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Gilbert & Sullivan: Princess Ida
Arthur Sullivan, J. Lynn Thompson, Ohio Light Opera Orchestra
Gilbert & Sullivan: Princess Ida
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2


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Andrew Greene | Sydney, NSW Australia | 12/14/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The main claim this recording has to fame is its presentation of the dialogue; therefore, it probably can claim to be the first complete recording. However, as in past CD issues, Ohio Light Opera have done it again with a truly dreadful rendition of the spoken words. When will they ever engage a dialogue coach, let alone a dialect coach? Musically, things are only marginally better - the women fairing better than the men, the Hildebrand and the Gama being particularly ghastly. I must say that I quite enjoyed Julie Wright as the Princess even though she really is not in the same league as Elizabeth Harwood on Decca, but nevertheless a very commendable performance of a very difficult role. J. Lynn Thompson as the maestro conducts acceptably but certainly considers an allegretto to be a long way removed from an allegro (the ends of Acts 1 and 3 are notoriously slow). Ohio do splendid work in their choice of repertoire in this genre, but it's time to raise the standard a bit more for even as a document of a live performance, they don't exactly inspire you to get on a plane to see one of their productions. Any one of the D'Oyly Carte recordings is to be preferred to this one, even without dialogue."
Fresh recording of a rarely recorded opera
Jonathan Ichikawa | United States | 01/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This was my first IDA recording and I wasn't disappointed. The music is adequate, if a little less crisp than most professional modern G&S recordings. I don't find the singing in this performance to be significantly below the level of most of that of the Reed-era 1960's D'Oyly Carte, at least as preserved on CD.What makes this Ida stand out particuarly for me is the dialogue; usually I prefer my G&S CD's music-only; CD's are good for music, and I'm inclined to want to skip dialogue tracks. But this Ida is almost enough to make me change my position; the dialogue is delivered in an actual lively way; it's not the Reverand-Lovejoy-style glacial incantation that we so often find in Gilbert & Sullivan. These are people with decent acting skills, reading G&S dialogue as if it's a modern theatrical production. Amazing idea."
Missed opportunities with the "String of Pearls"
David Cellitti | 02/23/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This is the first ever recording of PRINCESS IDA to include the complete dialogue and the first modern recording to include Lady Blanche's song "Come mighty must".Sad to say this is a missed opportunity. Firstly the strong american accent displayed by several of the performers grates badly on the British ear. This is strange as the same company's brilliant recording of UTOPIA LTD does not suffer in this way.Secondly the overall direction, both musical and stage, is somewhat laid back - there is a lack of excitement in most of the musical numbers and the dialogue (although admittedly written in blank verse) is delivered in an unusually stilted style.Worst is the totally missed opportunity to give a 'performance' of Lady Blanche's "Come Mighty Must". The only previous recording of this number was by the legendary Bertha Lewis on the first complete D'Oyly Carte recording made way back in the early twenties and proving, despite all the surface noise, just what an impressive number this can be. Sadly Elaine Fox does not have the depth of voice or the full G & S contralto tone to give this number the power it deserves and she is further hindered by the incredibly slow pace at which the piece is taken.So sad that one of Sullivan's most beautiful scores, the second act of which is often referred to as the "string of pearls" does not receive the performance it deserves here."