By Arthur Sullivan, W. S. Gilbert, Ian Bradley
The comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan are a performing arts phenomenon. Wildly popular when first produced, they are if anything even more popular today. The Savoy Operas are available on records and compact discs, on audio and video tapes, on television, film, and radio, as well as through the more traditional medium of stage performances by both amateur and professional companies. Indeed, the works of Gilbert and Sullivan are produced more frequently than the plays of Rodgers and Hammerstein or any other musical partnership. The Complete Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan provides the complete text of all thirteen Gilbert and Sullivan operas still performed today, from Trial by Jury and The Sorcerer to Utopia Unlimited and The Grand Duke, and including all their greatest triumphs--H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado. No other book provides such extensive commentary on the texts of the Savoy Operas. Each work is thoroughly annotated, with the text, including stage directions, given on the right-hand page, and the notes on the left (keyed by line numbers). The annotations provide a wealth of information--everything from the identity of real-life people mentioned in the opera, to clear explanations of obscure words and phrases (such as legal terms) and other literary references, to comments from first-night critics, and much more. In addition, Bradley has written a marvelously informative introduction to the book as well as superb introductions to each piece, describing the genesis of the work, its performance history, and other fascinating tidbits (for instance, Sullivan wrote the music for H.M.S. Pinafore while wracked with pain from a kidney stone, and he wrote the score of The Pirates of Penzance while living at 45 East 20th Street, in New York City). A goldmine of information on the most popular light operas in the repertoire, The Complete Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan will delight the hearts of Savoyards everywhere.