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The Zoo Photo: Curtis Rogers

The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival – Arthur Sullivan Triple Bill – Cox and Box, Trial by Jury, The Zoo

Three (brief) one Act operas by Sullivan here, but only one of them a collaboration with Gilbert. The Zoo – perhaps the most obscure – was written at the same time as Trial by Jury (the second G&S opera) and premiered just a few months after it, in June 1875, serving as the opener to an entirely separate, spoken […]

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L to R Joseph Doody as Allesandro and George Curnow as Agenore in Buxton International Festival's Il re pastore Credit Genevieve Girling.

Buxton International Festival – Mozart’s Il re pastore – with Katie Coventry & Ellie Neate; directed by Jack Furness; conducted by Adrian Kelly

Mozart’s Il re pastore (1775) stands in a line of artistic works which contrast the innocent pleasures of an existence at one with nature, with the tensions and artificiality of life at the centre of power (necessarily in the city). As the setting of an adapted libretto by Metastasio, its theme is typical of slightly earlier operas

Buxton International Festival – Mozart’s Il re pastore – with Katie Coventry & Ellie Neate; directed by Jack Furness; conducted by Adrian Kelly Read More »

Ellie Neate as Lisa (foreground) with cast in Buxton International Festival's La sonnambula. Credit Genevieve Girling

Buxton International Festival – Bellini’s La sonnambula – with Zivi Dai, Nico Darmanin & Simon Shibambu; directed by Harry Fehr; conducted by Adrian Kelly

The assumptions of many nineteenth-century operas are often difficult now for contemporary sensibilities to countenance, with their heroines expected to behave impeccably in conforming with male expectations, and maligned or misunderstood if they don’t fall in line. Harry Fehr’s production of Bellini’s La sonnambula (1831) takes up the theme of sleepwalking not as a mere sensational or

Buxton International Festival – Bellini’s La sonnambula – with Zivi Dai, Nico Darmanin & Simon Shibambu; directed by Harry Fehr; conducted by Adrian Kelly Read More »

Photo: buxtonoperahouse.org.uk

The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company – Utopia, Limited – with Ben McAteer, Anthony Flaum, Monica McGhee & Paul Featherstone; directed by Jeff Clarke; conducted by John Andrews

After the hiatus of a couple of years owing to disagreements among composer, librettist and their impresario, Richard D’Oyly Carte, Utopia, Limited (1893) marked a return to form by Gilbert and Sullivan in this work which proved to be their penultimate collaboration. Gilbert pulled no punches in satirising a range of English institutions – as depicted by

The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company – Utopia, Limited – with Ben McAteer, Anthony Flaum, Monica McGhee & Paul Featherstone; directed by Jeff Clarke; conducted by John Andrews Read More »

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