||April 19th, 2007|
The Crusty, Pompous, Terrifying Man Who Audiences Love
Meeting Richard Sheldon is like stepping back in time and meeting an officer in Queen Victoria's Navy. With a deep rich speaking voice that demands attention, if not obedience -- Sheldon's aristocratic British accent and precise use of language forces one to assume that he is a man of royal descent. In fact he is. For Richard Sheldon is, in spirit, talent and devotion a direct descendant of the kings of light opera, William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, whose works have delighted audiences since the late 19th century.
Indeed, if Gilbert & Sullivan had been able to create one performer capable of supreme, crusty authority (Major General Stanley, Pirates of Penzance), the zenith of pomposity (Sir Joseph, the First Lord of the Admiralty -- HMS Pinafore), or a hilariously terrifying Mikado -- Richard Sheldon would have been that creation.
As Opera a la Carte's director and lead performer, Sheldon has been termed "a G&S performer of the first rank" The Sacramento Bee -- whose portrayals are "… perfect …" The Sun - Lowell, Massachusetts. Rave reviews like this have accompanied Opera a la Carte since it was founded in 1970 by Sheldon. Known for the authentic style of its productions, the company has enjoyed a remarkable rise to fame. And is acclaimed as the foremost Gilbert and Sullivan touring repertory company in the country.
The success of Opera a la Carte is due to Sheldon. Born and raised in England, Sheldon developed a life-long devotion to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, becoming a noted G&S scholar. In 1965, Sheldon came to America to ensure the future of high-quality, authentic, traditional Gilbert and Sullivan on the American stage. And from humble beginnings as a concert ensemble, Opera a la Carte evolved and quickly blossomed because of Richard Sheldon's exacting artistic standards and true-to-the-last-detail productions.
You can see Richard Sheldon in Opera a la Carte's performance of Pirates of Penzance this Saturday, April 21st at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido,. For Tickets and information call: (800) 988-4253. Or go to: www.artcenter.org
Michael Wagman, Marketing Director, Center for the Arts, Escondido