sun 25/09/2022

Gilbert and Sullivan

The Pirates of Penzance, Scottish Opera, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Of all the Savoy operas, this merry clash of pirates, policemen and a Major-General flanked by an entire chorus of loving daughters finds Sullivan most in tune with the mid-19th century Italian opera he so lovingly spoofs. So why can’t Martin Lloyd-...

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theartsdesk in Buxton: G&S live on (and on)

Within hours of the opera buffs leaving town, having had their fill of Buxton Festivalia, the old spa changes gear for operetta. For three weeks, the town becomes the jolly international capital for Gilbert & Sullivan. Enthusiasts and performers...

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ENO's new 2012/13 season in full

The ENO's 2012/13 season includes premieres from Philip Glass (The Perfect American) and Michel van der Aa (Sunken Garden) and nine new productions from some of today's most iconoclastic stage directors. The Verdi bicentenary begins in the UK...

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The Yeomen of the Guard, Philharmonia Orchestra, Wilson, Royal Festival Hall

Looking at John Wilson conduct, it’s possible to think that you’re watching an incarnation of that Proms favourite of decades past, Sir Malcolm Sargent. The immaculate tailcoat, shining white cuffs, the florid gestures with a baton as long as a...

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Opera North: making London's flesh creep

A disappointed man from Sheffield asked on a blog why Opera North was spoiling pampered London with two of its major productions and an offshoot this season when the rest of its vicinity was going operatically hungry. I can see his point, but we...

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The Mikado, Charles Court Opera, King's Head Theatre

Is this the year that G&S became definitively chic again? The slow-burn effect of ENO's "Miller Mikado" and Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy now results in numerous fringe benefits. Sasha Regan's all-male Union Theatre regime has delivered its best yet...

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Ruddigore, Opera North

Revived with almost indecent haste, Jo Davies’s 2010 production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore now feels even more polished and slick. Slickness is not a derogatory term here; this staging hits the spot in pretty much every way – musically,...

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Iolanthe, Wilton's Music Hall

What's this? Goosebumps? Tears? Surely not in the usually brittle world of the Savoy operas. Yet handle Sullivan's pathos with tenderness, make everyone believe in a recognition scene between a sinning fairy and her preening peer of a husband, and...

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The Mikado, English National Opera

At 25 years old, Jonathan Miller’s Mikado may be more Grande Dame than ingénue, but it still has a Charleston kick in its step and a shimmy in its pearls. Styled and stylised, chic and slick, it's as far from the operetta’s ubiquitous am-dram...

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Sneak preview: Richard Suart's little list

Suart's Ko-Ko reads his little list at the last ENO revival of  Jonathan Miller's Mikado, 2007

Hot on the heels of our feature celebrating 25 years of Jonathan Miller's Mikado at English National Opera, the latest revival of which opens tonight, veteran Savoyard Richard Suart sent through the most recent candidates for the Lord High...

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Lawyers and Libretti

Sarastro initating Pamina in Allen & Overy's Magic Flute

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first: if a law firm is going to put on an opera, it should probably be Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. Instead, having progressed through G&S’s Mikado and Pirates of Penzance in previous years,...

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Ruddigore, Opera North

A magical Ruddigore: Richard Burkhard as Sir Despard Murgatroyd (left) and Grant Doyle as Robin Oakapple

The plot of this rarely performed Gilbert and Sullivan spoof melodrama is gloriously amusing. The male heirs of the Murgatroyd family suffer under a witch’s curse which forces them to commit a crime each day, or suffer an agonising death. Sir...

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