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The Cambridge Companion to Gilbert and Sullivan

$108.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Companions to Music

David Eden, Meinhard Saremba, William Parry, Benedict Taylor, Richard Silverman, Horst Dölvers, Laura Kasson Fiss, Michael Beckerman, James Brooks Kuykendall, Martin T. Yates, Mike Leigh, Ian Bradley, Stephanie Pitts, Raymond Knapp, Jana Polianovskaia, David Russell Hulme
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  • Date Published: August 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521888493

$ 108.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Memorable melodies and fanciful worlds – the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan remain as popular today as when they were first performed. This Companion provides a timely guide to the history and development of the collaboration between the two men, including a fresh examination of the many myths and half-truths surrounding their relationship. Written by an international team of specialists, the volume features a personal account from film director Mike Leigh on his connection with the Savoy Operas and the creation of his film Topsy-Turvy. Starting with the early history of the operatic stage in Britain, the Companion places the operas in their theatrical and musical context, investigating the amateur performing tradition, providing new perspectives on the famous patter songs and analysing their dramatic and operatic potential. Perfect for enthusiasts, performers and students of Gilbert and Sullivan's enduring work, the book examines their legacy and looks forward to the future.

    • Includes a fascinating contribution by film director Mike Leigh, offering insights into the creation of his film Topsy-Turvy
    • Presents a musical rather than a literary approach, treating Gilbert and Sullivan's works as operas, not as plays with music
    • Ideal for students, performers and enthusiasts alike
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521888493
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 179 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus. 4 tables 19 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface David Eden and Meinhard Saremba
    Part I. Background:
    1. Savoy Opera and its discontents: the theatrical background to a quarrel David Eden
    2. Identity crisis and the search for English opera: the Savoy Theatre in the 1890s William Parry
    3. Resituating Gilbert and Sullivan: the musical and aesthetic context Benedict Taylor
    4. 'We sing as one individual'?: popular misconceptions of 'Gilbert and Sullivan' Meinhard Saremba
    Part II. Focus:
    5. The operas in context: stylistic elements – the Savoy and beyond Richard Silverman
    6. The librettos in context: Gilbert's 'Fables in Song' Horst Dölvers
    7. 'This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter': patter songs and the word-music relationship Laura Kasson Fiss
    8. Standing still and moving forward: The Mikado, Haddon Hall, and concepts of time in the Savoy Operas Michael Beckerman
    9. Musical contexts I: motives and methods in Sullivan's allusions James Brooks Kuykendall
    10. Musical contexts II: characterisation and emotion in the Savoy Operas Martin T. Yates
    Part III. Reception:
    11. Topsy-Turvy: a personal journey Mike Leigh
    12. Amateur tenors and choruses in public: the amateur scene Ian Bradley
    13. Champions and aficionados: amateur and listener experiences of the Savoy Operas in performance Stephanie Pitts
    14. 'How great thy charm, thy sway how excellent!': tracing Gilbert and Sullivan's legacy in the American musical Raymond Knapp
    15. 'See how the Fates their gifts allot': the reception of productions and translations in Continental Europe Jana Polianovskaia
    Part IV. Into the Twenty-First Century:
    16. Adventures in musical detection: scholarship, editions, productions and the future of the Savoy Operas David Russell Hulme
    Appendix 1: Alphabetical list of stage and choral works by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert
    Appendix 2: Modern editions of works by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Opera workshop
  • Editors

    David Eden
    David Eden is a former Chairman of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society and is currently editor of its Magazine.

    Meinhard Saremba
    Meinhard Saremba is a freelance author and broadcaster.


    David Eden, Meinhard Saremba, William Parry, Benedict Taylor, Richard Silverman, Horst Dölvers, Laura Kasson Fiss, Michael Beckerman, James Brooks Kuykendall, Martin T. Yates, Mike Leigh, Ian Bradley, Stephanie Pitts, Raymond Knapp, Jana Polianovskaia, David Russell Hulme

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