Carl Rosa Company
Productions 
HMS Pinafore
 - Reviews
The Pirates of Penzance
 - Reviews
The Yeomen of the Guard
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The Mikado
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Iolanthe
 - Reviews
Patience
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 - Normansfield
The Merry Widow
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The Gondoliers
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Die Fledermaus
 - Reviews
  The Pirates of Penzance
 
Chichester Observer
by Graham Hewitt
29th October 2009

“The Carl Rosa performance at Chichester Festival Theatre of The Pirates of Penzance showed this operetta is timeless, having lost none of its freshness, sparkle and wit since its first performance in 1879. Playing to a capacity audience on a Monday night, it was received with rapturous applause...an ideally-chosen cast in all the key roles ensured a perfect match of characters. The comedy and humour were played to the full throughout. Barry Clark’s interpretation of the Major General was superb. The chorus of pirates, police and the daughters of the Major General were brilliant. The bright and incisive playing of the Carl Rosa Opera Orchestra under Martin Handley captured exactly the fun and drama of the operetta. ”

The Argus
by Barrie Jerram
28th October 2009

“The welcome return of the Carl Rosa Opera Company brings a delightful production of this popular piece by Gilbert and Sullivan to Chichester. As the Pirate King, Steven Page plays and sings with gusto while Beverley Klein gives one of her usual high-quality performances as the artful Ruth. There is fine singing from Lincoln Stone as Frederic, with Katy Batho showing a powerful vocal range as Mabel, the object of his love. ”

Remotegoat
Colourful swash buckling musical fun
by Jill Lawrie
27th October 2009

“Opening to a fabulous gauze backdrop exquisitely painted and cleverly concealing the on stage orchestra, the resplendent costumes, spectacular choreography and talented cast delivered a memorable evening packed with energy and vitality. Playing to a packed house this exemplary cast delivered a welcome and uplifting theatrical treat - pure escapism! ”

Portsmouth News
by Peter Rhodes
27th October 2009

“This splendid staging by the Carl Rosa is fastidiously authentic, albeit with 21st Century production values. It manages to marry the razor-sharp energy, only possible after detailed rehearsal, with delightful moments of Victorian atmosphere.Paul Nicholas plays the police sergeant with wonderful comic gestures...this was a real visual delight with each prop being used to the full. If you have grown weary of Gilbert and Sullivan after too many oddly cast school productions this will be a revelation. ”

The Public Reviews
by James Higgins
16th September 2009

“A thoroughly enjoyable fun filled feast! The music was conducted with gusto by Martin Handley and played with great passion. The cast were in absolutely superb voice and time flew as the multiple musical numbers were reeled off with beauty and precision.

Karen Dunbar, herself famous for her comedy, brought an air of mischief to her role of the Sergeant of Police. Barry Clark as the Major General really stole the show with his fantastic performance of the fabulous tongue twisting and well known Major-General's Song that had the audience enthralled. The perfect antidote to the gloom outside the front door. ”

The Metro
Gielgud Theatre, London's West End 
by Warwick Thompson
25th February 2008

“The Carl Rosa Opera season of Gilbert & Sullivan ends with another firecracker casting coup. Dour comic Jo Brand plays the sergeant of Police, and her deliberately hapless ‘what? Who me?’ performance adds a hilarious dollop of extra topsy-turviness to a show already spinning with it (and she sings at baritone pitch, I might add). Barry Clark enunciates the Major General’s famous patter-song beautifully.

Peter Mulloy’s fast-paced traditional production is stuffed with quick-fire gags, and Richard Balcombe’s conducting is pitched at exactly the right serio-comic level. A real G&S treat.”

Bloomberg
Gielgud Theatre, London's West End 
by Warwick Thompson
21st February 2008

“The usually dour comedienne Jo Brand brings an anarchic sense of mischief to the role [of Sergeant of Police]. Her Sergeant is a motherly Victorian lady police officer, who keeps a rolling pin and jars of jam in her shapeless floral shoulder bag. Supported by a crack ensemble with excellent comic timing and good voices, Mulloy's pacy production hits every nail on the head. If you've never seen a G&S show and wonder what all the fuss is about, this is the one to pick.”

The Daily Mail
Gielgud Theatre, London's West End 
21st February 2008

“Peter Mulloy’s production for the Carl Rosa Opera Company finds all the unsinkable fun in this classic caper about aristocratic buccaneers, the dithering daughters of a dotty Major General and a blundering bunch of Victorian flatfoots.

The routines are slickly spot-on… Steven Page is a gleefully blood cuddling Pirate King, Barry Clark attacks the tongue-twisting patter of the Major General with the precision of a seasoned Savoyard and the lovers, Frederic and Mabel, are ringingly sung by David Curry and Deborah Myers.”

The Times
Gielgud Theatre, London's West End 
by Geoff Brown
21st February 2008

“Jo Brand's Sergeant of Police visually rings the bells in this visually delicious production of Gilbert and Sullivan's pirate nonsense. The director-designer Peter Mulloy's production, completing the Gielgud's Carl Rosa Opera season, dances with dynamic groupings - no standing around in clumps here - and the most fastidious, colourful period costumes possible on a modest budget.”

The Evening Standard
Gielgud Theatre, London's West End 
by Fiona Maddocks
20th February 2008

“The music, zestfully conducted by Richard Balcombe and expertly played, is Sullivan's best… what really counted, however, was the superior cast. The boyish hero Frederic was sung with lyrical accuracy by David Curry, Gilbert and Sullivan stalwart Steven Page provided a snarling Pirate King, with baritone Michael Kerry outstanding as Samuel. Barry Clark's stiff-gaited Major-General Stanley had all the comic energy and verbal pace desired.

The women, led by Deborah Myers's bright-voiced Mabel, were boisterous and funny, especially in their nimbly choreographed choruses. This was Carl Rosa back on form, encouraged by a keen audience, which responded to every tiny gesture with some of the noisiest belly laughs ever heard.”

Press & Journal, Aberdeen
Operetta hits the right note 
by Roddy Phillips
25th September 2001

“This restored, authentic production rattles along with tremendous flourish and bravura, yet it successfully balances this with scenes of genuine atmosphere and period charm

Visually it is a Victorian treat. Sets, costumes, make-up and direction couldn’t be more traditional or stunning. Meanwhile, the plot and dialogue, the wit and the humour remain razor sharp. Sullivan’s wonderful music however, is the show’s crowing glory, delivered by first class cast of principals, chorus and orchestra.”

The Herald Edinburgh
Pirates of Penzance 
by Conrad Wilson
September 2001

King's Theatre, Edinburgh
“The reborn Carl Rosa remains a company with a mission. Wagner and Berlioz may have dropped from view along with all the other music that used to be valiantly toured around Britain, but a good production of Gilbert and Sullivan is not to be despised.”

Evening Express Aberdeen
Pirates turn on the style for audience 
by Catherine Robertson
26th September 2001

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen
“A superb fun-packed production by the Carl Rosa Opera Company...the cast and orchestra were top class.”

The Evening News, Edinburgh
Pirates of Penzance 
by Thom Dibdin
10th September 2001

Kings's Theatre, Edinburgh
“The piratical singers of the Carl Rosa Opera company swarmed the rigging of the King’s Theatre last night, and set the stage ablaze with a version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta which was both original and entertaining... the big numbers were more than well done. In particular the Major General’s song and the Policeman’s song.

Complete with the most magnificent millinery and parasols, the female chorus were a delight. When Simon Butteriss appeared on the scene as the Major General himself, his rendition of the tongue-twisting Major General’s song held the audience entranced.”