Here’s a great clip from The Gilbert & Sullivan Story (1953). You can see Thomas Round (a D’Oyly Carte stalwart for years) as Edwin in this very entertaining condensation of Trial By Jury.
Watch our brand new preview video of Patience. Don’t miss our production January 3-5, 2014 at Symphony Space.
Ever wanted to know the meaning of the phrase “at sixes or at sevens” as sung by Captain Corcoran in “Fair Moon, To Thee I Sing”? Here’s a fun video delving into the history of this archaic saying.
Ever wanted to see one of Sullivan’s manuscript full scores? Thanks to the Royal College of Music, you can now view Sullivan’s manuscript full score for the Overture to The Yeomen of the Guard online. Click Here to see the entire score!
Anna Russell tells us “How To Write Your Own Gilbert & Sullivan Opera.” Recorded in 1953 at The Town Hall in New York City. For more information on the recording go to the amazing G&S Discography: http://gasdisc.oakapplepress.com/mdanna.htm
It has been said that there wouldn’t be American musical theatre as we know it without Gilbert & Sullivan. Many of the best librettists and lyricists for the Broadway stage acknowledge a debt to W.S. Gilbert. One of the true innovative teams was Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton, and P.G. Wodehouse. In 1919, following the series of successful Princess Theatre musicals, which were progressive in their use of plot and character driven musical numbers, Wodehouse penned his thoughts on the Gilbertian Tradition.
“All this is not new, you may say. There is the Gilbertian Tradition. Now, the Gilbertian Tradition is something that every man who wants to write a libretto of taste and lyrics of distinction butts his head against. He drinks deep at the source (to change the metaphor) and gets so drunk that he is unfitted for original work. Mr. Wodehouse at twenty-one wrote several fantastic plays which he thought were inspired by Gilbert, but which he later saw were slavish imitations. The Gilbert and Sullivan productions are admittedly the final achievements in their line. But they grew quite naturally out of their time and conditions. They are really quite intensely British in their outlook and expression. They were a crystallized expression of their time. They were presented before audiences at the Savoy on whom none of their classic and satiric illusions [sic] were wasted.
Those audiences were willing to meet their objective satire by using an imagination in meeting the fantastic conditions of presentation, that New York audiences could not be persuaded to exert. That is why a charming and quite exceptionally high class operetta like “The Arcadians” of some seasons ago failed in New York. Gilbert and Sullivan’s audiences were willing to go to Utopia or Japan or Illyria.”
To read the entire article click here: P.G. Wodehouse on the Gilbertian Tradition
For a small sample of Wodehouse’s talents as a lyricist, you can listen to selections from the most successful of the Princess Theatre shows, Oh, Boy! here: http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/recordings/detail/id/6117
Customer buys a used song book online & discovers grandfather’s signature inside
Every now and again, something remarkable happens in the used book business. Georgie Boddington from Western Australia made an online purchase of a book (pictured above) through AbeBooks called the Songs of Two Savoyards, a collection of Gilbert and Sullivan songs, and had a remarkable surprise when closely inspecting the book.
“In 2011, I ordered a copy of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Songs of Two Savoyards which I had fond memories of from my childhood,” said Georgie. “It duly arrived and I plonked it in the bookshelf. Recently I pulled it out and to my absolute amazement my grandfather’s name was written there in his unmistakable script (pictured below) and the date of 1910, which was the year before he emigrated to Australia. What an amazing coincidence.
“My grandfather was born in the UK and he was the music critic on the West Australian newspaper here in Perth for about 50 years. “
Georgie’s grandfather was called Albert Kornweibel (1892-1980) and the book was supplied by the Good Book Place in Ambleside in Cumbria. Kornweibel became a well known figure in the music scene of Western Australia during his long stint as a critic. Educated in a convent school at Hampshire, and at St George’s College in Weybridge, Surrey, Albert suffered ill health and moved to the warmer climes of Australia at the age of 19.
David Wilkinson (a former Church of England priest who became a used bookseller in 2003), the owner of the Good Book Place, could not recall where he’d found the book.
Songs of Two Savoyards contains the lyrics and scores for more than 60 Gilbert and Sullivan Songs from their operas including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, Yeomen of the Guard and Iolanthe. Gilbert also provided illustrations. It was first published around 1890, and then republished in 1932 and again in 1948.
Here’s a fun and inventive stop motion animation with legos to “Pour, oh, Pour the Pirate Sherry” from The Pirates of Penzance.
Too much to explain. Hilarious comic. Read from the beginning.
Here is a clip from the March 17, 1963 episode of the Dinah Shore Shore Chevy Show. It features Dinah Shore, Joan Sutherland, and Ella Fitzgerald singing “Three Little Maids” from The Mikado. Unfortunately clip is audio only, but it is a very entertaining bit of improbable casting!
a J. & P. Coats ‘Best Six Cord Thread’ advertising card, featuring a portrait
of the character Nanki-Poo from Gilbert & Sullivan’s opera, The Mikado.
Although Nanki-Poo was created by Durward Lely when The Mikado
was first performed at the Savoy Theatre, London, on 14 March 1885, and the part was played by Charles Kenningham in the 1895 revival at the Savoy, the image on this card is almost certainly after a photograph of Courtice Pounds as Nanki-Poo when The Mikado was first produced by
the D’Oyly Carte company in New York, at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, on 19 August 1885
(lithograph, printed by Donaldson Brothers, New York, circa 1885)
Gilbert & Sullivan has probably been referenced in every form of media, even comic books. Pictured above is a comic book by British author Laura Howell. Ms. Howell explains how she came up with this concept, “I originally drew Gilbert and Sullivan a birthday card I made for my boyfriend, who really liked them. Then I realized they were a perfect comedy double.” (http://tinyurl.com/pmqhw5h)
A parody of the Major General’s Song from 1895! Published in the American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record. Any pharmacists today understand what it’s talking about?
Here’s a 1 hour radio version of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE from the Great Plays program on February 25, 1940. Interestingly, they are using the mostly the original orchestration for the performance rather than re-orchestrating as was usual in radio.
Note the slight word changed perpetuated in tearly American printings of the vocal score, “Pour oh KING, the pirate sherry” and “I am the very PATTERN of a modern major general”
May 17, 2013
NYGASP withdrawal: (noun) The process of ceasing to perform Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas with your dearest friends, resulting in a melancholy experience when a NYGASP tour comes to an end.
I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say we are all suffering from this infliction as we settle back into our daily lives in the Big Apple. It’s always a little sad to trade fun filled days with our NYGASP family for the reality of NYC.
I think Ko-Ko, (pictured here in Carmel, CA) was a bit dejected as he realized this was his last show of this lovely tour.
(company member David Macaluso)
As I took my first steps at returning to ‘City Life’, I couldn’t help but want to procrastinate my ‘back to reality’ moments. I walked somewhat slower at first, rejecting the pace of the city. "Where are the glorious mountains? The palm trees? The beach at Carmel???Waaaaaaaa!!!!!”
(photo courtesy of Chris-Ian Sanchez)
SLAM!!!!! (Someone smacked against me in the subway) “Welp, I’m back!” I think… And little by little, I feel myself grateful for the life I do have here.
On my first trip to Starbucks on the Upper East side, I glance over at a gentleman’s coffee drink, and I see “Michael Jordan” written on his Starbucks cup. No, it wasn’t Michael Jordan. But it made me chuckle and feel somewhat better. :)
Most New Yorkers use Starbucks as a place to take a break during a hectic day…and then I remembered Central Park! Nature! Perfect!
So I decided to make a trip to Central park to ease the blow a bit, and write this final blog post.
I am so grateful that spring has finally sprung here, making this transition much easier! As I gaze around in Central Park, I vow to spend more time here this spring. Many of us felt very humbled on this tour as we experienced glorious beaches and mountain views from our tour bus windows. Nature has a kind of healing effect. I think we forget that here in NYC. Perhaps my NYGASP friends would like to have a picnic here this summer! Knowing my colleague Elisabeth Cernadas, she may just show up in her Mikado make-up!
Carmel was a perfect little town to round out our tour. Quinto Ott sent me this stage view from our last venue, the Sunset Center, where we received our final standing ovation.
This trip to Carmel was way too short. There was so much to see and do there from amazing restaurants, wine tastings, and art galleries. You could truly feel how supportive of the arts this community was. There was even a post show gala including women in authentic Japanese dress in honor of our performance of the Mikado!
For the second time, I stayed at the Hofsas house, a German inspired bed and breakfast.
(photos courtesy of Sarah Hutchison)
There are no traditional hotels in Carmel ala ‘Holiday Inn’. The little town is packed with charming little inns, each one more amazing than the next. NYGASPERS were spoiled with fabulous amenities such as wine and cheese hour, perfectly manicured court yards, and in-room cut glass carafes of brandy! These are the moments it’s all worth it, and you kind of get to feel like a star!
Groggy and tired, we met our 8am bus that took us to the San Jose airport, where we had a lovely last breakfast together before we departed for NYC. "I’m gonna miss you guys! When is our next performance?"
"It’s Wolftrap Theatre in Virginia!" someone replied.
And this is where we will be with each other once again, traveling, laughing, and hanging out around our road box backstage.
I am so proud to belong to this wonderful group of people! We are the “Vitality and Living Legacy of Gilbert and Sullivan”. This us our company’s mission, and I we will continue to deliver!! See ya in Virginia!
- Rebecca O’Sullivan