Gilbert and Sullivan, librettist and composer, were classically Victorian gentlemen whose comic operas for the Savoy Theater under impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte have endured down to the present day despite the disappearance of the British imperial world which they lampooned. Theirs was a happy combination of Sullivan's cheerily catchy tunes and Gilbert's witty lyrics which captured the comedy of universal human nature. Ian Bradley, annotator of an earlier Gilbert and Sullivan collection, completes and updates the record with the inclusion here of the last collaborations of the two, and new introductions to the operettas that reflect modern interpretations.
From Library Journal
Lovers of Gilbert and Sullivan will be in heaven with the publication of these two books, which nicely complement each other. Stedman (English, Roosevelt Univ., Chicago) offers an outstanding study of this playwright and his often overlooked works, with much of its value deriving from its study of Gilbert without Sullivan. The author is a recognized expert on Gilbert as well as the Victorian time period, and she shows him to be a complex and interesting man who often found himself at odds with his time. Stedman highlights his contribution to Victorian theater as a forerunner of Wilde and Shaw. She also exposes some of the myths about Gilbert (and his relationship with Sullivan) that have been perpetrated by earlier writers. The index and bibliography are excellent. The annotated collection serves a dual purpose: Readers can now sing along with any Gilbert and Sullivan song and know all the words, and they will understand everything the song was meant to convey. This volume combines two previously published paperbacks from Penguin and adds the libretti to The Grand Duke and Utopia Limited. All notes are on the left page, and the actual song texts (complete with stage directions) are on the facing right page. There are also new introductions to each opera, a new introduction to the volume, and corrections to the original text. Print and text layout are very good. Both titles are recommended for public and academic libraries, as well as libraries with theater holdings.?Susan L. Peters, Emory Univ., Atlanta, Ga.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.