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ST DAVID’S PLAYERS

Gilbert and Sullivan Society · Exeter · Devon

Written by W S Gilbert

Composed by Arthur Sullivan

  • SYNOPSIS

     

     

  • MUSICAL SYNOPSIS

    ACT 1

    In lazy languor motionless
    Phylla & Chorus of Girls

     O make way for the Wise Men
    Chorus

    In every mental lore
    Scaphio & Phantis

    Let all your doubts take wing
    Scaphio & Phantis

    Quaff the nectar
    Chorus

    A King of autocratic power we
    King with Chorus

    Although of native maids the cream
    Nekaya & Kalyba

    Bold-faced ranger
    Lady Sophy with Chorus

    First you’re born
    King with Scaphio & Phantis

    Subjected to your heavenly gaze
    King & Lady Sophy

    Oh, maiden rich in Girton lore
    Zara, Fitz., Troopers & Chorus

    Ah! gallant soldier
    Zara, Fitz., Troopers & Chorus

    It’s understood, I think
    Zara, Fitz., Scaphio & Phantis

    Oh, admirable art
    Zara & Fitz

    Cut song for Zara
    Youth is a boon avowed, sung on the first night but now lost

    Act I Finale:
    Although your Royal summons to appear

    Ensemble
    When Britain sounds the trump of war
    Zara, Sir Bailey Barre & Chorus
    What these may be
    Zara, Dramaleigh, Blushington & Chorus
    A company promoter this
    Zara, Goldbury & Chorus
    I’m Captain Corcoran, K.C.B.
    Capt. Corcoran with Chorus
    Ye wand’rers from a mighty State
    Quartet, Chorus & Soli

    Some seven men form an association
    Mr. Goldbury with Chorus

    Well, at first sight it strikes us as dishonest
    Ensemble

    Henceforward of a verity
    King Paramount & Ensemble

    ACT 2

    Oh, Zara!
    A tenor, all singers above

    Fitz

    Words of love too loudly spoken
    Zara & Fitz

    Society has quite forsaken
    King with Chorus of Six Flowers of Progress

    Entrance of Court

    Drawing Room Music

    This ceremonial
    Eagle high in cloudland soaring

    King & Ensemble

    With fury deep we burn
    Scaphio, Phantis, & King Paramount

    If you think that when banded in unity
    King, Scaphio & Phantis

    With wily brain
    Scaphio, Phantis, & Tarara

    A wonderful joy our eyes to bless
    Mr. Goldbury

    Then I may sing and play?
    Nekaya, Kalyba, Lord Dramaleigh & Mr Goldbury

    Oh, would some demon pow’r
    When but a maid of fifteen year

    Lady Sophy

    Ah, Lady Sophy, then you love me!
    King & Lady Sophy

    Oh, rapture unrestrained
    King & Lady Sophy

    Tarantella

    Upon our sea-girt land
    Chorus

    Finale Act II: There’s a little group of isles beyond the wave
    Zara, King Paramount & Ensemble

  • DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

    UTOPIANS

    King Paramount the First
    King of Utopia (baritone)

    Phantis, Scaphio
    Judges of the Utopian Supreme Court (comic baritones)

    Tarara
    The Public Exploder (comic baritone)

    Calynx
    The Utopian Vice-Chamberlain (speaking)

    The Princess Zara
    eldest daughter of King Paramount (soprano)

    The Princess Nekaya
    (soprano)

    The Princess Kalyba
    (mezzo-soprano), her younger sisters

    The Lady Sophy
    their English Gouvernante (contralto)

    Salata
    (speaking)

    Melene
    (speaking)

    Phylla
    (soprano), Utopian Maidens

    IMPORTED FLOWERS OF PROGRESS

    Lord Dramaleigh
    a British Lord Chamberlain (high baritone)

    Captain Fitzbattleaxe
    First Life Guards (tenor)

    Captain Sir Edward Corcoran KCB
    of the Royal Navy (bass)

    Mr Goldbury
    a Company Promoter, afterwards Comptroller of the Utopian Household (baritone)

    Sir Bailey Barre, Q.C., MP
    (tenor)

    Mr. Blushington
    of the County Council (baritone)

  • TRIVIA

  • REPORTED PRODUCTIONS

    To tell us about a production, past, present or to come, or to advise us of a society website we have missed, please click HERE

    1901  —  Loughton Operatic Society

    1904  —  Southern Light Opera Company

    1906  —  Orpheus Club, Glasgow

    1907  —  Torquay Operatic Society

    1908  —  Leicester Amateur Operatic Society

    1912  —  Grimsby and Cleethorpes Amateur Operatic Society

    1912  —  Hamilton Operatic and Dramatic Club

    1913  —  Exeter Amateur Operatic Society

    1918  —  Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society

    1919  —  Orpheus Club, Glasgow

    1920  —  Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society

    1922  —  Bath Operatic and Dramatic Society

    1922  —  Paisley Musical and Operatic Society

    1923  —  Kirkcaldy Amateur Operatic Society

    1924  —  Exeter Amateur Operatic Society

    1925  —  Cambridge Operatic Society

    1925  —  Coventry Musical Theatre Society

    1925  —  Rochdale Amateur Operatic Society

    1926  —  Canterbury Operatic Society

    1926  —  St Albans Operatic

    1926  —  Salisbury Amateur Operatic Society

    1926  —  Worcester Operatic & Dramatic Society

    1926  —  Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society

    1927  —  St Austell Amateur Operatic Society

    1927  —  Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society

    1929  —  Hamilton Operatic and Dramatic Club

    1930  —  Barnstaple Amateur Operatic Society

    1930  —  Whitfield Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society

    1931  —  Frome Amateur Operatic Society

    1931  —  Melton Mowbray Amateur Operatic Society

    1931  —  Winchester Amateur Operatic Society

    1933  —  Orpheus Club, Glasgow

    1934  —  Blue Hill Troupe

    1934  —  Rock Ferry Operatic Society

    1935  —  Alton Operatic & Dramatic

    1935  —  Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1936  —  Savoy Company of Philadelphia

    1939  —  Gosforth Trinity Musical Society

    1942  —  Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society

    1950  —  Ayr Academy

    1951  —  Torquay Operatic Society  —  Photographs

    1952  —  Gosforth Trinity Musical Society

    1952  —  Winchester Amateur Operatic Society

    1953  —  Orpheus Club, Glasgow

    1953  —  Savoy Company of Philadelphia

    1955  —  Blue Hill Troupe

    1956  —  American Savoyards, Monmouth, Maine  —  Professional

    1956  —  Ayrshire Philharmonic

    1956  —  St Albans Operatic

    1956  —  Salisbury Amateur Operatic Society

    1957  —  American Savoyards, Monmouth, Maine  —  Professional

    1957  —  Batley Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1958  —  Stirling & Bridge of Allan Operatic Society

    1958  —  Winchester Amateur Operatic Society

    1959  —  American Savoyards, Monmouth, Maine  —  Professional

    1959  —  Savoy Operatic Society, Birmingham

    1960  —  Leicester Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Players

    1962  —  Farnham Amateur Operatic Society

    1962  —  Geoids Amateur Operatic Society

    1962  —  Grosvenor Light Opera Company

    1963  —  Coventry Savoy Opera Society

    1963  —  Lyric Theatre of Washington

    1966  —  Burgess Hill Musical Theatre

    1966  —  Cockett Amateur Operatic Society

    1966  —  Reading Operatic Society

    1966  —  Simsbury Light Opera Company

    1967  —  Astwood Bank Operatic Society

    1967  —  Blue Hill Troupe

    1967  —  Chard Light Operatic Society

    1967  —  Marton Operatic Society, Blackpool

    1967  —  Orpheus Club, Glasgow

    1968  —  Stewartby Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society

    1968  —  Tynemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1969  —  Canterbury Operatic Society

    1969  —  Cotswold Savoyards

    1969  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Philadelphia

    1972  —  Geoids Amateur Operatic Society

    1972  —  Great Yarmouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    1972  —  Leicester Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Players

    1972  —  Northampton Gilbert & Sullivan Group

    1972  —  Winchester Amateur Operatic Society  —  Diamond Jubilee Year

    1973  —  Crosby Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1974  —  Benfleet Operatic Society

    1974  —  Sainsbury Singers

    1974  —  Troupers Light Opera Company

    1975  —  D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, London  —  Professional

    1975  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Society of South Australia

    1975  —  St John’s (Sidcup) Amateur Operatic Society

    1975  —  Savoy Company of Philadelphia

    1976  —  Cotswold Savoyards

    1976  —  Leeds Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1976  —  Savoyaires, Chicago

    1977  —  Godalming Operatic Society

    1977  —  Plymouth Gilbert & Sullivan Fellowship

    1977  —  Stamford Gilbert & Sullivan Players

    1977  —  Witham Amateur Operatic Society

    1978  —  Light Opera of Manhattan  —  Professional

    1978  —  Meersbrook Park Church Operatic Society

    1978  —  PHEOS Musical Players

    1978  —  Southampton University Light Operatic Society

    1979  —  Great Witley Operatic Society

    1979  —  Huddersfield Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1979  —  Lamplighters Musical Theatre

    1979  —  Light Opera of Manhattan  —  Professional

    1979  —  Sydney Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    1980  —  Blue Hill Troupe

    1980  —  Boston Operatic Society

    1980  —  Bournemouth Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society

    1980  —  East Norfolk Operatic Society

    1980  —  Lyric Theatre of San Jose

    1980  —  Ohio Light Opera  —  Professional

    1981  —  Ardensingers

    1981  —  Benfleet Operatic Society

    1981  —  Dore Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1981  —  Durham Savoyards, North Carolina

    1981  —  Exeter University Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1982  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Tasmania

    1982  —  Grosvenor Light Opera Company

    1982  —  Tenbury Amateur Operatic Society

    1983  —  Brussels Gilbert & Sullivan Society  —  Concert Production

    1983  —  Cotswold Savoyards

    1983  —  Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1983  —  Ohio Light Opera  —  Professional

    1984  —  Cornell Savoyards

    1984  —  Dunfermline Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1984  —  Gosforth Trinity Musical Society

    1984  —  Light Opera Works, Chicago

    1984  —  Peterborough Gilbert and Sullivan Players

    1984  —  Reigate & Redhill Opera Club

    1984  —  St David’s Players, Exeter

    1984  —  Torbay Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    1984  —  Simsbury Light Opera Company

    1984  —  Worcester Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    1985  —  Leicester Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Players

    1985  —  Ridgewood (New Jersey) Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company

    1985  —  Valley Light Opera (Massachusetts)

    1986  —  Bath Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1986  —  Crosby Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1986  —  Harrogate Gilbert & Sullivan Society  —  Directed by John Reed

    1986  —  Orpheus Club, Glasgow

    1986  —  Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society

    1987  —  Chapel End Savoy Players

    1987  —  Denmead Operatic Society

    1987  —  Great Yarmouth Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    1987  —  Ohio Light Opera  —  Professional

    1987  —  Swindon Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1988  —  Chesterfield Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1988  —  Lyric Theatre of San Jose

    1988  —  Savoy Company of Philadelphia

    1988  —  Southeastern Savoyards, Atlanta

    1988  —  Sudbury Savoyards

    1988  —  Waterside Musical Society

    1989  —  Coventry Savoy Opera Society

    1989  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Society of South Australia

    1989  —  Halifax Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1989  —  New Rosemere Amateur Operatic Society

    1989  —  Off-Monroe Players, Rochester, NY

    1989  —  Washington Savoyards  —  Professional Principals/Orchestra

    1990  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Players of Nova Scotia

    1990  —  Marton Operatic Society, Blackpool

    1990  —  PHEOS Musical Players

    1991  —  Cotswold Savoyards

    1991  —  Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    1991  —  Southampton University Light Operatic Society

    1992  —  Bicester Choral & Operatic Society

    1992  —  Island Savoyards (Isle of Wight)

    1993  —  Edinburgh Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1993  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, Chicago

    1993  —  Houghton Players  —  As ‘Utopia PLC’

    1993  —  Madison Savoyards

    1993  —  Ohio Light Opera  —  Professional

    1994  —  Astwood Bank Operatic Society

    1994  —  Bath Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1994  —  Blue Hill Troupe

    1994  —  Bournemouth Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society

    1994  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Maine

    1995  —  Dore Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1995  —  Peterborough Gilbert and Sullivan Players

    1995  —  Savoyards, Brisbane

    1996  —  Denmead Operatic Society

    1996  —  Ipswich Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1996  —  Lyric Theatre of San Jose

    1996  —  St David’s Players, Exeter

    1997  —  Montreal West Operatic Society

    1997  —  Rose Hill Musical Society

    1998  —  Newcastle University Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    1998  —  Off-Monroe Players, Rochester, NY

    1998  —  The Vale Musical Society (Tring)

    1999  —  Bath Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1999  —  Hartley Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    1999  —  Southampton University Light Operatic Society

    1999  —  Washington Savoyards  —  Professional Principals/Orchestra

    2000  —  Cotswold Savoyards  —  Photographs

    2000  —  Ohio Light Opera  —  Professional

    2000  —  Savoy Company of Philadelphia

    2000  —  Uplands Arts Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    2001  —  Birmingham Savoyards

    2001  —  Derby Gilbert & Sullivan Company

    2002  —  Opera Lytes, Buffalo

    2002  —  Ridgewood (New Jersey) Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company

    2003  —  Penn Singers

    2004  —  Marton Operatic Society, Blackpool

    2005  —  Ardensingers

    2005  —  Off-Monroe Players, Rochester, NY

    2005  —  The Savoy Singers, Camberley

    2006  —  Putteridge Bury Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    2006  —  Sheringham Savoyards

    2007  —  Dore Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    2007  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Chester County

    2007  —  Godalming Operatic Society  —  Photographs

    2007  —  Peterborough Gilbert and Sullivan Players

    2008  —  Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, Minnesota

    2008  —  New Rosemere Amateur Operatic Society

    2009  —  Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society

    2009  —  Savoyaires, Chicago

    2009  —  Sudbury Savoyards

    2009  —  Tynemouth Gilbert & Sullivan Society  —  Photos and Video Clips

    2010  —  Bath Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    2010  —  Batley Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    2010  —  Edinburgh Gilbert & Sullivan Society

    2010  —  Sheringham Savoyards

    2010  —  Southampton Operatic Society

    2010  —  Wolverton Gilbert & Sullivan Society  —  Photographs

    2011  —  Chapel End Savoy Players

    2011  —  Cotswold Savoyards  —  Photographs

    2011  —  Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Buxton  —  Professional

    2011  —  Madison Savoyards

    2011  —  New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players  —  Professional

    2012  —  Blue Hill Troupe  —  Photographs

    2012  —  The Centenary Company, Greenwich  —  Photographs

    2012  —  New London Opera Group

    2012  —  Ohio Light Opera  —  Professional

    2012  —  Ventura County Gilbert & Sullivan Repertoire Company

    2013  —  Off-Monroe Players, Rochester, NY

    2013  —  Pocket Theatre Company

    2013  —  St Leonard’s Gilbert & Sullivan Group, Penwortham

    2013  —  Victorian Light Opera Company, Maryland

    2014  —  Lyric Theatre of San Jose

    2014  —  Milborne Port Opera

    2014  —  Pittsburgh Savoyards

    2014  —  Savoy Opera Company, Melbourne

    2022  —  West Michigan Savoyards

  • RESOURCES

    Most computers can already read PDF files. If you are unable to view these files, download the FREE Acrobat Reader from Adobe

    FREE downloads are available for these publications

      Scan of an original prompt book for Utopia, (Limited) as issued by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

     

      Annotated libretto of Utopia, (Limited)

     

      For the original Chappell edition of the
    Utopia, (Limited) vocal

     

      Newly typeset vocal score of Utopia, (Limited)
    by Larry Byler available to
    purchase as a professionally printed and bound copy from Lulu

     

  • RECORDING REVIEWS

    Audio or video media is available
    for this item (subject to compatibility with your chosen media player software installed)

    Please be aware that St David’s Players are not responsible for the content or availability of content on external websites

    Reviews currently included here have been posted by contributor, Ian Bond, and are his personal views, and these may not represent the views of St David’s Players as a Society.

    With Utopia, (Limited) Gilbert and Sullivan returned to the Savoy Theatre (in partnership) after a gap of almost four years. Following the première of their previous work (The Gondoliers, December 1889) they had become involved in a bitter law suit in which Gilbert had opposed D’Oyly Carte over the expenses incurred in the provision of a new carpet for the foyer of the Savoy Theatre. Sullivan had sided with Carte - something Gilbert would never
    fully forgive.

    Utopia is quite a different libretto to those Gilbert wrote the previous year (1892), ‘Haste to the Wedding’ with George Grossmith and The Mountebanks with Alfred Cellier. Utopia is openly satirical of everything British and even takes pop-shots at D’Oyly Carte in the character of Mr Goldbury, the company promoter, and at Sullivan in the character of Arthur Fitzbattleaxe, the tenor who cannot reach his top notes. These factors lead to a rather dark hued libretto with not much of a storyline. Sullivan, too, with his Grand Opera Ivanhoe (1891) and Light Opera Haddon Hall (1892) under his belt, was in a much darker musical mood and this manifests itself with a number of dark musical passages and recitatives.

    Utopia had to wait until 1963 for a recording of any substantial excerpts and when it did happen it was grudgingly under pressure from the fans of D’Oyly Carte who had been bombarding both the opera company and DECCA for a revival of the opera for some years. With advances in technology the new recording of Trial would not adequately fill two LP sides and DECCA decided to solve the problem by recording excerpts from Utopia as a filler. Five excerpts were recorded. For many years it was suspected that DECCA recorded more than they used, but recent evidence has revealed that the producers at DECCA recorded just these five numbers declaring the rest of the opera unworthy of recording. Just 12 years later, in the light of the stage production, they would change their minds.

    DECCA have never reissued this recording, but now, Sounds on CD have gathered together four excerpt discs of the 60’s and 70’s and issued them as a two CD set entitled ‘Of Pleasures There Are Many’. The set contains numbers from Trial right through to Utopia and also presents D’Oyly Carte singers who are heard on no other recordings. Utopia is represented by ‘O make way for the wise men’, ‘Oh maiden rich in Girton law’, ‘A tenor all singers above’, ‘Words of love’ and ‘Eagle High’. The singers and orchestra alike are obviously revelling in the opportunity to sing music that they seldom if ever get to perform and the set as a whole is a delight.

      Ann Hood and Thomas Round perform ‘Words of love’.

    The CDs can be obtained from Music Hall Masters in the UK and 78s2cd in the USA.

    The D’Oyly Carte recording of 1975 was the direct result of the first professional revival by the company as part of their centenary season at the Savoy on April 4th in that same year. As a result of that stage production this recording has more of a theatrical feel to it than (for example) the 1968 Sorcerer, recorded at a time when that opera was not in the current repertoire. Following the single performance at the Savoy, Utopia received a further four performances at the Royal Festival Hall in the summer of the same year. The recording opens up several cuts that were made in stage performance.

    Recorded without dialogue (except for a few snatches in Act Two) the recording is brighter than one might have expected and many of the numbers rattle off at a cracking pace. John Reed and John Ayldon are excellent as the two wise men Scaphio and Phantis, with Reed conveying the acid spitefulness of his stage characterisation. Kenneth Sandford turns in a wonderfully genial performance as King Paramount. Pamela Field and Meston Reid make a delightful pair of lovers.

    The score contains a number of musical gems, not least the duet for Nekaya and Kalyba, the twin princesses, although the voices of both Julia Goss and Judi Merri are perhaps a little weighty for 18 year old girls. The cabinet council scene is a winner as always.

    Orchestra and chorus are well directed by Royston Nash and this latest CD reissue by DECCA seems to have taken the harsh edge of the recorded sound that was present on the original LP issue. The fillers of the Imperial March, Overture to Macbeth, the Suite No: 1 from Victoria and Merrie England and the Marmion overture make an excellent addition to an altogether excellent reissue at mid-price.

      The Cabinet Council scene.

    DECCA 473 662-2.

    The Ohio Light Opera recording was made during live performances in 2000. This recording makes an extremely strong case for revival of the opera. Ohio Light Opera is, of course, a professional company and there is an excellent standard. Many of their operetta recordings are very fine and Utopia is no exception. Unlike Princess Ida this recording is not marred by jarring American accents.

    This, too, can truly be considered a ‘complete’ recording for not only is the complete dialogue present, but even ‘Ah Gallant Soldier’ contains both verses which the D’Oyly Carte recording does not. Every member of the cast makes a valuable contribution to a really sparkling presentation which can only be welcomed.

    ‘Ah Gallant Soldier’ from this recording.

    The recording is on the Newport Classic label NPD85659/2 and is available from Amazon.

The Gondoliers

The Grand Duke

HMS Pinafore

Iolanthe

The Martyr of Antioch

The Mikado

Patience

The Pirates of Penzance

Princess Ida

Ruddigore

The Sorcerer

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Thespis

Trial by Jury

Utopia (Limited)

The Yeomen of the Guard

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