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D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

Gilbert & Sullivan: The Sorcerer; Utopia Limited - (excerpts) (2CD)

Bookends from the most successful partnership in the history of English light opera, in newly remastered Decca recordings.

As the first full-length operatic collaboration between W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, The Sorcerer has never achieved the popularity of its immediate successor, H.M.S. Pinafore, yet there is much to enjoy in this satire (more gentle than in later works) on Victorian-era English country manners and the obsession with matters supernatural which held much of middle-class England in its thrall at the time.

Indeed, at the time of this, its first complete recording made in 1953, The Sorcerer had been out of the repertoire of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company since before the Second World War and would remain under wraps until 1971.

By the time of Utopia Limited in 1893, Gilbert and Sullivan were nearing the end of their hugely successful but often acrimonious partnership. Although the operetta ran for 245 performances, it never entered the repertory of the D’Oyly Carte company and, indeed, had to wait until 1975 for its first complete recording. Until then, the curiosity of aficionados had to be satisfied with this set of excerpts, recorded in August 1963 and first issued as a filler to the company’s 1964 LP of Trial by Jury.

The Sorcerer

D’Oyly Carte Opera Company
New Symphony Orchestra
Isidore Godfrey

Utopia Limited (excerpts)
D’Oyly Carte Opera Company
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Isidore Godfrey