ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900): Ivanhoe.
Catalogue Number: 03L005
Description: Sullivan intended Ivanhoe to be a new way forward for English opera and the work is, in effect, the first true "English national opera" (some scholars have compared his setting of English with Janácek's way with the Czech language). Unaccountably, the work is often referred to as a failure but, in fact, it ran for 155 consecutive nights in one of London's largest and most expensive theatres. The orchestration is marvellously broad and varied; Scott's novel is encapsulted in three acts containing nine scenes with Ivanhoe the unifying character, and Sullivan weaves a web of the best elements of European national operatic styles with characteristics of English ballad opera to produce something entirely new and, unfortunately, unique for its time. "...a terrific achievement. From the lively pomp of the jousting scene, with its brilliant double chorus, to moments of exquisite tenderness and passion, to thrilling battles and powerful drama, this recording makes a compelling case for a monumental work that deserves a modern audience." - BBC Music Reviews. 3 CDs. Libretto included. Janice Watson, Geraldine McGreevy (sopranos), Toby Spence (tenor), Neal Davies (baritone), Adrian Partington Singers, BBC National Orchestra of Wales; David Lloyd-Jones.