Portal:Opera/Selected article/9

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The Sorcerer

The Sorcerer is a two-act comic opera, with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan. It opened on November 17, 1877 at the Opera Comique in the Strand in London, where it ran for 178 performances. For the 1884 revival, Gilbert and Sullivan abridged the ending to Act I, and provided a new opening to Act II, and it is in this form that the work is usually presented today. The success of The Sorcerer, although modest, encouraged Carte and the authors to continue their collaboration the following year with H.M.S. Pinafore, the work that established the Gilbert and Sullivan phenomenon that produced one hit after another throughout the 1880s – the series known as the Savoy Operas. The opera was revived in 1884 and again in 1898. In the early years of the 20th century, however, it gradually fell out of favour. Between the mid-1930s and the early 1970s, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company did not perform it at all, and many amateur companies followed suit. A 1971 revival brought new life to the work, and it has now joined the regular rotation of most G&S performing groups.