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8.110785-86 - SULLIVAN: Sorcerer (The) (D'Oyly Carte) (1953)

William Schwenk Gilbert (1836-1911) and Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900)
The Sorcerer

Chronologically the second of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, if we count Trial By Jury as their first, The Sorcerer opened at the Opera Comique in London on 17th November 1877 to a successful initial run of 178 performances. The first full-length G & S comedy, it was sequentially their third collaboration, the two-act Thespis, or the Gods Grown Old, (Gaiety Theatre, 1871) having been their earliest. Produced on commission by impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, who had also staged Trial By Jury, and billed as an ‘entirely New and Original Modern Comic Opera’, it was cast in the rather tame, German Reed-esque style of English opera typical of its time, in contrast to the more extrovert opéra-bouffe also currently in vogue. Like its predecessor its plot was derived from a story by Gilbert, which had previously appeared in Graphic Magazine, this latest specifically in its Christmas number of December 1876.

Peter Dempsey

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