It is amazing how often over the centuries press and public alike have just got it so very wrong. One has only to think of the fiasco of the first production of Bizet's CARMEN. With THE BEAUTY STONE, the public and press of 1898 can, perhaps, be forgiven, although having said that, had they had the foresight to look beneath the surface, maybe they would have seen the beauty that was hidden beneath. Alas, it has taken 115 years for this remarkable piece to be brought back to life, but we are the winners and can only regret the neglect that has deprived many generations of the opportunity to hear this remarkable piece.
If fault must be apportioned, then firstly and foremost it… Read more
The main interest of this recording must lie in the inclusion of the MASQUE AT KENILWORTH. This piece was first premiered at the Birmingham Music Festival on 8th September 1864 and Sullivan is said to have composed the piece in the months leading up to September. The great mystery, for me at least, is whether Sullivan composed this as 'KENILWORTH', or whether, with a later confessed realisation that the libretto of his opera THE SAPPHIRE NECKLACE (composed 1862 - 1864), also by Chorley, was unstageable, Sullivan therefore recycled material (possibly and entire act) to create THE MASQUE AT KENILWORTH.
Newspaper reports in 1883 reported that Sullivan was completing an unfinished… Read more
Herr Mogg and his forces have been at it again! Bringing us yet another forgotten gem! Before the war amateur societies throughout the UK occasionally turned their attentions to a comic opera, THE BIRDSELLER, still known to many of us today as DER VOGELHANDLER, Carl Zeller's most famous operetta and one which still occupies a very active place on stages throughout the German speaking world. But of the same composer's DER OBERSTEIGER little was known, apart from the aria 'Don't be cross', sung by countless sopranos over the years, despite the fact that in the opera it is sung by the hero (a tenor) as part of the Act Two finale.
DER OBERSTEIGER is no second DER VOGELHANDLER,… Read more