Songs and Snatches, Gorleston

KEITH CUTLER John Balls and Arthur Barrett, secretary and chairman of Norwich Gilbert and Sullivan Society, explored the chronology of the partnership, playing recorded examples from all the 13 extant operettas.

KEITH CUTLER

John Balls and Arthur Barrett, secretary and chairman of Norwich Gilbert and Sullivan Society, explored the chronology of the partnership, playing recorded examples from all the 13 extant operettas, for Songs and Snatches – part of the St Andrew's Festival, at the Chapter House, Gorleston.

What made the presentation so unusual was the extent and range of their material. Interspersed with familiar recordings of the last 50 years were others by such eminent Savoyards as Leo Sheffield and Sir Henry Lytton, but some went back for almost a century.

We heard Dame Clara Butt singing a verse from The Lost Chord, Richard Temple in 1903 singing I Am A Pirate King and Walter Passmore in 1900 in The Sorcerer's Song. The presenters had brought with them an enamel teapot with which George Grossmith had cavorted on the stage of the Opera Comique in 1877 in the role of The Sorcerer.

We even heard the voice of Sir Arthur Sullivan congratulating Edison on his invention of the phonograph.

There were other surprises – recordings of Danny Kaye in the Sergeant's Song, and Groucho Marx in I've Got A Little List.

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All this provided a fascinating view of Gilbert and Sullivan.

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