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Utopia Limited

CD and Audio


UTOPIA LIMITED [Complete]
Label: Newport
Performed by: Ohio Light Opera

Amazon.co.uk Price: £35.99

Amazon.co.uk Customer Review
At last a recording of UTOPIA that actually makes a persuasive case for revival. The problem with this work is that it falls somewhat between two stools. Written as a reconciliation between Gilbert and Sullivan after the three year rift following the infamous 'carpet quarrel', Sullivan in the interim had produced a Grand Romantic Opera, IVANHOE, and a Light Opera, HADDON HALL, and the darker, weightier mood of these two works seems to carry over into much of UTOPIA. Gilbert too, was in a darker mood, using the plot to satirize virtually everything English and leaving very little time for much of a storyline. 
All credit then to Ohio Light Opera for seizing the opportunity to bring out the Savoy spirit that is present in the piece and for making this recording a highly enjoyable one. The criticism leveled at the same company's PRINCESS IDA with regard to the American accent cannot be leveled here for it is hardly detectable. 
In fact there is not a weak link and, despite a number of dull pages in both score and libretto, the performance sparkles from beginning to end. UTOPIA has many great moments but this is probably the first time that a recording brings them all out. 

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UTOPIA LIMITED
Label: Decca
Performed by: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: Royston Nash
No of Discs: 2

Amazon.co.uk Price: £11.99

Description

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UTOPIA LIMITED
Including Bonus Extras - Macbeth, Victoria & Merrie England suite, Marmion (or A Tale of Flodden Field) and Imperial March
Label: London
Performed by: D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: Royston Nash
No of Discs: 2

Amazon.co.uk Price: Please check website

Amazon.co.uk Customer Review
Utopia has never been a huge favourite in the G&S canon. There are echoes of previous works in words and music. BUT there is much that is memorable, including the entrance of the first life guards, the ensemble at the end of the Act I finale, the comic 'A Tenor All Singers Above', the Minstrels' song and 'Eagle High'. The recording is OK - bearing in mind it is the only one available - but some of the tempi could do with speeding up and the chorus diction (and that of Lyndsie Holland as Lady Sophy) is not as good as other DC recordings. It's enjoyable, but doesn't quite sparkle. The extras - Imperial March, Macbeth, Marmion and Victoria & Merrie England suite - all highly polished and impressive.

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