Iolanthe
HOME
PUBLICATIONS A-Z
THESPIS
TRIAL BY JURY
SORCERER
H.M.S. PINAFORE
PIRATES OF PENZANCE
PATIENCE
IOLANTHE
PRINCESS IDA
MIKADO
RUDDIGORE
YEOMEN OF THE GUARD
GONDOLIERS
UTOPIA, LIMITED
GRAND DUKE
OTHER WORKS
PEOPLE


 


Review transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 24 March 2005 [unfinished!]
 
MESSRS. GILBERT AND SULLIVAN'S NEW OPERA "IOLANTHE."
The Daily Chronicle and Clerkenwell News 1882 November 27 6452: 6, col. 3 [Unsigned review]

     The author and the composer of "Iolanthe; or the Peer and the Peri," can have had no reason to be dissatisfied with the welcome accorded to their joint production by a densely crowded audience at the Savoy Theatre on Saturday evening. Encores of several of the lengthier pieces were insisted upon, even thoug hthe hour was far advanced; and when Messrs. Gilbert, Sullivan, and Carte responded to the call at the conclusion of the opera, the demonstrations of spontaneous approval were as pronounced as we remember on any previous occasion.

[...]
The stage "business" may and doubtless will at several places be made brisker, and then "Iolanthe" perhaps will not appear so wanting in fullness. As it happens, Mr. Arthur Sullivan's share of the work is strongest just where Mr. Gilbert's is weakest - the second act. Both composer and author, however, so completely subordinate their individual labours to the general effect that it is more convenient to deal with the music as it arises from the dramatic situation.

[...]

It is in the second act, as already intimated, that the story needs fibre and muscle. The author has made fair use of Strephon's half-immortal, half mortal existence, and the peculiar difficulties of the Lord CHancellor, and it transpires that he has not much more to tell us. The audience now find themselves outside Palace-yard during an "all-night" debate in the Commons. Private Willis, a sentry who has not before been seen in the opera and who, if we may be permitted the suggestion, might have had more to do, particulatly as his exponent (Mr. Charles Manners) is a good singer, has a humorous song in stately measure with the refrain expressive of his astonishment that "Every boy and every gal, That's born into the world alive, Is either a little Liberal, or else a little Conservative." In this song another of the chief successes of the opera will prabably be found. 

[...]

whilst the Fairy Queen betrays a strong partiality for the humble sentry. The song in which the latter speaks of her controlled affection brightens the action considerably. Much the same may be said of a quartet for Lords Tololler and Mountararat (who cannot decide which is to have the bride), Phyllis and Willis; of the Lord Chancellor's patter song, descriptive of the mental conflict he endures, and of a trio with dance for the two Lords with the Chancellor, "If you go in," quite in the most melodious "Patience" vein; but not of Strephon's song, "Fold your flapping wings."

[...]
 
 


Questions / Comments about the site?  Contact Helga Perry