I wish someone had told me that this is a recording of a strictly amateur production before I plopped down full price for this. I find it painful to listen to.
The performers are terrible actors, and at best mediocre singers. The performance is "directed" under the philosophy of having the "actors" overact every line as loudly and as quickly as possible. Nothing is ever said in any remotely normal or realistic way.
I've often heard people criticize early (and late, for that matter) musical theatre, but I'm afraid it has more to do with the PERFORMANCE of the material than the material itself. I have a theory that many people dislike musical theatre because their first (and after the experience, their LAST!) exposure to it is some high school production. Forever after, the work (whether it's My Fair Lady, or Oklahoma, or whatever) is associated in their minds with LOUSY acting and singing.
I myself took years to overcome a prejudice against Finian's Rainbow because my first exposure to it was an atrocious junior high school production.
Well, that's the feeling I get from this performance of Herbert's Eileen. This is a college production, by college students and other amateurs who have a long way to go before they are effective actors and singers. As I said above, the amateurishness of it all is painful to hear -- and it gives a bad impression of what seems to be a beautiful light opera.
What I say here goes even more so for the other two Ohio Light Opera works I've suffered through, Veronique and The Arcadians. Not only are these works ruined by the performance, they're cut and rearranged in ways which do NOT improve them. The tragedy of it all is that these will almost certainly be the only recordings of these works that will ever exist -- but, even so, I can't stand listening to them. Sometimes, nothing IS better than something!
Under my philosophy of three strikes and you're out, I will not be getting any more Ohio Light Opera recordings. And the next stop for the three I naively bought is the Used Bin at the record store, where at least I can get maybe 25% of my money back.
I'm just wondering this: WHY are these marginally talented people cast in these productions (I'd hate to hear the people who DIDN'T get parts!); WHY did Newport Classics record these productions; and why are they gypping the public by selling these recordings at full price?
If you love musical theatre -- and more importantly, if you HATE musical theatre, and are looking for something that might change your mind -- AVOID these Ohio Light Opera recordings!