Josephine in HMS PINAFORE, what she wants is a handsome British sailor! 
The Bierstube (Beer Hall) in Olde Heidelberg will ring with the strains of the Students’ Drinking Song, led by TOT favourite Stefan Fehr as Count Detleff.  Stefan was a delight as the poet Wind in the Canadian operetta LEO, THE ROYAL CADET, brought comic flair to the world-weary Bobinet in LA VIE PARISIENNE and lost the girl as Egon von Wildhagen in COUSIN FROM NOWEHERE. 
And making her TOT debut as Kathie in THE STUDENT PRINCE is soprano Jennifer Taverner.  A prize-winner at the Royal Conservatory and a Jeunesses Musicales laureate, she will be heard as Adele in DIE FLEDERMAUS in January with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and then on tour to select Ontario theatres. She starred in a G & S show for the Niagara Symphony and has also appeared with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s STREET SCENE.  With her natural charm and grace Jennifer will have no trouble catching the eye of Ernesto Ramirez as Karl Franz, the Student Prince. 
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