Theatre Review: The Student Prince

Sigmund Romberg’s The Student Prince is front and centre of any light-opera society’s canon. It’s beautifully tuneful, charming and lacking anything other than the thinnest of plots. SA Light Opera Society has pulled together some lovely voices for their production of this classic.

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Brian Godfrey and Helen Loveday in The Student Prince.
Brian Godfrey and Helen Loveday in The Student Prince.

Presented by SA Light Opera Society (SALOS)
Reviewed 16 April 2015

Sigmund Romberg’s The Student Prince is front and centre of any light-opera society’s canon. It’s beautifully tuneful, charming and lacking anything other than the thinnest of plots. SA Light Opera Society has pulled together some lovely voices for their production of this classic.

Katrin Treloar, as Kathie, stood out amongst the girls, and Graham Loveday proved himself musically solid in the lead role. There were no “bad” voices, but I was surprised to find myself straining to hear almost everyone, especially in the lower registers. All the soloists could do with a bit more power. The chorus was excellent and should be commended.

Other than the inimitable Brian Godfrey as comic relief Lutz, and Helen Loveday as Gretchen, the acting was universally wooden. It would be good to see SALOS invest in an acting coach and/or some more experienced “actor” directors. Certainly operetta is not renowned for the depth of its characters, but with some solid guidance, the more embarrassing, clunky moments, could have been avoided.

Musical director, Peter Potts, did a sterling job with a small orchestra, and kept the whole show together. The standard of playing, for an amateur production, was a credit to him and his musicians.

Some of the difficulties in this show may have been due to director Graham Loveday, having to take on the lead role. Kudos to him for doing that, but it showed. Entrances were sloppy, blocking was odd and the whole production lacked a sense of flow.

SALOS puts on two to three shows a year, with small budgets and little rehearsal time. Judging by the comments of the audience members on Friday night, and the fact that this season is nearly sold out, they deliver exactly what their audiences want. There is no doubt that the standard could be higher, and it would be great to see them take some time to address those issues. But, meanwhile, they continue to delight the crowd, and enjoy themselves. The heart and soul in this group certainly shone out, and many professional companies could do with a bit more of what these guys have got.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @spectation

Venue: Tower Arts Theatre- Cnr Goodwood and Daws Roads, Pasadena
Season: 16 – 19 April 2015
Duration: 2 hours 20 mins plus interval
Tickets: $11.00 – $25.00
Bookings: Tickets may be booked with Pam on 8294 6582.

More details www.facebook.com/SALightOpera or  www.salos.websyte.com.au

Diclosure: Brian Godfrey is a regular Arts reviewer for Glam Adelaide

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