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FULL The Sorcerer and Trial by Jury (Gilbert&Sullivan) Simsbury CT 2003 Simsbury Light Opera Company SLOCO

Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO          Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Kory Loucks  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 3 Audio:3
  • Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs, gensubs  
  • Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE

The Sorcerer is a two-act comic opera, with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan. It was the British duo’s third operatic collaboration. The plot of The Sorcerer is based on a Christmas story, An Elixir of Love, that Gilbert wrote for The Graphic magazine in 1876. A young man, Alexis, is obsessed with the idea of love levelling all ranks and social distinctions. To promote his beliefs, he invites the proprietor of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers, to brew a love potion. This causes everyone in the village to fall in love with the first person they see and results in the pairing of comically mismatched couples. In the end, Wells must sacrifice his life to break the spell.

The opera opened on 17 November 1877 at the Opera Comique in London, where it ran for 178 performances. It was considered a success by the standards of that time and encouraged the collaborators to write their next opera, H.M.S. Pinafore. The Sorcerer was revised for an 1884 revival, and that version is usually performed today. The Sorcerer was the first Savoy opera for which the author and composer had nearly total control over the production and the selection of cast. Several of the actors chosen went on to create principal roles in most of the later Gilbert and Sullivan operas. It was their first opera to use all the major character types and typical range of songs that would appear in their later collaborations, such as comic duets, a patter song, a contrapuntal double chorus, a tenor and soprano love duet, a soprano showpiece and so forth.

The modest success of The Sorcerer was overshadowed by the extraordinary popularity of Gilbert and Sullivan’s later collaborations, and the opera remains one of the team’s less popular ones. The satire in the piece concerns Victorian-era class distinctions and operatic conventions with which modern audiences are less familiar. Nevertheless, the opera was important to the development of the Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration and is still regularly played.

Trial by Jury is a comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was first produced on 25 March 1875, at London’s Royalty Theatre, where it initially ran for 131 performances and was considered a hit, receiving critical praise and outrunning its popular companion piece, Jacques Offenbach’s La Périchole. The story concerns a “breach of promise of marriage” lawsuit in which the judge and legal system are the objects of lighthearted satire. Gilbert based the libretto of Trial by Jury on an operetta parody that he had written in 1868.

The opera premiered more than three years after Gilbert and Sullivan’s only previous collaboration, Thespis, an 1871–72 Christmas season entertainment. In the intervening years, both the author and the composer were busy with separate projects. Beginning in 1873, Gilbert tried several times to get the opera produced before the impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte suggested that he collaborate on it with Sullivan. Sullivan was pleased with the piece and promptly wrote the music.

 

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