The Front Row: The Mikado

Nov 3, 2017

Gerald Dolter, professor of voice at the Texas Tech University School of Music, joins the Front Row to talk about the upcoming production of The Mikado.

This week is Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. How did this come up as a piece to do this semester?

As you know, we choose works here with TTU opera theatre that are available, suitable for the voices that we have in the school. Voice has to be the primary concern here, I mean it’s the voice area, we’re teaching people primarily how to sing. Where I come in with that is I direct musical theatre and I direct opera theatre.

The three main artistic elements of those productions are singing, acting and movement, or dance. And each of those areas is equally important, they all need to communicate. But every works has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. With the Mikado, they are primarily singers. If you don’t have singers, you really shouldn’t do The Mikado…

Regarding the cast.

There are a couple of performances that I need to warn you about because they are going to be making it professionally. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I know what I see and what I hear and what I sense. Joshua Reynolds, he is a really creative mind, a giving spirit and vocally he is astounding.

He comes out with about ten thousand different vocal colors in this show and every time he rehearses the role, it’s different. He grows. He tries new things. That’s a really good habit to get into if you’re a vocal performer. That’s the kind of thing the professionals do. So he’s showing that sign already. He’s not quite ready to make the jump yet, but you can see it even now. So that’s one to watch out for and he is the star of the show. He is the common element everywhere.