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Gilbert & Sullivan: Motley Pair

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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(Nov 08, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

This DVD includes the first authoritative series about Gilbert & Sullivan ever made for DVD. Written by Simon Butteriss, the world's leading Gilbert & Sullivan "patterman" and a leading authority on the subject, the project is filmed in high definition wi

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Capriol Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B004AE3GO4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,060 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Laird M. Wilcox on October 28, 2012
Even if you know a lot about Gilbert & Sullivan you'll find things here that are new to you and if you're looking for an introduction it's very useful for that as well. The news of a G&S renaissance in the UK is good to know about and the enthusiasm shown by young players in schools is gratifying as well, particularly the Cambridge University Gilbert & Sullivan Society. Several of the individual operas are discussed in modest detail and the section on The Gondoliers was very good.

Of particular interest are pieces from the operas themselves, many of them including Simon Butteress, the primary narrator of this production. Extraordinarily knowledgeable about the subject matter, Buttress speaks in a fast-paced manner that conveys as much. On the other hand conservatives might be put off with his search for sexual innuendo and his reference to "gay" themes he claims are in some of the operas.

I would have liked to see more history and less opinion, particularly the rant by Germaine Greer, the notorious feminist scold, who suggests "racist right-wing" motives in people who enjoy the G&S genre. How she could figure in any discussion of this subject is beyond me but she was taken seriously nevertheless. Sir Jonathan Miller was likewise dismissive for political reasons, comparing the operas to the United Kingdom Independence Party!

Neither of them appears to get that what they were complaining of was Victorianism, or rather a stereotype of it, and not Gilbert & Sullivan's witty parody of Victorian institutions. In point of fact, G&S were consistently liberal in their burlesque of British institutions as well as a satire of grand opera, and wildly popular for that reason not only in the UK but throughout the English-speaking world.
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