Monday, 18 September 2023 10:13

Musical Comedy Invades Oswego Sept. 22nd and 23rd

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Cast of "The 1812 Underture" Cast of "The 1812 Underture" Peter Mahan photo

A hysterical new operetta is setting up stage in historical Fort Ontario this weekend.

“The 1812 Underture” is a raucous comedy loosely based on the incredible true story of a ragtag Oswego regiment — who stand as America’s last hope against the full might of the British Navy. This riotous celebration of our rich cultural heritage will be performed in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on September 22nd and 23rd, 2023. “The 1812 Underture” is currently the #1 Best-Selling Opera Album on

The minds behind this uproarious operetta are none other than native Oswegonians Nicholas Gentile, Sarah Galvin, and KT Donovan, collectively known as "The Hysterical Society." Donovan and Galvin have been making music together since meeting in Music Theory class at Oswego High School in 1999. Their journey from high school classmates to accomplished composers is a testament to the exceptional music education provided by the Oswego City School District.

Donovan couldn't contain her excitement as she reminisced about her musical journey in Oswego. She exclaimed, "This operetta is not just a tribute to Oswego but also to the remarkable educators who nurtured our musical talents. They inspired us to dream big and to create something truly special for our hometown."

Galvin added, "As we worked on the score, everything John Armstrong taught us in Music Theory at OHS came back to me. It was rather reassuring to realize that the basics don't change. And everyone loves a singable melody!”

“The difference between an opera and an operetta,” director Nicholas Gentile chimes in, “is that an operetta is so much shorter and a whole lot funnier. Why, you get 50% more opera in 75% less time. That’s our 100% guarantee.”

What sets "The 1812 Overture" apart is the deep sense of community that pervades the production. Former teachers and peers have come together to create an ensemble cast and orchestra that brings the operetta to life in a way that's both heartwarming and side-splittingly funny. Donovan's high school orchestra director Cheryl Rogers, Galvin's middle school band director Michael Dunsmoor, and their peers Maggie Fitzsimmons, Matt McCrobie, and Chris Wahl will all perform in the pit orchestra.

The World Premiere of “The 1812 Underture” is this Friday and Saturday. Gates open at 5:30pm. The Show starts at 6:30pm. This event is open to the public, and audience members are asked to bring their own chair and libations. Tickets are on a “Pay What You Wish” basis at the gate, though reservations can be made in advance, and the soundtrack is available for download, at

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