Music of the Night
Orlando Light Opera, Opera del Sol, and Space Coast Symphony
Conducted by Aaron Collins
Directed by Theresa Smith-Levin
Orlando Rep, Orlando, FL
Voices? A+! Material selection? A-. Sound and production? C+. Oh, well. It’s fund raising time for Central Florida Vocal Arts and their other musical friends, and they’ve taken over the Silver Venue, or as it’s officially know: The Rep. Their nefarious plan uses a rousing collection of show tunes sung by their leading vocalists. Backing them is the always in-tune Space Coast Symphony and the evenings program offers a collection of hits from Lloyd Weber, Richard Rogers, Kurt Weill, and a few lesser know tunesters. We’ve even got a theme: A masked Ball. The ticket requires all to come with a mask of some sort. A photographer roams the lobby, the cast sings operatic teasers on the lobby staircase, and the refreshments run toward madeleines and champagne. While we wait, we discuss Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” and the relative merits of reading it in English, French, or just watching the Monty Python skit.
Inside, the songs flow from the likes of Michelle Knight, Andrew Lejeune, Kit Cleo and Bryan Hays. But the mikes have issues, they drop out or buzz, and the intro announce has some very odd equalization. But the cast soldiers on, they only can hear themselves singing and when we hear them it is quite enjoyable. The opener “Masquerade” is an easy start, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” carry the theme forward. Act two has fewer problems; during the break sound techs did their thing with black gaff tape and portable soldering irons.
We open act two with “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” and “What Good Would a Moon Be?”, then wrap with a medley of hits from “Phantom of the Opera.” We also hear some delightful obscurities: “It All Fades Away” comes from “Bridges of Madison County” and “Moon Fall” from “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” were nice, “Unexpected Song” came from Webber’s rare “Song and Dance”, and there was even a long number from “Starlight Express.” This wasn’t a bad evening’s entertainment; it’s just frustration to everyone involved when the speakers keep their silence.