The Geisha (Complete operetta)

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The Geisha (Complete operetta)
Lillian Watson / Sarah Walker / Harry Nicoll / Richard Suart / Christopher Maltman / New London Light Opera Chorus and Orchestra / Ronald Corp

[ Hyperion Helios / CD ]

Release Date: Sunday 12 February 2006

'The recording that has given me the most joy during the year. A work I have waited fully 40 years to find on LP or CD' (Gramophone)


'This is an enterprising 'first'. I long to hear more of them and if this CD has the success it deserves, let us hope it may be the beginning of a series' (Gramophone)

'Its tunes are charming and its orchestral colour delightful. It's a hugely entertaining discovery' (Classic FM Magazine)

'I practically jumped for joy' (Hi Fi News)

'Altogether a treat' (International Opera Collector)

'If you enjoy English operettas of the late 19th century I suspect that you'll be enchanted' (Light Music Society Journal)

'Hugely entertaining' (Birmingham Evening Mail)

"Something of an experiment when first issued this delightful recording is now bargain priced and will consequently reach a wider audience"
(MusicWeb Feb 2006)

This issue is an extension of Ronald Corp's popular forays into the territory of light music. The 'musical comedy' called The Geisha, by Sidney Jones, dates from 1896 and was by far the biggest hit of that decade, its popularity outstripping everything else, even The Mikado, throughout Europe. It has never quite been forgotten, having been revived several times since, in both professional and amateur productions, in several languages. Everybody who knows the piece (and there are surprisingly many people who do; we've already had enthusiastic letters from people who've seen it illustrated in our new catalogue) is fulsome in their praise of it.

The story tells of the amorous goings-on when Lieutenant Reggie Fairfax and his fellow officers from HMS Turtle descend on 'The Tea-House of Ten Thousand Joys' in Japan, longing for a cup of tea and female company. The three big hits from the score were the romantic 'Star of my soul' (sung here by Christopher Maltman), 'Chin Chin Chinaman' (hilariously delivered by Richard Suart and chorus) and 'The Amorous Goldfish' (sung in her own inimitable fashion by Sarah Walker).


Opening Chorus 'Happy Japan' [3'08]
Entrance of Officers 'Here they come' [2'02]
Song 'The dear little Jappy-Jap-Jappy' [3'13]
Song 'The Amorous Goldfish' [4'22]
Duet 'The Kissing' [3'43]
Concerted Piecle 'If you will come to tea' [2'11]
Chorus 'Lamentation' [2'35]
Concerted Piece 'We're going to call on the Marquis' [1'45]
Duet 'The Toy' [3'46]
Song 'A Geisha's Life' [3'25]
Song 'Jack's the Boy' [3'08]
Song 'Chon Kina' [4'45]
Finale 'Though of staying too long' [6'48]

Chorus 'Day born of love' [2'57]
Song 'The Toy Monkey' [2'35]
Duet 'Ching-a-ring-a-ree' [2'05]
Quartette 'Jolly young Jacks are we' [1'56]
Song 'The Jewel of Asia' [3'15]
Song 'Star of my Soul' [3'50]
Quartette 'What will the Marquis do?' [1'46]
Japanese March [0'54]
Entrance of Geishas 'With splendour auspicious' [2'35]
Song 'Chin Chin Chinaman' [2'28]
Song 'The Interfering Parrot' [6'45]
Finale 'Before our eyes' [1'07]