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Reviews: D'Oyly Carte: The last Night.,

The MHS Review 384 VOL. 11, NO. 6 • 1987

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Barbara Kinsey Sable, "Disc Discussion" The NATS Bulletin (May/June 1987)


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The final night of D'Oyly Carte! The final night of a tradition and a joy for over 100 years. It seems odd that this should occur at a time when Gilbert-and-Sullivan is so alive and well in the USA. Odd and a shame to lose the parent company that can add so much to the learning experience of young singers and actors. Here is some of that experience in recorded form at least. The quality of the voice production is strik­ing on this last night, hooty altos are non­existent, there are lovely high sopranos, and there are basses who sing and also pro­nounce well. Above all, there are singing actors whose sense of timing has done so much to make these operettas marvelous experiences for the enjoyment of both musical and verbal sound. The final night is an evening of excerpts from the works, a compilation of some of the best known and a few not so well known. Mainly it is a compilation of style, and as such it becomes enormously helpful as a teaching tool for many things: of course, the G & S style, itself, a study of timing, a study of singing in musical theater, and a study of diction. The singing of performers such as Jill Washington and Peter Lyon reminds one of how nice it is to hear good mature voices on this material.

So here they come, for the last time; what a pity! "Shall I fly at them? Shall I rend the economics of it all asunder?" Ah well, "Basingstoke, it is."

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