Sullivan: The Contrabandista & The Foresters (Complete operettas)

Sullivan: The Contrabandista & The Foresters (Complete operettas) cover $30.00 Low Stock add to cart

Sullivan: The Contrabandista & The Foresters (Complete operettas)
Claire Rutter, Frances McCafferty, Richard Suart, Ashley Catling, The London Chorus, New London Orchestra, Ronald Corp

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 26 November 2004

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The Contrabandista - a 'comic opera in two acts' dating from 1867 - tells the story of the hapless Adolphus Cimabue Grigg, an English traveller who is co-opted into becoming leader of the Ladrones, a notorious band of thieves. Amid shenanigans of more than a passing resemblance to Bizet's The Pearl Fishers Sullivan successfully imbues the spice of the Spanish countryside into his score. His second opera to reach the stage, this early work - to a libretto by Francis Burnand - already shows much of the musical mastery that was to characterize so many of Sullivan's later collaborations with W S Gilbert. The work's popularity ensured a run spanning 1867 and 1868 and inspired its composer to expand much of its material into his longer opera of 1894, The Chieftain.

First performed - simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic - in 1892, The Foresters sets verses by Lord Tennyson on the theme of Robin Hood. Warmly received in the States, the work met with a distinctly hostile reception in London, where critics were less than impressed by the (American) lead soprano and gave Tennyson's libretto a roasting. Sullivan's score, by contrast, was universally recognized as being the saving grace; this new recording gives a new century the opportunity to draw its own conclusion

"Amongst the reissues it is good to find something fresh and new again coming from the Hyperion stable. These are première professional recordings of two little known works by Sullivan. Hyperion has been releasing a premiere Sullivan work every year over the last three years. The singers on this disc are well known to those who follow this genre of music and they do not disappoint." - MusicWeb Nov 2004