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July 18, 2013

Glimmerglass opens 'Camelot'

The Glimmerglass Festival’s Alice Busch Opera Theater stage was alight Saturday night with the opening of Lerner and Loewe’s “Camelot.”

This musical adaptation of T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King” tells the story of King Arthur, his wife Guenevere and faithful friend Sir Lancelot, as they all struggle to preserve their kingdom’s grand, romantic ideals against the will of fate.

The Glimmerglass production is directed by Robert Longbottom, known for his numerous Broadway productions. The musical features 2013 Artist in Residence Nathan Gunn in the role of Lancelot, with David Pittsinger as King Arthur and Andriana Chuchman as Guenevere, Wynn Harmon as Merlyn/Pellinore and Jack Noseworthy as Mordred.

“Being able to work with opera singers is such a treat – I’ve never heard this show sung so beautifully before,” director Longbottom said in a media release.

Conductor James Lowe leads performers and orchestra. Choreography, including marches, sword fights and spring dances, is by Alex Sanchez, and Glimmerglass veteran Robert Wierzel designs lighting which brings audiences from a palace to the serene countryside. The set is designed by Kevin Depinet, and costumes are by Paul Tazewell.

This production is presented with a full 42-piece orchestra and no amplification, which produces what conductor Lowe has called “grand, lush sound” and offers a measure of subtlety in the orchestration not available with small, amplified orchestras. Though the libretto is written and sung in English, the Glimmerglass production offers supertitles for lyrics.

“Camelot” runs through Aug. 23 at the Alice Busch Opera Theater. The production is performed in repertory with three other mainstage productions: Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman,” Verdi’s King for a Dayand “Passions,” a double bill of Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater” and David Lang’s “the little match girl passion.” Tickets are available at www.glimmerglass.org or at the Glimmerglass Box Office at 547-2255.

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