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Arthur Sullivan
 
 
 
 
Sir Arthur Sullivan, in full Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (born May 13, 1842, London, England—died November 22, 1900, London), composer who, with W.S. Gilbert, established the distinctive English form of the operetta. Gilbert’s satire and verbal ingenuity were matched so well by Sullivan’s unfailing melodiousness, resourceful musicianship, and sense of parody that the works of this unique partnership won lasting international acclaim.

Sullivan was the son of an Irish musician who became bandmaster at the Royal Military College; his mother was of Italian descent. He joined the choir of the Chapel Royal and later held the Mendelssohn Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he studied under Sir W. Sterndale Bennett and Sir John Goss. He continued his studies at the Leipzig Conservatory.



Early poster showing scenes from The Sorcerer, H.M.S. Pinafore and Trial by Jury

 

In 1861 he became organist of St. Michael’s, London, and in the following year his music to The Tempest achieved great success at the Crystal Palace. Then followed his Kenilworth cantata (1864); a ballet, L’Île enchantée, produced at Covent Garden (where Sullivan was organist for a time); a symphony and a cello concerto; the In Memoriam and the Overtura di Ballo overtures; and numerous songs.

Sullivan’s first comic opera was his setting of Sir Francis Cowley Burnand’s Cox and Box (1867). An operetta, the Contrabandista, also on a libretto by Burnand, was produced in the same year. Thespis (1871), the first work in which Sullivan collaborated with Gilbert, met with little success when produced at the Gaiety Theatre. It was Richard D’Oyly Carte, then manager of the Royalty Theatre, who brought the two men together again in 1875; the result was Trial by Jury, which was originally put on as an afterpiece to an Offenbach operetta; it won instant popularity and ran for more than a year.



 

Carte thereupon formed the Comedy Opera Company, with a view to presenting full-length operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan. The first of these, The Sorcerer (1877), was followed by H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), whose eventual success was phenomenal, and The Pirates of Penzance (1879, New York City; 1880, London).

During the run of Patience (1881), Carte transferred the production to his newly built Savoy Theatre, where the later operettas were presented. These were Iolanthe (1882), Princess Ida (1884), The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu (1885), Ruddigore (1887), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), and The Gondoliers (1889). The collective works of Gilbert and Sullivan became known as the “Savoy Operas.”




Cartoon from Punch in 1880. It was premature in
declaring Sullivan's knighthood, but was accompanied
by a parody version of "When I, good friends"


 

From time to time, Sullivan protested against the artificial nature of Gilbert’s plots; this led to a disagreement between them that came to a head when Sullivan supported Carte in a minor business dispute. Sullivan wrote his next opera, Haddon Hall (1892), to a libretto by Sydney Grundy. Subsequent collaboration with Gilbert, in Utopia Limited (1893) and The Grand Duke (1896), did not reach their former standard. Sullivan completed three other operettas: The Chieftain (1895), largely an adaptation of Contrabandista; The Beauty Stone (1898), with a libretto by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero and J. Comyns Carr; and The Rose of Persia (1889), with Basil Hood, who also wrote the libretto for The Emerald Isle, which was left unfinished by Sullivan and completed by Edward German.



 

Sullivan’s more classical compositions included The Prodigal Son (1869), The Light of the World (1873), The Martyr of Antioch (1880), The Golden Legend (1886), and the “romantic opera” Ivanhoe, written for the opening of the Royal English Opera House built by Carte in 1891. They were not maintained in the repertory, though they were acclaimed in their day. He also wrote many hymn tunes, including “Onward! Christian Soldiers,” and his song “The Lost Chord” attained great popularity.

In 1876 Sullivan accepted the principalship of the National Training School for Music (later the Royal College of Music), which he held for five years; he was active as a conductor, particularly at the Leeds Festivals from 1880 to 1898. He was knighted in 1883.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 

Sullivan directing the Leeds Music Festival, 1886
 
 
 
 
 
Sir Arthur Sullivan - Symphony in E Major "Irish" (1866)
 
I. Andante - Allegro Ma Non Troppo Vivace - 00:00
II. Andante Espressivo - 13:24
III. Allegretto - Moderato - Tempo Primo - 20:42
IV. Allegro Vivace e con brio - 26:59

Sullivan began work on his symphony in 1863, very early in his career. From holiday in Ireland, he wrote that "as I was jolting home through wind and rain... in an open jaunting-car, the whole first movement of a symphony came into my head with a real Irish flavour about it -- besides scraps of the other movements." The composer later wrote, "I always meant to call it the 'Irish Symphony', but I modestly refrained, as it was courting comparison with the 'Scotch Symphony'." The title did not appear on the published score until after Sullivan's death, in the Novello edition of 1915.

The first performance of the symphony was at The Crystal Palace in March 1866, thanks to the popular singer, Jenny Lind, who sponsored the concert and attracted an audience of 3,000 for her singing in the first half of the programme. The conductor was August Manns, who had previously conducted the London première of Sullivan's incidental music to The Tempest.

The symphony was well received, though the music critics, both then and later, observed the influence of other composers. The Times wrote, "Mr Sullivan should abjure Mendelssohn, even Beethoven and above all Schumann, for a year and a day."In his 1960 study of Sullivan's music Gervase Hughes also detects echoes of Schumann, and of Schubert as well.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Programme for The Mikado, 1885
 
 
The Mikado Act I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Mikado Act II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arthur Sullivan - The Mikado - Overture
 
Conductor: John Carewe
Orchestra: Nürnberger Symphoniker
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ivanhoe, 1891
 
 
Iolanthe - The Proms (2000)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iolanthe Act I (Complete) Nicholas Wuehrmann - Director/Choreographer
 
Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Iolanthe" Act II (Complete this time!)
Summer 2013
Nicholas Wuehrmann - Director/Choreographer (He's awesome! One of the best with which I've ever worked!)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iolanthe (Act 2) - D'Oyly Carte (1960)(w Dialog) - Godfrey, Reed - G&S
 
Iolanthe is one of the Savoy operas and is the seventh collaboration of the fourteen between Gilbert and Sullivan.
Iolanthe was first produced in London at the Savoy Theatre, on 25 November 1882. It ran for 398 performances.

Sulivan had written additional orchestration for military band, which was used in the March of the Peers, and the finale to Act 1. It was included in the original Savoy production, but rarely since. This 1960 release is the only complete recording utilizing the military band.

(Information from album notes, Wikipedia, and oakapple press). Link to Act 1 http://youtu.be/41TyxZ2UKAw

Some selected song timings: Love, Unrequited 23:42-27:13 If You Go In 29:17-31:35 --CAST--

The Lord Chancellor-----------John Reed
Earl of Mountararat-----------Donald Adams
Earl Tolloller------------------Thomas Round
Private Willis-----------------Ke­nneth Sandford (of the Grenadier Guards)
Strephon (an Arcadian Shepherd)---Alan Styler
Queen of the Fairies---------Gillian Knight
Iolanthe--------------------Yvonne Newman (a Fairy, Strephon's Mother)
Celia-----)------------------Jennifer Toye
Leila-----)-----Fairies-------Pauline Wales
Fleta-----)-----------------Dawn Bradshaw
Phyllis----------------------Mary Sansom (an Arcadian Shepherdess and Ward in Chancery Chorus of Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts, Barons, and Fairies

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
New Symphony Orchestra of London
Band of the Grenadier Guards
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Gondoliers (Act 1) - D'Oyly Carte (1961)(w Dialog) - Godfrey, Reed - G&S
 
"The Gondoliers" was the twelfth of fourteen operas from Gilbert and Sullivan's collaboration, followed only by "Utopia, Ltd." and "The Grand Duke". It opened at the Savoy Theatre on December 7, 1889, and ran for 554 performances.
(Information from album notes, Oak Apple Press, and Wikipedia.)

This release contains the complete dialog. Link to Act 2 http://youtu.be/VGK21pHcfTc

Some selected song timings: Overture 0:02-06:33 List and learn 06:36-10:10 We're called gondolieri 16:20-18:27 From the sunny Spanish shore 24:08-25:28 In enterprise of martial kind 31:40-33:12 When a merry maiden marries 50:17-53:19 Then one of us will be a queen 01:02:07-01:04:24 ---CAST---

The Duke of Plaza-Toro--------------John Reed (A Grandee of Spain)
Luiz------------------------------------­------Jeffrey Skitch (His Attendant)
Don Alhambra----------------------------Kenn­eth Sandford (The Grand Inquisitor)
Marco Palmieri-------}-------------------Thoma­s Round
Giuseppe Palmieri--}-------------------Alan Styler
Antonio------------------}Venetian------­Michael Wakeham
Francesco--------------}Gondoliers---Jos­eph Riordan
Giorgio-------------------}-------------­------George Cook
Annibale-----------------}--------------­-----Michael Wakeham
The Duchess of Plaza-Toro-----------Gillian Knight
Casilda---------------------------------­------Jennifer Toye (Her Daughter)
Gianetta-----------------}--------------­------Mary Sansom
Tessa---------------------}-------------­------Joyce Wright
Fiametta-----------------}Contadine----D­awn Bradshaw
Vittoria--------------------}-----------­-------Ceinwen Jones
Giulia----------------------}-----------­-------Daphne Gill
Inez------------------------------------­--------Jeanette Roach (The King's Foster-mother)

The D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
The New Symphony Orchestra Of London
Conducted by Isidore Godfrey

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Gondoliers (Act 2) - D'Oyly Carte (1961) - Godfrey, Reed - G&S
 
"The Gondoliers" was the twelfth of fourteen operas from Gilbert and Sullivan's collaboration, followed only by "Utopia, Ltd." and "The Grand Duke". It opened at the Savoy Theatre on December 7, 1889, and ran for 554 performances.
(Information from album notes, Oak Apple Press, and Wikipedia.)

This release contains the complete dialog. Link to Act 1 http://youtu.be/UP4KSh1zd6w

Some selected song timings: Rising early in the morning 04:04-06:50 Take a pair of sparkling eyes 07:40-10:50 Dance a cachucha 15:04-16:50 In contemplative fashion 25:39-27:54 To help unhappy commoners 35:25-38:38 ---CAST---

The Duke of Plaza-Toro--------------John Reed (A Grandee of Spain)
Luiz------------------------------------­------Jeffrey Skitch (His Attendant)
Don Alhambra----------------------------Kenn­eth Sandford (The Grand Inquisitor)
Marco Palmieri-------}-------------------Thoma­s Round
Giuseppe Palmieri--}-------------------Alan Styler
Antonio------------------}Venetian------­Michael Wakeham
Francesco--------------}Gondoliers---Jos­eph Riordan
Giorgio-------------------}-------------­------George Cook
Annibale-----------------}--------------­-----Michael Wakeham
The Duchess of Plaza-Toro-----------Gillian Knight
Casilda---------------------------------­------Jennifer Toye (Her Daughter)
Gianetta------------------}-------------­------Mary Sansom
Tessa---------------------}-------------­------Joyce Wright
Fiametta-----------------}Contadine-----­Dawn Bradshaw
Vittoria--------------------}-----------­--------Ceinwen Jones
Giulia----------------------}-----------­--------Daphne Gill
Inez------------------------------------­--------Jeanette Roach (The King's Foster-mother)

The D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
The New Symphony Orchestra Of London
Conducted by Isidore Godfrey

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Sorcerer (Act 1) - D'Oyly Carte - Gilbert & Sullivan
 
Sir Marmaduke -------------------Donald Adams
Alexis ---(His Son)---------------David Palmer
Dr. Daly -----------------------------Alan Styler
Notary --------------------------------Stanley Riley
John Wellington Wells --------John Reed
Lady Sangazure ------------------Christene Palmer
Aline ---(Her Daughter)---------Valerie Masterson
Mrs. Partlet -----------------------Jean Allister
Constance -------------------------Ann Hood

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Sorcerer (Act 2) - D'Oyly Carte - Gilbert & Sullivan
 
Sir Marmaduke -------------------Donald Adams
Alexis --------------------------------David Palmer
Dr. Daly -----------------------------Alan Styler
Notary --------------------------------Stanley Riley
John Wellington Wells --------John Reed
Lady Sangazure ------------------Christene Palmer
Aline (Her Daughter)------------Valerie Masterson
Mrs. Partlet -----------------------Jean Allister
Constance -------------------------Ann Hood

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

Recorded at Decca Studios, West Hampstead
14--19 February 1966

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Utopia Limited (Act 1) - D'Oyly Carte - Gilbert & Sullivan
 
King Paramount-----------------------Kenneth Sandford
Scaphio---------------------------------­-John Reed
Phantis---------------------------------­--John Ayldon
Tarara----------------------------------­---Jon Ellison
Calynx----------------------------------­--Michael Buchan
Lord Dramaleigh-----------------------James Conroy-Ward
Capt. Fitzbattleaxe-------------------Meston Reid
Capt. Corcoran-------------------------John Broad
Mr. Goldbury----------------------------Mich­ael Rayner
Sir Bailey Barre------------------------Colin Wright
Mr. Blushington------------------------David Porter
Princess Zara---------------------------Pamela Field
Princess Nekaya----------------------Julia Goss
Princess Kalyba-----------------------Judi Merri
Lady Sophy------------------------------Lynds­ie Holland
Phylla----------------------------------­----Rosalind Griffiths

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Royston Nash

Recorded in 1975

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Utopia Limited (Act 2) - D'Oyly Carte - Gilbert & Sullivan
 
King Paramount-----------------------Kenneth Sandford
Scaphio---------------------------------­-John Reed
Phantis---------------------------------­--John Ayldon
Tarara----------------------------------­---Jon Ellison
Calynx----------------------------------­--Michael Buchan
Lord Dramaleigh-----------------------James Conroy-Ward
Capt. Fitzbattleaxe-------------------Meston Reid
Capt. Corcoran-------------------------John Broad
Mr. Goldbury----------------------------Mich­ael Rayner
Sir Bailey Barre------------------------Colin Wright
Mr. Blushington------------------------David Porter
Princess Zara---------------------------Pamela Field
Princess Nekaya----------------------Julia Goss
Princess Kalyba-----------------------Judi Merri
Lady Sophy------------------------------Lynds­ie Holland
Phylla----------------------------------­----Rosalind Griffiths

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Royston Nash

Recorded in 1975

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A. Sullivan: Victoria and Merrie England (1897)
 
Sinfonietta conducted by/dirigida por Andrew Penny

Scene I: Ancient Britain / La antigua gran Bretaña: (0:00)
Scenes II & III: May Day in Queen Elízabeth's Time / El Día de Mayo en tiempos de la Reina Isabel I. (11:40)
Scenes IV & V: The Legend of Herne the Hunter / La Leyenda de Herne el Cazador (32:38)
Scene VI: Christmas revels / Juegos de Navidad (46:42)
Scene VII: Coronation of Victoria (1838) (1:00:17) and Britain's Glory (1897) (1:06:40) / La coronación de Victoria (1838) y la Gloria de la Gran Bretaña (1897)

Sullivan's once lost ballet Victoria and Merrie England was composed to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, and proved to be one more of his musical hits.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arthur Sullivan - The Pirates of Penzance Overture
 
 
 
 
 
 

Poster for The Chieftain (1894)
 
 
Arthur Sullivan - Ruddigore Overture
 
 
 
 
 
     
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