Soprano Brett Kroeger of Riverside and tenor Guy Stretton of Old Greenwich will be taking the stage in the Troupers Light Opera production of The Sorcerer April 16 and 23 at the Norwalk Concert Hall. Ms. Kroeger will be singing as Constance, the beautiful daughter of Lady Sangazure, and Mr. Stretton will be one of the local villagers who, under the Sorcerer’s malign influence, falls in love with wrong girl.
This will be Ms. Kroeger’s fourth performance with Troupers Light Opera, as she has had leading roles in their previous performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience (2015), Pirates of Penzance (2014), and Victor Herbert’s The Red Mill (2013). Elsewhere, Ms. Kroeger has appeared with the Opera Manhattan Repertory Theater and the Dicapo Opera Theater and has given recitals in New York and Chicago, at La Fenice in Venice and in the summer festivals of Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta and Camogli, Italy. Her most recent performances have been in New York City, Greenwich and East Hampton in her one-woman WW I cabaret, “Over There: Greatest Hits of the Great War,” a featured role with the Brett Williams Quartet performances in New York City, and singing the national anthem for the National Women’s Hockey League’s Connecticut Whales.
Mr. Stretton is a chorus veteran of Troupers Light Opera performances, having sung with Troupers since the 1980s in all of the major operas in the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire. A member of the Troupers Board of Directors for many years, he also served as the group’s treasurer.
The Sorcerer is Gilbert and Sullivan’s first full-length comic opera, first performed in 1877. Though it is not as well-known as some of the famous duo’s later operas, it was a major success, and its music and themes are similar to those of classics such as HMS Pinafore and The Mikado. Deftly satirizing the British class system, The Sorcerer features an honorable but naïve young gentleman who believes that love should level all social ranks. He therefore persuades a local magician to dose an entire village with a magic drink that causes each man and woman, of whatever social class, to fall in love with the first person he or she meets. The result is a slew of mismatched couples, including the young man’s own fiancé. All is put right eventually, but not before some interesting plot twists.
Starting out in 1946 as an informal group that put on Gilbert and Sullivan operas in private homes, Troupers Light Opera had by 1950 become so popular that they recruited members of the Norwalk Symphony for the orchestra and began building sets for the performances. Today Troupers is a large enterprise, performing with a live orchestra, costumes, and complete stage sets. Talented performers from throughout the tri-state area audition for roles, and Troupers welcomes new members each year. This year Troupers is under the professional stage and musical direction of Dan Montez and Jun Nakabayashi, with full orchestra, period costumes, and professional set design.
The Sorcerer will be performed at the Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, on Saturday April 16th at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., and on April 23rd at 2:30 and 7:30. Tickets are available atwww.TroupersLightOpera.org or by calling 800-838-3006.