Retrospect Opera

Great British Operas On Record

Pickwick by Burnand & Solomon and Cups and Saucers by George Grossmith

    The one-act operetta Pickwick, the first successful musical adaptation of one of Charles Dickens's stories, has a delightful, fun-filled (and pun-filled) libretto by Sir Francis Burnand, the versatile writer who had teamed up with Sullivan before the latter established his more enduring partnership with W. S. Gilbert. The most famous incident in Pickwick Papers, the hilarious 'misunderstanding' between Mr Pickwick and Mrs Bardell, is brought to life in a series of sparkling songs and duets. The companion work, Cups and Saucers of 1876, was written, composed and performed by George Grossmith (1847-1912), best known for his origination of many of the Gilbert and Sullivan patter roles, but a talented composer and writer in his own right. It is a delicious little satire on the British obsession with Oriental china and may have helped inspire The Mikado.

  • Tracks 1-20: Pickwick (55.00)
  • The cast is:
           Pickwick - Simon Butteriss
          Mrs Bardell - Gaynor Keeble
          The Baker - Toby Stafford-Allen
          Tommy - Alessandro MacKinnon
  • Tracks 21-28: Cups and Saucers (18.18)
  • The cast is: 
General Deelah - Simon Butteriss
Mrs Worcester - Gaynor Keeble
  • The pianist for both is Stephen Higgins
  • The 36-page booklet includes the full libretto, and essays by David Chandler, Kurt Gänzl and Simon Butteriss.
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