The Grand Duke
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First complete CD recording of the final Gilbert & Sullivan romantic comic operetta.

Here we have the first complete CD recording of the final Gilbert and Sullivan romantic comic operetta written in 1896, set in the imaginary land of Pfennig-Halbpfennig. It was recorded at the Ohio Light Opera Company's 25th anniversary season in 2003. After Utopia Unlimited (1893), Gilbert and Sullivan collaborated -- briefly and unsuccessfully -- with other partners. D'Oyly Carte brought the two together again in 1895, when they began work on what would be their 14th and final light opera. With an unintended symbolism, The Grand Duke brought their joint careers full circle: many of the ingredients of this plot echoed those of their first collaborative efforts of more than twenty years earlier. When The Grand Duke opened at the Savoy Theater on March 7, 1896, the reviews ranged from enthusiastic to disappointed. It ran for 123 performances, not a success by G & S standards, and was never again performed professionally in England until D'Oyly Carte presented a concert version in 1975, with a recording of only Sullivan's music (omitting Gilbert's extensive, but very entertaining, dialogue). After the premiere, Sullivan wrote a friend: "Why reproach me? I didn't write the book...another week's rehearsal with W.S.G. and I should have gone raving mad." Of the work itself, librettist Gilbert complained: "I am not a proud mother, and I never want to see the misshapen little brat again." Their well-documented dysfunctional relationship aside, The Grand Duke contains much hilarious material and charming music. It is great to have it here in its first complete CD recording with all the delightful dialogue included.
Contents:
Gilbert & Sullivan, composers
The Grand Duke
Cast, Chorus & Orchestra of Ohio Light Opera, J. Lynn Thompson, conductor

Review:
Review to come.
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