El Capitan – Cast, Chorus, and Orchestra of the Ohio Light Opera, Steven Daigle (conductor), Nicholas Wuehrmann, Tanya Mandzy, Alta Dantzler, Nancy Maria Balach, Kyle Knapp, Cory Clines, David Kelleher-Flight
The lure of the operetta stage proved as irresistible to John Philip Sousa, America’s ‘March King’, as it did a decade earlier to Vienna’s ‘Waltz King’, Johann Strauss II. Sousa played under the baton of Jacques Offenbach as a teenaged violinist and was aware of the unprecedented success of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore on Broadway. El Capitan can lay claim to being the most enduring American comic opera of the nineteenth century. It was premiered in Boston in 1896, transferred to Broadway a week later, and for the next four years played continuously across the U.S. And Canada and even had a five month run in London. This recording, with complete music and dialogue, was recorded at the 2010 Ohio Light Opera Festival.
"...Ohio Light Opera captures the sweetness of Sousa’s remarkable triumph after decades of defeat with its full-length recording of El Capitan. All performances from the bright young cast, are delightful. OLO principals ... bring the oerfect balance of respect and fun to the performance of this sunny day of a show about mistaken identities... Conductor Steven Byess wields an appropriately martial baton, without stifling the verve of Sousa’s engaging score. As usual the OLO chorus sings with infectious charm - and the operetta’s eponymous march will leave you flushed with patriotic fervour."
Todd B Sollis - Opera News April 2011
"...Steven Byess makes the most of the score’s stirring marches, and the whole company has the well-rehearsed spirit that is supremely necessary for pulling off this agreeable ...work. Special notice should also be made of Michael D Miller’s excellent program notes."
Richard Traubner - American Record Guide March/April 2011
"... I can recommend this with enthusiasm... everything about the oerformance is first-class, and conductor Steven Byess captures the fun spirit and vitality of the score perfectly...The recorded sound is clean and natural, the notes are superb, and the result is a truly delightful release."
Henry Fogel - Fanfare -March/April 2011