mon 25/09/2017

Gilbert & Sullivan

‘A massive party full of treats and surprises’: Annabel Arden on six mini masterpieces at Opera North

The first day of rehearsals for The Little Greats was thrilling and terrifying in equal measure: the casts of six shows, the whole chorus, all the creative teams and management milling around and talking nineteen to the dozen in the big, reverberant...

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Princess Ida, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company review - sparkling comedy, wobbly sets

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you have to be pretty silly to take Gilbert and Sullivan seriously. But even sillier not to. And positively heroic to revive the pair’s 1884 three-acter Princess Ida: the show which – updated to a...

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The Mikado review - Sasha Regan's all-male operetta formula hits a reef

Men playing boys playing girls, women and men, all female parts convincingly falsettoed and high musical standards as backbone: Sasha Regan's single-sex Gilbert and Sullivan has worked a special magic on Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, HMS...

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Patience/Tosca, English Touring Opera

How well do you know your bad Victorian poetry? “When through the purple corridors the screaming scarlet Ibis flew/In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the moaning Mandragores.” Go on, guess the author. Or how about this? “What time the poet...

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Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four

"Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!" Curly the cowboy sang in the opening scene of Oklahoma!, the first musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein (1943). In the midst of war here was sheer optimism and celebration set – with some nods...

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ENO's Marvellous Miller in pictures

It should have been unmodified rapture: a gathering of English National Opera team members old and new celebrating the doyen of the company's best-selling productions. And, as has always happened with the artistic side of the company, this loving...

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The Yeomen of the Guard, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company

By the end of Act One of The Yeomen of the Guard there's been a jailbreak, a clandestine marriage, a swapped identity and a cancelled beheading. The chorus sings, halberds are brandished, and a jester jests. Even by Gilbert and Sullivan standards,...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Beshevli, Gershwin, Gilbert & Sullivan

Ilya Beshevli: Wanderer (Village Green)Siberian musician Ilya Beshevli's background will resonate with anyone who's resented learning an instrument. The son of a composer and a musicologist, Beshevli grew to dislike his enforced piano lessons,...

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Best of 2015: Opera

How ironic that English National Opera turned out possibly the two best productions of the year after the Arts Council had done its grant-cutting worst, punishing the company simply, it seemed, for not being the irrationally preferred Royal Opera....

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200 Miller Mikados at ENO

Much of what follows was included in the 25th anniversary programme for Jonathan Miller’s legendary production of The Mikado at English National Opera. And the show goes on, still dazzling on each curtain-up thanks to the undated feat of the late...

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HMS Pinafore, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company

At the beginning of Act Two of John Savournin’s production of HMS Pinafore, the quarterdeck is in darkness. Kevin Greenlaw’s Captain Corcoran steps out of his cabin, downs a brandy stiffener, and launches into his melancholy lament to the moon....

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The Pirates of Penzance, English National Opera

When ENO announced its return to Gilbert and Sullivan, rapture at the news that Mike Leigh, genius Topsy-Turvy director, would be the master of wonderland ceremonies was modified by its choice, The Pirates of Penzance. Last staged at the Coliseum –...

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