Sullivan: The Pirates of Penzance **
English National Opera, 9th May 2015
In many ways, it seemed a natural choice. Mike Leigh has long been a champion of Gilbert and Sullivan, his love for the Savoy Operas epitomised in his admirable film Topsy-Turvy, which charts the creative conflict between librettist and composer leading up to the première of The Mikado. However, handing him the director’s chair for ENO’s production of The Pirates of Penzance was also a brave choice. Leigh has absolutely no experience of directing for the musical stage. It showed.
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