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  • Gilbert & Sullivan: Utopia Limited / Sullivan: Macbeth Overture, Victoria and Merry England Suite, Marmion Overture
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Gilbert & Sullivan: Utopia Limited / Sullivan: Macbeth Overture, Victoria and Merry England Suite, Marmion Overture Import


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Audio CD, Import, August 10, 1993
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 10, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: London
  • ASIN: B00000E55E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,212 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Utopia, Limited; or, The Flowers of Progress, is a Savoy Opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was the second-to-last of Gilbert and Sullivan's fourteen collaborations, premiering on 7 October 1893 for a run of 245 performances. It was the longest-running production to premiere at the Savoy Theatre in the 1890s.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aronne VINE VOICE on January 31, 2009
Just because I believe Utopia is the probably worst of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas does not mean that I do not like it. I love it! It just isn't as great as, say, Ruddigore or Patience. "Bold fac'd ranger" is among the greatest contralto songs of the canon.

Overall, this recording is adequate, the sound being only so-so. While better than The Zoo's recorded quality, it doesn't come up to the standard of the 1960 sets. It is too bright and lacks atmosphere.

John Reed and John Alydon make a fine pair of villains as Scaphio and Phantis respectfully, even if Reed has a tendency to be more abrasive than usual. The singing of the Flowers of Progress is variable. Most do well enough, even if Colin Wright and James Conroy-Ward have odd voices.

Lyndsie Holland has an uncomfortable higher range. I don't know if this is because of the recording or what, but it somewhat mars her duets with Kenneth Sandford as Paramount. Sandford, though definitely past his prime, still acquits himself well as King Paramount. "Society has quite forsaken" is very successful, even if Sandford doesn't always seem comfortable with his E's.

Pamela Field as Zara is excellent, matched well by Meston Reid as Captain Fitzbattleaxe. The former is one of the few D'Oyly Carte sopranos whose voice resembled Valerie Masterson, the latter one of the most interesting D'Oyly Carte tenors to appear on record. The balance tends to favor him for some inexplicable reason: this would be unforgivable except that he sings Fitzbattleaxe very well.

All is not well in "Eagle high." The balance of the recording is messed up or something. The acoustics seem cramped and stuffy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brett Farrell VINE VOICE on March 24, 2003
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This isn't my favorite G&S opera but it's still a great opera all the same. There are quite a few remarkably catchy and beautiful songs on here and there isn't a single bad song. It was well worth the wait to own and any true G&S fan will love it and should own it.
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I would give this five stars if I liked the show itself bette; but UTOPIA, LIMITED is my least favorite G&S. Somehow, it seems to me rather lacklustre -- with the glowing exception of the "Minstrel" number, which is electrifying and infectious. (I was lucky enough to be in the Savoy Theatre for the one-night D'Oyly Carte Co. revival, done in Arabian Nights costume and sets; and this recording captures the wild exuberance of "In short, this happy country has been Anglicized completely!") This is an excellent recording, and really belongs in any complete collection; other G&S tastes may rate UTOPIA higher than I do.
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