by Daniel Hathaway
On this date in 1842, composer Arthur Seymour Sullivan was born in London. As the musical half of the Gilbert & Sullivan team, he joined librettist William Schwenk Gilbert in skewering many elements of British society in fourteen comic operas produced by Sir Richard D’Oyly Carte — many of them at London’s Savoy Theater. As a good Victorian, he also wrote oratorios and church music (most of that forgettable, including the triumphalist hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” and the hyper-sentimental The Lost Chord).
Gilbert and Sullivan got skewered themselves by British comedienne Anna Russell in her sketch, “How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera,” captured along with other famous parodies during her live performance at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1984. Watch here, or listen just to that individual sketch here.
Also on today’s date in 1949, British conductor and composer Jane Glover was born in Helmsley, England. Through her headmaster father, she was introduced to Benjamin Britten while still in her teens, a meeting she recalls here. Glover has made several appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, but since we’re also mentioning Arthur Sullivan today, it’s a good time to recommend her performance of Iolanthe at the Proms in London in 2000 with the BBC Singers and Concert Orchestra. Watch here.
TODAY’S STREAMING EVENTS:
Today on WCLV, enjoy Lunchtime with The Cleveland Orchestra and an evening broadcast of a concert by Les Délices, including an interview with founder Debra Nagy. On the web, there’s a vocal recital by soprano Renée Richardson with pianist Adam Whiting from CIM’s archives, and the triple threat of Jesye Norman, Kathleen Battle, and Tatiana Troyanos are featured in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos from the MET Opera’s vault. Details here.
INTERESTING WATCH & READ:
Composer and DJ Mason Bates, currently composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, shares his insights into bringing classical music to new audiences in his ‘mini’ min-series “Curating the Concert Experience,” a concept that translates effectively to today’s virtual, online performances. Read more and watch a video about his residency here, and check out his interview with San Francisco Classical Voice here.