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Vol. XXV No. 3 
  - wish I'd been in time for the performance!

FALL PERFORMANCE ISSUE
Local G&S Performances/Auditions

 In This Issue: 

Articles 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FALL PERFORMANCE ISSUE:

NEGASS is not planning another formal meeting until January - but the coming months will feature a plethora of local performances, AND two auditions - and NEGASS plans to be there! Jump to our Calendar Page to see what's up. (Please note the important dates in G&S history, garnered by Don Smith, interspersed among the audition and performance dates.  

-- mlc 

OCTOBER NEGASS MEETING: G&S ARCHAEOLOGY
Another Bruce Miller/Helga Perry Dig

Bruce Miller's exposition of his and Helga Perry's latest Lost G&S Material Expedition was the centerpiece of our October 15 meeting in Arlington. As we all know, in the course of creating the G&S operas, some materials and even whole musical numbers were cut, and though much is available, some has been totally lost -- or at least not yet found. One such was Reflect, My Child, Captain Corcoran's fatherly piece of advice to his PINAFORE daughter, lately unearthed and most plausibly reconstructed by Bruce and Helga.

Another is the De Belville song, a gently phrased satirical whack at the House of Lords, cut very early from Act II of IOLANTHE, which abounds in such exercises. The lyrics, which amply demonstrate Gilbert's penchant and talent for penetrating satire-- however genially clothed-- appear in the first-night libretti for both London and New York performances. But the music was never published, and was seemingly expunged from all known possible sources.

The song answers Phyllis's query to Mountararat, in the opening night version, "Why are people made Peers?" He tells of De Belville, a man of great talent, virtue and accomplishment in literature, art and invention, who never reaps due reward. No one read his poems, bought his paintings or paid for use of his inventions.

      So everybody said
"How can he be repaid--
This very great-- this very good-- this very gifted man?"
But nobody could hit upon a practicable plan!
 

Until a distant cousin died and De Belville inherited millions, a country estate and a seat in the House of Commons, where-- ever impractical-- he began to make "inconvenient" speeches.

      Then Government conferred on him the highest of rewards--
They took him from the Commons and put him in the Lords.
 

Why was De Belville cut? Bruce offered several possibilities, most notably, that at the time, just a decade after civil troubles in France, the lyrics may have offered too much of a whiff of French revolutionary spirit. And with indications of pacing problems in Act II, this song was a likely candidate for excision. Also, Bruce suggested that Sullivan and/or Gilbert may have been dissatisfied with it, or disagreed over it. They may well have disagreed over cutting it.

Bruce gave a deal of background about sources for the text. The music, however, was totally out of reach until recently, when he and Helga found, in a private collection of D'Oyly Carte material, a 1st Violin band part score for IOLANTHE, within which two facing pages, glued together, proved to hold the violin part for music which, they have found, fits the text of De Belville in place and in metrical and structural nature, as accompaniment for the text.

He demonstrated with tape excerpts and on piano how the violin music was consonant with a First-Night critic's description of the song, and with certain of Sullivan's musical techniques for achieving particular effects.

The discovery does not yield enough material to permit the kind of informed reconstruction Bruce and Helga fashioned for Reflect, My Child. But, he says, it "provides answers to long-asked questions while raising new ones," and the hope that "renewed interest will shake loose hitherto unknown sources."

The story will appear in the November, 2000 issue of the Sir Arthur Sullivan Society newsletter.

The program concluded with a sing-along of four IOLANTHE choruses, ably accompanied by Victor Troll, and was crowned by Bruce's stirring rendition of Mountararat's When Britain Really Ruled the Waves.

-- GAMA REX  

  

JANUARY MEETING - THESPIS AT THE 7TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL G&S FESTIVAL

Oops - last Bray We wrote, "No American companies won this year" - but Don Smith corrected Us. The production of the Bruce Montgomery setting of THESPIS which gleaned the title of Best Supporting Actor for Brendan O'Brien (Mercury) was performed by a group named, in the info We were sent, merely "G & S Players." Turns out this was a group from a G&S Society in Philadelphia. In fact, a videotape of this group's production will be fodder for our January meeting - which will take place at the Newton Free Library in Newton, MA on January 28, 2001. More news in the next Bray!

   

Tentative Meeting Schedule, 2000-2001 

1/28, 2 PM

Video viewing, Newton Free Library, THESPIS
3/25 at 2:00 PM Last Minute Light Opera/Orchestra IDA Park Avenue Congregational Church, Arlington, MA
5/6 Master Class with Eileen St David
6/? Elections/Fantasy Day

Next Bray Copy Deadline: January 7, 2001

Next Bray Stuffing: Sunday, January 14 at 3:00 PM at 111 Fairmont St, Arlington, MA. Call Us at (781) 646-9115 evenings and weekends, or send email to Marion@leedscarroll.com, for directions to Our snug and easy-to-get-to home. -mlc

ABOUT CONTRIBUTING TO THE TRUMPET BRAY:

All contributions are welcome, of course - but, strictly speaking, only activities and articles relating to G&S ought to be published. (…although an occasional Yes We Know It's Not slips by when the subject relates to a promising activity presented by long-standing and active member of NEGASS.)

  1. E-mail is the best way to send things! - marion@leedscarroll.com or negass@iname.com will get to Us equally well.
  2. The US Postal Service (aka "snail mail") is fine, too - send letters, preferably typed, or hand-written very clearly so that We can read and correctly reproduce names, dates, etc. - to NEGASS, PO Box 367, Arlington, MA 02476-0004.
  3. The Telephone is a very last choice. We do have an answering machine, but spellings of names and specifics of dates are awfully hard to be sure of when delivered by Word of Mouth (Oricular or otherwise), and We rarely have time to phone people back to check details. Please use the phone only if you have no other choice!
 -- mlc   

Have you renewed your membership?!

Is it absolutely certain that you are resolved to leave NEGASS? Will nothing shake your resolution? Threats - entreaties - prayers - all useless?

If you do not send in your renewal at once, your membership is to be cut short. This is your last Bray. And that's that.

Please send your Renewal Form to Membership Chair Janice Dallas, 63 Everett St., Arlington, MA 02474-6921 with what dispatch ye may!
-- mlc    

MORE G&S-IN-NEW-ENGLAND HISTORY:

Juliet Cunningham told Us more about the Harvard G&S production of IOLANTHE, directed by Jeffrey Wayne Davies, described in the last Bray by Barry Garden. (Barry's comments last month: "…this production was so enchanting. From what I recall the lights slowly rose after the overture to the first act with a light mist and old fieldstone grist mill with a water wheel and the sound of crickets! It was so beautiful and tranquil.")

Juliet's husband, Matt Oliva, was in that production, she tells us. The Lord Chancellor was Norman George, not "Norman Nuber." As for the PATIENCE Barry wrote about, the Lady Jane was Dorothy Pullian, who (if We caught the words aright) went on to play the role of the nurse in the film Eating Raoul.

JULIET CUNNINGHAM/mlc  

More on the AUGUST G&S MARATHON

Kate Huntress-Reeve, who received a rave in last month's Bray for her many contributions to the Toronto 2000 Sing-Out, tells Us: …if anyone's interested, the Katisha was Linda Nadeau, of Washington DC, formerly of UMGASS in Ann Arbor. Wasn't she terrific? [She was! - mlc]

NEW ENGLAND SING-OUT? We'd like to repeat the question raised by Arthur Koykka last time: NEGASS is a non-performing group, but there are an impressive number of Savoyards in our area, and perhaps a way could be found.  How about:  New England Singout 2002Is there any interest?

G&S IN PRIME TIME

The enterprising Robert Simon sent a message to negass@iname.com: Last night's episode of West Wing featured a Gilbert and Sullivan song whose lyrics include '..despite of all temptations...to belong to other nations...he remains an Englishman..." I'm sure you're familiar with the rest.

However, the characters in the episode claimed that the song is both from PINAFORE and PIRATES without clarifying which opera it actually did belong to. Can someone in your organization give the correct opera this song comes from?

We enlightened Mr. Simon - of course all NEGASSers know the answer - don't you?! - and then asked him what West Wing might happen to be. He replied:

West Wing is an Emmy award winning NBC drama…which airs each Wednesday at 9:00PM. It is set in the West Wing of the White House. The characters are a fictitious President (Martin Sheen), his chief of staff (John Spencer) and four senior aids. Last night's episode was titled ...And It's Greatly to His Credit. Which opera it belonged to became a point of argument between the chief of staff and the White House Counsel played by John Larroquette. An abbreviated chorus was played at the end with posters of both operas in the background, without, as I mentioned, specifying which opera it really DID come from. -- Thank you again.

-- ROBERT SIMON  

MITG&SP IN JEOPARDY!

Mary Finn shared this SavoyNet posting with the MITG&SP e-mail group (commenting, "Note the $400 question") - whence it was passed on to Us by Randi Kestin.     

Today's episode of the U.S. game show JEOPARDY had "Gilbert & Sullivan" as a category in the Double Jeopardy round--this has happened occasionally in the past. Here are the questions:

$200: In an 1889 interview, Sir Arthur Sullivan said he left writing these openings to the last moment. (Answered correctly: Overtures)

$400: This Cambridge, Massachusetts scientific university has a Gilbert & Sullivan players group. (Answered correctly: M.I.T. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology])

$600: Phonograph recordings of this operetta with Captain Corcoran and Dick Deadeye were popular in 1907. (No answer)

$800: In 1954 this title trio of real and puppet players performed a version of MIKADO. (Answered correctly: Kukla, Fran and Ollie [A long-running children's TV show starring Fran Allison and two hand puppets operated and voiced by Burr Tillstrom])

$1000: This theater D'Oyly Carte built to put on G&S shows was on the site of a palace of the same name. (No answer).

The category was avoided by the three contestants for most of the round. The last two questions were all that remained to finish the round. The Final Jeopardy question was answered correctly by all three, who were asked to name the actor who co-starred with Meg Ryan and Gary Sinise in three films each (Tom Hanks). [Obviously, these contestants were not of the Inner Brotherhood! - mlc]
-- DAN KRAVETZ 
Gilbert & Sullivan Society of New York 

JWWELLS.COM - SORCERER ON THE WEB!

This just in: "BaseSpace.net and J.W.Wells & Co today unveiled http://jwwells.com, the premier web destination for e-sorcery. BaseSpace.net's colocation service and managed Linux servers will enable JWWells & Co to leverage their dominance of the "brimstone-and-mortar" sorcery industry into dominance of the fast-growing e-sorcery sector as well."

John Wellington Wells, President and CEO, J. W. Wells & Co, explains, "We are keeping a very small prophet, so we know that launching a web presence will increase our sales by thirty-two percent." Alex Aminoff, the MITG&SP SORCERER chorus member who is sole proprietor of BaseSpace.com, adds in his press release, "I can't believe that no one in any other production of The Sorcerer anywhere in the world thought of registering this domain before now. We expect to hold it in trust for Savoyards the world over whenever they produce this particular operetta."

We have heard nothing from the site's webmaster Jason Goodman - but wish to say that he has created a well-organized, informative, attractive and very funny site which is well worth visiting!

--ALEX AMINOFF/mlc  

BAND PARTS FOR MOUNTEBANKS

(Gleaned from SavoyNet by Janice Dallas) Patrick Gallagher wrote: The accompanist [for a concert in Dover - but which Dover We are not prepared to say - mlc], James Gillespie, mentioned that he has a full set of band parts for The Mountebanks and asked to me to let you all know in case anyone would be interested in putting this on.

Apparently in order to get these, James firstly found a copy of the vocal score in a local library. Then managed to get a copy of a recording made in the USA the last time that the D'Oyly Carte lent out their set of scores (they allegedly were returned in a condition which made it impossible for them to be lent out subsequent to this and it was suggested that this set may have been destroyed). James then reconstructed what he could from these sources and for a time it seemed that this was a far as the reconstruction could be done.

A contact in the Sullivan Society then found that a copy of the band parts existed in possession of a private collector in Sydney, Australia. James made contact with the gentleman who owned these and by arrangement spent a feverish week in an hotel room correcting the work that he had already done.

According to James, it is interesting to note how different Cellier's orchestration was in The Mountebanks from that work done with Sullivan….

I shall be happy to pass on James' address to any private enquirers.

- PATRICK GALLAGHER
PGallagher@tavi-port.org   

G&S ON THE SILVER SCREEN - AGAIN!

I can in fact confirm the rumour that there will be a MIKADO movie being filmed next year… It was at one time hoped to be a big Hollywood film, however, it was decided it would be more successful as a British venture. So Brad Pitt & Jennifer Anniston will no longer be involved. Rumour has it that they are looking at Kate Winslett for Yum-Yum (as I believe she has an excellent voice) & Hugh Grant as Nanki-Poo.

However, I believe Aussie Heart-throbs Hugh Jackman & Russell Crowe (who both have singing experience) have been mentioned in production meetings. Shirley Bassey is a possibility, however, after her recent success in Annie, Lily Savage has also been discussed for Katisha. Songs would have to be transposed but producers believe Ms. Savage's characterisation would more than make up for this. Rowan Atkinson is not available so Ko-Ko will probably be performed by Jon Inman (of Are you being served? fame.) My source tells me Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders are in negotiation for Pitti-Sing & Peep-Bo (although he could have been winding me up). Bob Monkhouse teams up with Bruce Forsythe as Pooh-Bah & Pish-Tush. And it does look like Billy Connolly will be playing the Mikado.

- posted on SavoyNet by MAX EYELLS
(gleaned by Janice Dallas)

ALL ABOUT G&S ON THE WEB

Have you visited the G&S Archives lately? Visit them to learn all you want to learn about your favorite subject. For instance - would you like to hear a few of Sullivan's odd songs? Visit the Archives Midi Files Page and listen to the Midi files there, while reading the lyrics posted on the site!

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We’d like to remind folks:  To subscribe to SavoyNet, the G&S mailing list, send the message "Subscribe SavoyNet (your full name)" to the address - and you’ll be sent all the information you need.

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Note: Very old issues of The Trumpet Bray are still available in The G & S Archives. We hope to create a more nearly complete archive of the Bray in the future.

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PO Box 367, Arlington, MA 02476-0004

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