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Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece

DigiTrad:
COMPUTERIZED LIBRARIAN
ELEMENTS
I'M CALLED LITTLE CAROLINE
THE FORMULARY SONG


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Bill Hahn//\\ 12 Jan 06 - 04:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 06 - 04:33 PM
Nigel Parsons 12 Jan 06 - 05:08 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 12 Jan 06 - 05:10 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 12 Jan 06 - 05:15 PM
Flash Company 13 Jan 06 - 05:43 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 13 Jan 06 - 11:43 AM
Acme 13 Jan 06 - 07:32 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 13 Jan 06 - 08:01 PM
LadyJean 14 Jan 06 - 01:21 AM
Flash Company 14 Jan 06 - 10:09 AM
Acme 14 Jan 06 - 10:29 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 14 Jan 06 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Arkie 14 Jan 06 - 09:15 PM
Flash Company 15 Jan 06 - 09:28 AM
RangerSteve 15 Jan 06 - 01:42 PM
Gorgeous Gary 15 Jan 06 - 02:18 PM
Nigel Parsons 15 Jan 06 - 02:42 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 15 Jan 06 - 05:09 PM
Flash Company 16 Jan 06 - 07:40 AM
keberoxu 04 Jan 16 - 03:15 PM
Tattie Bogle 04 Jan 16 - 05:19 PM
Nigel Parsons 08 Jan 16 - 09:11 PM
Nigel Parsons 08 Jan 16 - 09:20 PM
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Subject: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 04:20 PM

Since I mentioned a particular word in the thread on discrimination in Suffern NY I thought I would pose this trivia query because it came to my mind in writing the posting: What was the last opera that G & S reluctantly did together (At the behest of D'Oyly Carte)---and is it their least performed piece?

What special thing is encompassed in this opera?

I will answer--but let us see who else is a G & S fan here?


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 04:33 PM

I can't see why this is in among the non-music threads. The Grand Duke may not be the best G and S, but it's hardly BS.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 05:08 PM

Without looking it up, I wouldn't be sure, but one which is rarely done is "Utopia Ltd". However there is their first collaboration for which only some of the original music survives, so I would imagine "Thespis (or The Gods Grown Old)" is the least performed

CHEERS
Nigel (a G&S fan)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 05:10 PM

Thanks McGrath---my error in the wording---I was speaking of Utopia Ltd. I had thought that it was the least performed---though I guess it is a toss-up.   

Utopia Ltd. reprises a lot of the characters from other operas---from Pirates, Pinafore and more.   The concept was a great one---Utopia is a bore and they are happier when things become problematical and "corrupt"--for want of a better word.    That is the brief version of the piece.

Thanks for the site you posted--I have bookmarked it.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 05:15 PM

In researching it further I see that only one character was reprised from an earlier opera in this piece. I recall that there was one opera that did reprise other characters---perhaps someone has the details of that.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Flash Company
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 05:43 AM

Utopia Ltd was the lastreasonably successful G & S operetta, A satire on the concept of the perfect society based on a South-Sea Island ruled over by King Paramount.
The King's daughter, Zara, has been educated at Girton, and returns home with six pillars of the English establishment to re-model the countyry on the lines of England. These worthies included Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore).
Gilbert takes the opportunity to fire with all barrels at all the things about England that he would have liked to reform.
It was completed with difficulty, as Sullivan was seriously ill, and at one stage expected to die. It opened in London on the 7th October 1893, and ran for 245 performances.
It flopped in America, and has not been much performed since.
The Grand Duke followed in 1895 which only ran for 123 performances.
Thespis, the first production, was undoubtedly the least successful,
I can find no record of the number of performances, but it is estimated as no more than 64, the score was 'lost'.
One song 'Climbing over Roccy Mountain' was re-cycled in 'Pirates'.
All the above cribbed from Leslie Bailey, 'The Gilbert & Sullivan Book'

FC


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 11:43 AM

Quite right---re THespis and the recycling in Pirates of that song.   The character that was reprised in Utopia Ltd. was Capt Corcoran of HMS Pinafore.   

            If anyone knows if there is a recording of Utopia that can be had I would love to know of it

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Acme
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 07:32 PM

My teenaged daughter discovered some of the Gilbert and Sullivan CDs that I inherited from my Dad, and has memorized a couple of them. I think the interest came because her school did Pirates of Penzance last year as their annual musical. Or it might be because they loved what Tom Lehrer did with Modern Major General (his version: The Elements) and for a point of interest I got out the CD so they could hear the G&S original. At any rate, she has studied the librettos and memorized the words. For a 17-year-old to do this I'm impressed, (heck, I'd be impressed if a 71-year-old did it!) but it doesn't have a lot of application in daily living. Now she knows the charm of a good hobby! On occasion it is very useful, but mostly you go it alone and are vastly entertained by it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 08:01 PM

My own feeling is that G&S are timeless and their (GIlbert's) words resonate through the ages in their topicality and barbs.

Unfortunately mostly the 3 or 4 really popular (well known) ones get performed---Pirates, Pinafore, Mikado=--=so many other interesting ones---Ruddigore, Trial By Jury (short) come to mind. Now if only I could hear the score of Utopia Ltd I would be a happy camper.

Iolanthe always comes to mind when I think of the pomposity or our Congress.

Recently I saw a wonderful Off Bway show that was a straigh play that Gilbert wrote with the same type of humor and errors of identity prior to his collaboration with Sullivan

I hope you all saw the wonderful film about them---Topsy Turvy. So well done

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: LadyJean
Date: 14 Jan 06 - 01:21 AM

Utopia Ltd is Gilbert's take on corporate law. He was an unsuccessful attorney, and he liked to have fun with the law, hence one of their early works, "Trial By Jury", featuring a breach of promise case, though the judge is guilty of the same offense, as he tells us in his opening song.

"Iolanthe" has the Lord Chancellor sing "The law is the embodiement of everything that's excellent. It has no kind of fault or flaw, and I, my lords, embody the law." Mother quoted it to dad early in their relationship. (Dad was an attorney. So was her father and her grandfather. It's kind of like hemophilia in our family.)
My sister, who is also a lawyer (like I said, hemophilia.) says a good knowledge of G&S is very useful if you want to study law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Flash Company
Date: 14 Jan 06 - 10:09 AM

Bill- Don't know where you are based, but there is a Doyly-Carte recording available from virginmegastores.co.uk (double CD)
I also find that MUGSS (Manchester Universty G & S Society)
is staging a production 14-18 March 2006. Tickets from £7.
I think I might try to get there.

FC


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Acme
Date: 14 Jan 06 - 10:29 AM

LadyJean, point taken, but if it were truly like hemophilia in your family, then your sister wouldn't be an attorney. :)

Great thread, it has my curiosity up to hear others I haven't before, so I'm going to see how many of the disks I have of G&S and do what I can do to round out the collection.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 14 Jan 06 - 08:14 PM

Flash---thanks ---I will surely check on this.
Lady Jean---true--- a knowledge of G&S is helpful in the most cynicao way.   Hemophilia--I don't know---more like a G & S gene that precludes bleeding but insists on cleverness and detail.

Just having re-heard the Peer's entrance in Iolanthe I thought of the hearings here in the U S this week for the Supreme Court appointee---Gilbert surely knew his business.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 14 Jan 06 - 09:15 PM

I am happy whenever a G & S thread pops up here.   My only G&S recording is a tape anthology of numbers from several operettas. It was played so much I wore it out.   With this reminder I need to start searching for CDs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Flash Company
Date: 15 Jan 06 - 09:28 AM

Gilbert was always a little miffed that all the honours were poured on Sullivan. I gather that one of the songs in Utopia Ltd, where a character is extolling the angliciseation of the kingdom includes the lines:-
And literary merit will get it's just reward,
Exactly as it does in England!
'The Bab Ballads', which predate the operettas are worth looking up, very witty and politically incorrect for the era. One of them was actually refused publication by 'Punch' on the grounds of bad taste.

FC


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: RangerSteve
Date: 15 Jan 06 - 01:42 PM

A few decades ago, the entire G&S output was produced by British TV and shown here in the US on public TV. All of them were available on video and I purchased some of them from a site on the web, but it was a long time ago, and I can't remember the website (I initially did a search for "opera videos" and found it that way). The production values varied; Iolanthe had cheap special effects and was hard to watch, but the Mikado, Pinafore, Pirates, and Gondoliers were fine. Patience kind of bored me.

Apparently, Mobil helped fund the project and insisted on at least one American actor in each opera, to attract American audiences. This worked most of the time, with William Conrad as a fine Mikado, but the testosterone-impaired Peter Allen as the Pirate King was an embarassment. Vincent Price had the lead in The Sorcerer; I regret not getting to see that one.

Anyway, Utopia Ltd. was part of the series, (Frank Gorshin was the token Yank), so there are copies out there.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 15 Jan 06 - 02:18 PM

Here in DC we are fortunate to have an excellent G&S company, The Washington Savoyards, that produces two operas a year (one in the spring and one in fall). They **do** work their way through the entire reportoire (AFAIK). I've seen their performances of "The Gondoliers" and "Yeoman of the Guard"; I know they've done "Ruddigore", "Trial by Jury" AND "Utopia, Ltd." in the past (I didn't see those, but a friend had souvenir T-shirts from those shows) and will presumably get around to them again sooner or later.

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 15 Jan 06 - 02:42 PM

LadyJean: I agree that a knowledge of G&S is a good thing to have. So your quote:
"The law is the embodiement of everything that's excellent. It has no kind of fault or flaw, and I, my lords, embody the law."
should begin "the law is the true embodiment..."

CHEERS
Nigel (pedant extraordinaire)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 15 Jan 06 - 05:09 PM

For those of you were also addicts of Groucho Marx probably know---and if not will be happy to know---that in his later years he got to the play the part he so wanted to play ---at the City Center of New York--in a production of The Mikado.   He also did it on TV in the Bell Tel. Hour of 1960.   The part he aspired to play---KoKo---his daughter Melinda played the part of Peep Bo.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Flash Company
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 07:40 AM

Wow! Frank Gorshin in G & S, I seem to remember him doing a very creepy Peter Lorre impression.
Older UK readers may be interested to know that Tommy Handley auditioned for the 'patter' roles with Doyly Carte in 1938.(He was a very good light baritone).
They were going to offer him the job, but by the time they got round to it he had gone on a Music-Hall tour with a sketch called 'The Dis-orderley Room'. WW2 with no ITMA? We would have lost!

FC


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Subject: RE: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 03:15 PM

There is a piece by W. S. Gilbert alone, I think it might be a one-act play, with a title like On Bail.

For a particularly off-the-wall production of Die Fledermaus in English translation, a director who shall remain nameless helped himself to some of the Gilbert zingers in On Bail, and sandwiched them into the Fledermaus dialogue.

I only recall one:

"A white tie is the recognized emblem of innocence."

The fellow who says it is explaining to his wife, why his friend is taking him to jail while they are both in formal dress.


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Subject: RE: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Jan 16 - 05:19 PM

Very old thread, but I did take part in a production of Utopia Ltd with Edinburgh G & S Society. The worst bits were wearing those itchy long black curly wigs to make us look like South Sea maidens, and, for some, the allergic reactions from the fake tan!
As with many G & S collaborations, the political comment was just SOOO contemporary, eve if written 100 years ago! (And of course, there were a few more topical ad libs thrown in!)


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Subject: RE: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 09:11 PM

From the tour this year of the The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company.
In KoKo's "little list" song there was mention of "an English rugby team who can't be quarter finalists".
That line brought the house down in Cardiff's New Theatre.


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Subject: RE: Gilbert & Sullivan---Rarely done piece
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Jan 16 - 09:20 PM

Following RangerSteve's comments above, I've managed to order a copy of The Mikado with Frank Cannon (sorry, William Conrad), but haven't found Vincent Price in The Sorcerer.
Perhaps this was an error. He seems to have taken the lead in "Ruddigore" which also has a theme of magic/witchcraft.

Cheers


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