A Conversation for Gilbert and Sullivan - Opera-writing Duo

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 1


"Alone Again, Naturally" was really poptastic though, wasn't it? smiley - winkeye

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 2



Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 3


Sure was.

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 4


That kinda strikes me about the whole G & S thing, full stop. The operettas were simply ment to be light entertainment - a diversion for a few hours and not much more. The music itself is fantastic, it does this job perfectly, can withstand being analysed pretty closely and it also holds its own without a stage performance behind it.

Let's not forget the libretti either - in their day they were all pretty biting satirically and got quite a way up the noses of the establishment. Possibly the best explanation for why Sulivan got knighted and not Gilbert.

So let's not knock them all that much, eh?! If we must it has to be for encouraging comedians these days to give the satirical song a go in their material, when someone should have told them a long time before that they really didn't have the talent for it...

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 5


Let's not forget "Matrimony". Lyrical mastery at it's best. smiley - winkeye

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 6

Researcher 48497

Friends, androids and assorted aliens: I know this G'n'S discussion is not designed to be taken too seriously, but look from an interplanetary perspective at what we're zapping. The operettas of, say, Offenbach, Johann Strauss or Lehar are discussed seriously in musical circles: they're recognised as having, on their merits, a place in the history of the European musical theatre. Now, on any objective showing, Sullivan is a far more accomplished and more versatile musician than any of these three. Furthermore, the libretti of their operettas are at best good and at worst rubbish (have you tried comparing the familiar English version of THE MERRY WIDOW with the German original? Do so - you'll be surprised!) - not one of them comes NEAR to the verbal wit and fluency of Gilbert. G'n'S is not, or shouldn't be, the target for easy and ignorant gibes - it's one of the most individual, as well as one of the most brilliant, sections in the late-nineteenth-century musical-theatrical scene. And I hereby vapourise any two-headed green-faced vogon, treen or dalek who says different.

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 7


Hear, hear! I think that Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates Of Penzance was wonderful and very funny, but I have to admit that the play it was making fun of, another Gilbert and Sullivan, H.M.S. Pinafore was rather corny and droll, except for one song that I enjoyed immensely, It Was The Cat. The part in the Mikado about the people that would not be missed was extremely funny also.

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 8

Charlie the Zebra

In 1974, Todd Rundgren (about whom I'm going to have to write an article) recorded a version of G & S's "When You're Lying Awake" from the operetta Iolanthe. His version of it, listed on the album as "Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song", helped turn me on to the Savoyards, purely by accident.

Every composer has good work, and every composer has clunkers. In my humble opinion, G & S turned out more of the former.

Gilbert and Sullivan

Post 9


Claire, the moment I saw you I swear...

Merely artistic verisimilitude..

Post 10

Alan the gribbly

I love G & S. Sad but true. My mum has been in the local G&S soc. for the last 25ish years, and took me along to see them when I was 3. I joined when I was 16 and have been either in the chorus or backstage on 7 of the operas.
Gilbert was the Victorian equivalent of 'Have I Got News for You', he changed some of the lib. and lyrics to suit his audience. That's why I get annoyed when people sing the D'Oyly Carte versions of KoKo's 'little list' song and the Mikado's 'A More Humane Mikado', or when they stick religiously to bits in the text that make NO SENSE to a 21st Century audience. If Gilbert were alive he would change them himself!!
Ok, rant over. I am an experienced member of the ladies chorus, and can therefore twitter and squeal with delight on my first entry to the skippy skippy music. (see Pirates, Pinny, Mikado, Ruddigore etc.) I also have my emotions off pat: oh rapture! oh horror! well really! and that lovely little 'sit with downcast eye' that all good 'Victorian maidens' should be able to do.
Oh G&S! Oh Rapture!

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