Peppered with unforgettable melodies and tongue-twisting songs, The Pirates of Penzance is one of the most popular operettas ever written. Opera Australia's new production is an effervescent smash hit with a national tour and jubilant sellout seasons everywhere.
The Mikado was written in 1885 when Europe was in the grip of Japan mania. The public had thronged to extravagant exhibitions of japonaiserie and had acquired a seemingly insatiable desire for patterned silks, china, fans, lacquer boxes …. and the retail trade responded with an oriental slant in their advertisements for even the most mundane objects. It's just this spirit that Tim Goodchild has captured in his cleverly thought out designs….
The advent of stereo brought forth two competing Gilbert and Sullivan cycles that retain their classic status in divergent ways.
Seasoned Savoyards lean towards Decca's D'Oyly Carte recordings, where the use of singing actors and inclusion of dialogue add up to a palpable theatrical experience. By contrast, EMI's competing cycle featured some of Britain's finest operatic singers of the 1950s and '60s, who largely command both music and text on equal terms. The nine operettas in this series conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent–Trial by Jury, HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Patience, Iolanthe, The Mikado, Ruddigore, The Yeomen of the Guard, and The Gondoliers–are repackaged in a budget-priced, space-saving box. True, some might contend that Sargent's stoutly moderate tempos downplay the authors' irreverent bite, but at least you can make out every blasted word. And that's important, since EMI includes no librettos, just a synopsis of each work. As a bonus, Sullivan's orchestral forays outside comic opera fill out the discs, including incidental music to The Tempest and The Merchant of Venice, the touching Overture in C ("In Memoriam"), an attractively tuneful Symphony in E, and a fascinating reconstruction of a Cello Concerto, whose autograph and parts perished in a 1964 fire. You simply cannot find a more comprehensive Gilbert and Sullivan bargain than this highly enticing set. Grab it while you can.Jed Distler (Amazon.com)
Every Song Has its play is an Irish-English singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan’s fourth studio album, originally released in May 1995. The 14 tracks included in this album are soundtrack from his semi-autobiographical musical 'Every Song Has its Play' and it is one of O'Sullivan's best albums released in the 90s alonside 'Sounds of the Loop'.