Home Theatre Musical favourites on the twenty ninth Worldwide Gilbert & Sullivan Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Musical favourites on the twenty ninth Worldwide Gilbert & Sullivan Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide

Musical favourites on the twenty ninth Worldwide Gilbert & Sullivan Competition – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United KingdomUnited Kingdom The twenty ninth Worldwide Gilbert & Sullivan Competition [3] – The Better of Gilbert & Sullivan Live performance: Simon Butteriss (narrator and baritone), Gaynor Keeble (mezzo-soprano), Phoebe Smith (soprano), Jack Roberts (tenor), Matthew Siveter (baritone), Nationwide Competition Orchestra / Murray Hipkin (conductor). Opera Home, Buxton, 4.8.2023. (RJW)

The Better of Gilbert & Sullivan: (l-r) Jack Roberts, Phoebe Smith, Simon Butteriss, Gaynor Keeble and Matthew Siveter © Jane Stokes

Infrequently, through the years the Competition has been working, we’re supplied with a possibility to see the great Competition Orchestra as they are surely and never hidden within the theatre pit all night. Some years again they offered the extra obscure of Sullivan items, however this yr they devoted the night to the chestnuts of the Savoy operas. Murray Hipkin performed with confidence and good tempi.

5 soloists of the Nationwide Gilbert & Sullivan Firm stuffed the night with a kaleidoscope of numbers from the favored operas and the orchestra added an overture interlude. The standard of musicianship from this medium-sized orchestra is excellent — by no means a late entry or unsuitable notice has been heard in all of the years of attending the Competition, now in its thirtieth yr.

The intense opening by Jack Roberts and Matthew Siveter as republican kings gave an lively efficiency of ‘We’re known as Gondolieri’. The quartet, ‘Brightly dawns our Marriage ceremony Day’ was pleasant with a superb stability of voices. Excellent was Phoebe Smith’s rendering of ‘Poor Wandering One’ along with her addition of a really excessive cadence on the shut of the aria.

The Fairy Queen’s aria, with its contact of dry humour about Captain Shaw, was boldly sung by Gaynor Keeble. It was notably charming and sensitively accompanied. Phoebe Smith gave a strong rendering of Princess Ida’s exalting aria of homage to Minerva, ‘O goddess smart’, in Act II. Likewise, Dr Daly’s aria from The Sorcerer was elegantly sung with crisp diction by Matthew Siveter to Sullivan’s serene setting. Simon Butteriss and Siveter added amusement once they had the viewers consuming out of their hand when requested to affix in as a refrain.

In distinction to the respectful, silent auditorium skilled within the earlier manufacturing of The Pirates of Penzance (assessment right here) we grew to become conscious of wierd murmurs sometimes as sure members of the viewers wished their neighbour to know they knew the music; no foot-tapping fortunately, however irritating buzzing all the identical. Maybe the request to ensure mobiles have been turned off must be prolonged in theatres.

The night was effectively deliberate with glorious narration linking the operas by Simon Butteriss who defined the background between the operas and recalled some very attention-grabbing anecdotes that supporters of G&S all the time love to listen to. His patter songs have been faultless and I notably preferred his fast-paced ‘My title is John Wellington Wells’. The slick stage enterprise loved in The Yeomen of the Guard’s ‘Inform a story of Cock and Bull’ was a superb thought. One other good contact was the backdrop of a myriad of stars on the cyclorama that colour-changed to match the temper of the merchandise being sung.

Raymond J Walker



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