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Gilbert & Sullivan - Iolanthe [1982] [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

Price: £39.98
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Actors: Derek Hammond-Stroud, Richard Van Allan, Beverley Mills, Anne Collins, Alexander Oliver
  • Directors: Dave Heather
  • Producers: George Walker, Edward Simons, Judith De Paul
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002NZF2WG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,845 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Starring Alexander Oliver, Thomas Hemsley, and Kate Flowers. London Symphony Orchestra and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus. 115 minutes.

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 21 Jun. 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I sometimes think that when these operettas are translated from stage to screen, it is difficult to obtain the correct balance without losing the overall effect of these wonderful operas. However, in this case, I think the balance is right - special effects such as Iolanthe rising from her watery sojourn are good, and the little bits of 'business' so loved by G&S fans is not over the top. The fairies with their wings out to dry and the one who always seems to struggle to keep up with the others add light-hearted moments. Derek Hammond-Stroud performs well as the Lord Chancellor with a creditable rendering of the nightmare song, and Anne Collins is superb as the Queen of the Fairies. All the other principals clearly enjoy their roles with strong singing; altogether, a most pleasant production of this lovely opera.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this when it was screened on the BBC in the early 1980s. It was my first experience of Gilbert and Sullivan after the Mikado and it quickly overtook it as my favourite. I watched it because the lady who lived in the flat upstairs from my brother was a member of D'oyly Carte and so I knew all about their troubles. I probably felt that I was watching it out of support for them as I was a bit of a rock chick back then.

Some of the choreography is a little clumsy (and I'm not talking about the fairy in the opening song - she's deliberate), the blue-screening is obvious, but this was 1982. I've always remembered that gorgeous teddy bear in Lord's robes, and having just seen it again, I still want it.

Purists may not like this version, but to me that's the same as not daring to laugh at Shakespeare's comedies - and that's another story entirely. The most surprising fact is that, despite it being the D'oyly Carte and the London Philamonic Orchgestra, this DVD is not available in the UK. It seems to me, in this case at least, America is taking better care of our culture than we are!

Iolanthe has an incredible sense of fun so watch it, especially if you never thought the victorians had a sense of humour. The introduction was interesting and useful, as was the potted biography of G & S themselves. To top it all, Iolanthe was first performed on my birthday (the date - not the year!) so maybe this is why I feel such an affinity for it!
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It is probably best to regard this DVD as a CD; the dialogue, pictures and an introduction by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. should be viewed as merely incidental to the music.
Played through an amplifier with good loudspeakers the singing, music and sound quality are good and the equal of any other production. In fact I prefer this version to the D’Oyly Carte recording I have on vinyl. With regard to the audio the years have not been unkind.
The same cannot be said of the visuals. The recording was made when TV screens were square and small. The deficiencies of the picture become apparent on a large wide-screen TV.
The introduction by Douglas Fairbanks does not bear repetition, so a fast forward is useful; alternatively his monologue could have been included in the libretto that accompanied the DVD.
The producer did not take full advantage of the freedom from the constraints of a stage and the production remains more static than necessary. Some of the acting would not be acceptable in a small village AmDram production so again a fast forward is useful.
These deficiencies aside this DVD is probably one of the best available and should not detract from the excellent vocal and orchestral performance.
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Format: DVD
A very good production; entertaining, with some unusual choreography and stage sets. I was delighted that they had kept to the original libretto, though - this is one operatta that does not need 'updating'!
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