We will perform the Viennese operetta “Light Cavalry,” by
Franz von Suppe, in its premier North American production, and produce the
first commercial recording of the show ever made. The show will combine all the original music with a new
English performing version. In order to do this, funding must be raised for the
orchestra, and to turn the orchestral manuscript into parts. We have set a goal
of $5,000 as the minimum we will need to produce a top-flight performance and
“Light Cavalry” is an early Viennese operetta that is known today
only by its overture. It is a clever romantic comedy, and will be performed in
Ann Arbor’s Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, February 7-9, 2013, with full cast,
chorus and orchestra.
The show has historical significance in that it was the first
operetta to incorporate Hungarian themes. But more than that, it has a
sophisticated and tuneful musical score that has been unjustly neglected.
Although it has been revived occasionally in Europe, it has, to our knowledge,
never been performed in North America. Our performance will produce the first
complete recording ever made of this show.
THE NEED TO PERFORM
Operettas may seem dated today, but much of that is due to stilted
performances with bad translations that fail to engage modern audiences. By
“recreating” rather than simply reviving these shows, the Guild is essentially
putting together a new show for the composer, who unfortunately is no longer
able to enjoy it. Shows mounted by the Guild utilize the original score and are
not “updated,” but rather made new in their original settings. They are rescued
from the scrap heap of history and become, at least in part, a product of
In addition, operetta is an ideal showcase for young, aspiring
singers as they perfect their vocal techniques and gain the acting experience
of doing a musical production with spoken dialog. By keeping musicals with full
orchestras viable, we are also providing needed opportunities for
THE NEED FOR FUNDING
The musical show is the most expensive form of live theater. It
requires a cast of thirty or more singers, special dancers, an orchestra of up
to thirty, scenery, props, lighting design and a team of directors to put it
all together. Add the cost of the theater and marketing and the expenses
typically override the revenue. Since “Light Cavalry” is not a common show, it
creates an additional hurdle to overcome. By recording the live performance, we
can reduce the cost of a recording studio and retain the spirit of live
performance. We feel the challenge and reward of creating a unique recording is
worth it, and we hope you will agree by lending a hand.
BECOME PART OF HISTORY
Please consider a pledge of whatever amount to make this dream
come true by choosing a category that suits you. Sometimes making the past glow
can make the future brighter.
Risks and challenges
Although there is typically financial risk involved in theater, especially when doing a show that is no longer in the repertory, the Comic Opera Guild has a forty year history of successfully producing shows similar to Light Cavalry. While this is little chance of the project failing to go forward, the challenge is to adequately fund an orchestra that will be outstanding on a recording. The recorded product will be that much more competitive in the music marketplace with the investment you will make in this project.
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