Gilbert and Sullivan for All
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 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.
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 making several world tours to North America, Australasia, and the Far East.
By 1963, Round had left the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and, together with Adams and Meadmore, formed the group. 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 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. Round, and sometimes Adams, acted as director for the company.
In 1972, the group recorded staged and costumed abridged productions of these nine operas, both on video and for audio recordings. Four of these starred soprano Valerie Masterson, and all included Round and Adams. Introductions and linking narration were included and later re-recorded by Round. Other former members of the D'Oyly Carte company appeared with Gilbert and Sullivan for All, including Gillian Knight and Ann Hood. 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." Peter Murray, the group's regular touring pianist, conducted the orchestra, except for Cox and Box, which they performed with piano accompaniment.
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.
- Shepherd, Marc. "The G&S For All Films", A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography
- Information from the Robert Meadmore website. 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.
- Shepherd, Marc. "The Gilbert and Sullivan for All recordings", A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography
- Stone, David. Donald Adams, Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
- Stone, David. Thomas Round, Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
- Round, Thomas (2002). A Wand'ring Minstrel, I. Lancaster, UK: Carnegie Publishing. Autobiography.
- Thomas Round at Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte
- Biography of Donald Adams at the Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte website