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Utopia Limited Import


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Audio CD, Import, March 3, 2003
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$45.17 $29.99

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Decca Import
  • ASIN: B00008LJEZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Imperial March
2. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. Introduction
3. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. In lazy languor
4. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. O make way for the wise men!
5. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. In every mental lore
6. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. Let all your doubts take wing
7. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. Quaff the nectar
8. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. A king of autocratic power we
9. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. Altho' of native maids the cream
10. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 1. Bold-fac'd ranger
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. Oh, Zara... A tenor, all singers above
2. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. Words of love too loudly spoken
3. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. Society has quite forsaken all
4. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. Entrance of the Court
5. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. Drawing-room music
6. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. This ceremonial our wish displays... Eagle high on cloudland soaring
7. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. With fury deep we burn
8. Utopia Limited (The Flowers of Progress), operetta: Act 2. If you think that when banded in unity
9. Macbeth, incidental music: Overture
10. Victoria and Merrie England, suite from the ballet
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aronne VINE VOICE on January 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Just because I believe Utopia is probably the 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Gerard on December 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"Utopia" followed "The Gondoliers" at an interval of two years - the long standing friendship of Gilbert and Sullivan had soured in the interval, and their working relationship was far less harmonious than it had been for their earlier work. Most casual references to this operetta in fact lump it in with "The Grand Duke" and write it off as a flop.

In fact it wasn't a flop at all - by the standards of the time it was actually a hit, although it was less profitable than most of the earlier Gilbert and Sullivan works, among other reasons because it it proved very expensive to stage. Ever since, it has been sadly neglected.

One reason might be that it was probably the most topical of all Gilbert's operetta "books". There were two news items that Gilbert had almost certainly had in mind. One was the appearance of a best-selling book called "The English Governess at the Siamese Court" - based on the experiences of Anna Leonowens. This story was to resurface on the musical stage many years later, in "The King and I". The other event was the appearance of Princess Kaiulani - the daughter of the King of Hawaii (which was still independent)- at an exclusive private girls' school in England.

Utopia is an imaginary South Pacific Island that is adopting English customs and institutions. Gilbert pokes fun, not only at the idea of "globalisation" (he doesn't call it that of course, but that is what it is!) but almost every English institution he can think of, including the concept of "limited liability". He even takes a sly swipe at the Royal family; the then Prince of Wales - later Edward VII - was the subject of a good deal of scandal.

It is all very funny, at the least well up to Gilbert's usual standards.
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By chill13 on December 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had heard that Utopia Limited was one of Gilbert and Sullivan's faliures. This is anything but a failure!!! Sullivan's catchy music and Gilbert's witty lyrics are every bit as good as any of their other plays. King Paramount has an awesome voice and is such a sweet guy that you can't help but love him. John Reed makes a HILARIOUS Scaphio! He has added so much personality to the character you can just see the sneaky old geezer. His 'BAH' is enough to make anyone laugh. Princess Zara has as such a pretty voice that matches perfectly with Capt. Fitzbattlaxe. Both even exceed the leading couples of previous Doyle Carte's recordings. I personally didn't care too much for Lady Sophy's voice. It seemed a little grating.

"First You're Born" is such a peppy song and so well sung and played, I swear it will be stuck in your head forever. I could go on and on about all the great songs on this CD. But you don't want to hear me ramble. But I definately recomend this. I know I'm going to listen to it again and again. This is something any Gilbert and Sulivan fan can't live without!
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