Since 1994, Opera-Lytes, an amateur theatre company based in Amherst, NY, has been delighting audiences with a wide variety of performances, including Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, “classic” Broadway musicals, and choral concerts. We present one or two fully staged productions each season with a full orchestra or a small combo of live musicians. Opera-Lytes has performed in venues throughout Western New York, including, Ujima TheatreLoft, the Alleyway Theatre, and the Road Less Traveled Theatre in Buffalo, the Lancaster Opera House and the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda.
Building on our faithful core of members, the composition of our group continues to evolve. We hold open auditions for all stage productions, and our programming is chosen to showcase a wide array of abilities and talent. The company, a diverse mix of younger and more mature performers welcomes members of all ages, and with all levels of performing experience. We also seek members interested in participating behind-the-scenes in set design and construction, costuming, publicity and community outreach. We are very proud of the remarkable growth exhibited by our company since its inception, and look forward to providing years of high-quality musical entertainment to Western New York audiences.
Gilbert & Sullivan
Opera-Lytes is the only theatre company in the Buffalo area that presents the works of Gilbert and Sullivan – the famed “Savoy Operas” – on a yearly basis. The company has staged all of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas (except Thespis) and several company veterans can boast of having performed the complete thirteen works in the canon. Thanks to our love for and dedication to Gilbert and Sullivan’s works, the company brings substantial resources to our productions.
Over the years, Opera-Lytes has presented both classic and modernized adaptations of these operas. Our productions of HMS Pinafore (2005) and The Gondoliers (2010), for example, are strongly indebted to the original staging devised by Gilbert himself. On the other hand, in November 2002, our updated version of the rarely produced Utopia Limited transported the story from the original South-Sea Island to the planet Utopia; whimsical costumes alluded to Star Trek, Star Wars and Men in Black, and Princess Zara’s final aria celebrated Great Britain’s “inter-space battalions.” In 2006, the company’s production of Patience moved the opera’s satire of cultural fads to the 1960’s, where hippies, beatniks and squares competed for the love of adoring groupies.
Opera-Lytes also presents classic Broadway musicals, principally from the 1940’s and 1950’s, along with operettas such as The Merry Widow and The Student Prince.
As one of the few groups in the area staging theatrical works that offer opportunities to trained vocalists, the company has attracted singers eager to perform the vocally demanding roles in these productions. The company presents these shows with full orchestra. Recent productions include Carousel (2002), Hello, Dolly! (2005), Brigadoon (2009), and The Most Happy Fella (2009).