Gilbert and Sullivan for All

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Gilbert and Sullivan for All was a touring concert and opera company, formed in 1963 by D'Oyly Carte Opera Company performers Thomas Round and Donald Adams and former director Norman Meadmore, and which exclusively performed the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, usually in concert, but sometimes giving full productions. They also recorded most of the Savoy operas both on video and audio. They continued to tour into the 1980s, occasionally reuniting for performances thereafter.

Description[edit]

Gilbert and Sullivan For All gave concert performances of highlights from the Savoy operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, and sometimes full productions of the operas, throughout Britain and made several world tours to North America, Australasia, and the Far East.[1]

By 1963, Round had left the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and, together with Adams and Meadmore (a former director of D'Oyly Carte), formed the group.[2][3] Gilbert and Sullivan for All, usually composed of five or six singers and a pianist, would perform on nights when D'Oyly Carte was playing The Gondoliers, since Adams was not engaged by D'Oyly Carte to play in that opera. In the early years, the pianist was often the former D'Oyly Carte assistant musical director, William Cox-Ife.[4] In 1969 Adams left the D'Oyly Carte Company, and he joined Gilbert and Sullivan for All full time. The group's repertory included highlights from Cox and Box, Trial by Jury, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, The Mikado, Ruddigore, The Yeomen of the Guard, and The Gondoliers.[5] Round, and sometimes Adams, acted as director for the company. Meadmore acted as producer.[6]

In 1972, the group recorded staged and costumed abridged productions of these nine operas, both on video and for audio recordings. The soprano roles were split between former D'Oyly Carte artists Valerie Masterson and Gillian Humphreys, and all included Round and Adams. Introductions and linking narration were included and later re-recorded by Round.[1] In A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography, Marc Shepherd writes, "The productions, despite being heavily abridged, are beautifully costumed and staged. Business and blocking are in the traditional manner, but do not slavishly reproduce D'Oyly Carte stagings.... These films provide rare glimpses of many former D'Oyly Carte stars."[1] Peter Murray, another former assistant D'Oyly Carte musical director, who had become the group's regular touring pianist around 1970, conducted the orchestra, except for Cox and Box, which they performed with piano accompaniment.[5][7] Other former members of D'Oyly Carte who appeared with Gilbert and Sullivan for All, include Gillian Knight, Ann Hood, John Cartier,[8] Thomas Lawlor,[9] Pauline Wales,[10] and Geoffrey Shovelton.[11]

During their Gilbert and Sullivan for All years, Round and Adams also appeared on tour as Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert, respectively, in Tarantara! Tarantara!, Ian Taylor's musical about the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership. Gilbert and Sullivan for All remained active throughout the early 1980s, until Adams's growing career as an operatic singer and Round's increasing age forced it to close. They occasionally reunited for concert performances thereafter.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Shepherd, Marc. "The G&S For All Films", A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography
  2. ^ a b Stone, David. Donald Adams, Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company; Thomas Round, Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
  3. ^ Norman Meadmore was a former opera singer who had served as a stage director for the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and founder of the London Savoyards; see also London Palladium theatre programme, April 1985, London Savoyards' centenary Mikado produced by Meadmore with a feature about Meadmore. Meadmore's son is Robert Meadmore.
  4. ^ Cox-Ife died in a plane crash in 1968 on his way to one of the company's concerts. See Stone, David. "William Cox-Ife (a.m.d., 1950–61)", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, 27 August 2001, accessed 12 March 2014
  5. ^ a b Shepherd, Marc. "The Gilbert and Sullivan for All recordings", A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography
  6. ^ "Gilbert and Sullivan Favourites", The Glasgow Herald, 9 December 1964, p. 10
  7. ^ Stone, David. "Peter Murray", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, 12 May 2003, accessed 12 March 2014
  8. ^ Stone, David. "John Cartier". Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, 27 August 2001, accessed 12 March 2014
  9. ^ Stone, David. Thomas Lawlor. Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, 27 August 2001, accessed 12 March 2014
  10. ^ Stone, David. "Pauline Wales", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, 22 December 2003, accessed 12 March 2014
  11. ^ Stone, David. "Geoffrey Shovelton", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, 7 September 2003, accessed 12 March 2014

External links[edit]

  • Round, Thomas (2002). A Wand'ring Minstrel, I. Lancaster, UK: Carnegie Publishing.  Autobiography.