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Posts tagged: operetta

Offenbach’s anniversary year: Jewish, German, and essentially French; painstaking emergence and eventual triumph

By , 20/06/2019
If you look hard enough, interesting anniversaries generally show up every year. But few recent years have been as interesting as this, especially for one who ranks the two best-known, French birthday celebrants right at the top of their class. It’s the 150th anniversary of Berlioz’s death (on 8 March this year); and the 200th anniversary of the birth of two of the most successful composers of light opera, or... read more

Admirably staged and sung opera and music theatre excerpts from the school of music

By , 11/09/2016
The school of music’s once annual opera productions have in recent years fallen back to biennial events. In the between years, students create a series of scenes from opera, against a background of elementary sets and a few props that can, with a bit of imagination, be used in various settings. This production employed around sixteen singers, though the photo gallery in the printed programme contained 23 faces which included... read more

Wellington G&S with another hit in funny, well-sung The Gondoliers

By , 19/09/2015
G&S goes on and on. Hard to think of another composer whose music in a certain genre has acquired such a single-minded following from so many, and of those, one suspects, some don’t particularly enjoy any other kind of opera or musical theatre, or even any other kind of classical music. Offenbach has no comparable cult status in France; nor Lehár or Kálmán in Austria; nor any one composer... read more

Source of innocent merriment – Wellington G&S Society’s “The Mikado”

By , 06/09/2014
Those of us who know and love the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas confidently expect that, despite the swings and roundabouts of popular taste and fashion, they will continue to delight, charm and entertain - in short, endure as classics. Though uniquely of their time they still express relevant commentaries regarding equivalents among individuals and circumstances in contemporary life. Perhaps first and foremost of them, and probably still the most... read more

Pirates, policemen and patriotic persuasion in, er, Penzance? – no, Wellington!

By , 12/09/2012
It wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last - the thought "what terrific tunes these are" struck me freshly with resounding force as I listened to the Wellington Gilbert and Sullivan Society Orchestra's neat and stylish playing of "The Pirates of Penzance" Overture, which began one of the season's performances of the work in the Wellington Opera House. As with all great music, one never... read more

Leonard Bernstein’s CANDIDE – the best of all possible whirls?

By , 28/07/2012
Pity the poor music-theatre historian charged with the task of drawing together the different strands of creative impulse that have, at various times, produced successive versions of Leonard Bernstein's amazingly durable stage-work Candide. To read of the different productions and seemingly endless revisions, complete revampings included, is to be made to feel as though one's head has been spun in a kind of Voltairesque whirl. Forget the fraught operatic... read more

Boutique Opera does “the Jones boy” proud

Apparently there were five different scores for German’s light opera, premiered in Manchester in 1907.  Since it became so popular, it was performed frequently, the last version being from 1913; a concert version for performance by choral societies (sung by the Orpheus Choir’s predecessor in the Hutt Valley in 1953 and 1957). Michael Vinten has taken the music from various versions of  Tom Jones, including film and television versions, introducing... read more

Gilbert and Sullivan double bill a delight…..

By , 30/06/2011
"I do my best to satisfy you all" sings Captain Corcoran to the crew of H.M.S.Pinafore - and we in the audience at Wellington 's Opera House could well have, at the end of the evening, echoed the crew's reply, regarding the production, "And with you we're quite content!" For this was a rollicking good night in the theatre - the stage spectacle entertaining and colourful, and the music... read more

Ruth Armishaw sings about songbirds and divas at St Andrew’s final concert

By , 08/12/2010


For the last concert of the St Andrew’s free lunchtime series, a departure from the strict canon of classical music might be permitted. This time it proved especially permissible because of the polish and style that singer and pianist brought to the job.

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Die Fledermaus – quintessential operetta

By , 19/08/2010
Mention the word "operetta" to most members of the theatre- and concert-going public, and probably one of two works will most readily come to mind, either Johann Strauss Jnr's "Die Fledermaus" (The Bat), or Franz Lehar's "Die Lustige Witwe" (The Merry Widow). None of the Savoy operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan can match their Viennese counterparts for charm, glamour and romance, and of the French equivalents, only Jacques Offenbach's... read more

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