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Raymond J Walker
, December 2019

There’s a freshness to Cellier’s lush melody lines, with vivacious singing and superb diction by young professional singers under the baton of world class conductor, Richard Bonynge. © 2019 MusicWeb International

Opera, July 2019

Presented by Naxos with full notes and synopsis, Dorothy offers the teasing pleasures of a soft sherbet fountain rather than anything more intoxicating, all hail Victorian Opera for reviving this gentle blast from England’s musical past. © 2019 Opera

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, July 2019

This is the opera’s premiere recording. It is presented in a “performing edition” by Bonynge…

…It will charm and entertain traditional Savoyards. This recording makes a reasonably strong case for it. How wonderful it would have been, though, if the D’Oyly Carte ensemble had recorded it as an outside-of-the-box side project in the 1960s! © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review, April 2019

The recording of Dorothy is nicely sung, and Richard Bonynge, a longtime advocate of less-known music, conducts as befits a man who has turned up some real gems. But Dorothy is at best semi-precious. Perhaps Bunthorne, again, got it right in figuring out why Cellier’s work was so tremendously popular in its time: “It’s his confounded mildness.” © 2019 Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, April 2019


Majella Cullagh leads in the title role and the other parts are also taken with skill and a sense of style, while Bonynge conducts with vivacity. © 2019 BBC Music Magazine

Richard Bratby
Gramophone, April 2019

…this premiere recording fills a genuine gap.

Cellier does a nice line in lilting ballads and waltz-songs; and, with Richard Bonynge at the helm of an orchestra that would have done any Victorian theatre proud, we can enjoy both the graceful swing of Cellier’s melodies and his luminous little touches of colour… Cast and chorus sound fresh, and there isn’t an unenjoyable voice here. © 2019 Gramophone

Christie Grimstad, March 2019


Removing all the dialogue (in this recording) truly shows how lovely the music by Alfred Cellier comes across to the listener: it doesn’t take a whole lot mental concentration, and the melodious compilation is gratifyingly superb. The “ballet” and “Dance of the Peasants” sheens with innocent brightness. Richard Bonynge is the perfect answer to addressing this relatively unknown work, and it comes across as a gracious understatement.

Dorothy has a congenial appeal. It will certainly captivate those whose affections trend toward the D’Oyly Carte golden era. © 2019 Read complete review

Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, March 2019

Richard Bonynge who has provided us with some considerable enlightenment in the field of nineteenth century music over the decades. He is supported here by an admirable cast of young singers, as well as Majella Cullagh whose contributions to the field of operatic rediscovery over the years has bid fair to rival that of Bonynge himself. The Victorian Opera chorus is drawn from students at the Royal Northern College of Music…

Our thanks are due to Richard Bonynge and the Victorian Opera for so successfully supplying a recording to fulfil that demand. The time is surely right for listeners to put aside their prejudices, and allow themselves to enjoy a work which still has the power to charm and delight after a century of neglect. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Opera Now, February 2019

Conducted by Richard Bonynge with efficiency… and neatly performed by a generally young cast. © 2019 Opera Now

James Manheim, February 2019

…The Victorian Opera Orchestra & Chorus, under the direction of the nearly nonagenarian Richard Bonynge, have done a great service here. …Strong performers would put the work across, and it receives excellent ones here, most notably from the sparkling and unerringly humorous Irish soprano Majella Cullagh in the lead role. Recommended. © 2019 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2019

Alfred Cellier’s pastoral comedy, Dorothy, was more popular than Gilbert & Sullivan’s operettas, box office profits so large it built London’s Lyric Theatre. We were in the Victorian era, its first performance given in London’s Gaiety Theatre in 1886, but then moved to the more imposing Prince of Wales Theatre where it enjoyed 931 performances. Nowadays never staged, and it is the initiative of the octogenarian conductor, Richard Bonynge, who has made this new performing version. I presume it originally had linking narrative, and the seventy minutes we have in this new release is the complete music of the original score. The story is slight, and, as was usual in operetta of the era, it largely depends on mistaken identity and the equally fashionable idea of the wealthy dressing up as locals. Naturally all is revealed and exposed in the final scene with the couples pledging their troth. There are arias, ensembles and music for dancing, a little drama added in the second of the three acts, and it is certainly tuneful and falls easily on the ear. The major character of Dorothy, the daughter of Sir John Bantam, is taken by the much experienced Irish soprano, Majella Cullagh, the remaining members of the cast formed from young opera singers who have graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. I would particularly draw your attention to two lyric tenors, Matt Mears, in the leading male part of Geoffrey Wilder, and Michael Vincent Jones as Lurcher, the cause of all the trouble. Both could have fine careers awaiting them. The enclosed booklet would indicate that the chorus and orchestra has also formed from RNCM postgraduates, while the recording comes from sessions in the college theatre and is of very good quality. For those who enjoy Gilbert & Sullivan, this is a real discovery. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

Records International, January 2019

We just had Cellier’s partnership with W.S. Gilbert a few months ago on Dutton and now we get this rural tale of disguise and romantic scheming from 1886, full of jaunty tunes, lively characters and farcical comedy. Dorothy had the longest run of any 19th-century piece of musical theatre (931 performances), seeing off The Mikado and Ruddigore, and became such a popular hit in its day that the box office profits were able to fund the building of the Lyric Theatre on London’s Shaftsbury Avenue. Libretto available online. © 2019 Records International

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