A delightful interpretation of a forgotten classic
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gilbert and Sullivan are most well known for such comic opera gems as 'The Mikado', 'The Pirates of Penzance', and 'H.M.S. Pinafore'. 'The Sorcerer' is not one of their better-known works, presumably because its slow beginning tends to decrease general interest before the fun really begins. This was dealt with rather well by the Ambrosian Opera Company, which used plenty of colour and lots of bright voices to liven things up a bit until the turning point near the end of the first act. Visuals, as is the habit within this series, did tend to be exaggerated a tinge more than necessary, but it's arguable that this holds the interest of the uninitiated. Commendable performances were given by all, especially by Clive Revill (baritone) as the title character and Nuala Willis (contralto) as Lady Sangazure. Their duet in the second act is really quite a lot of fun to watch. I vote we bring this back on the market."
Not well known comic opera. That is well done and very fun.
Timothy B. Holt | Santa Cruz and World Surfing Capital | 05/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is odd how mesmerizing this version of the Sorcerer is. It just delights me each time I watch it. Clive Revell plays the Sorcerer so well I cannot think of anybody else doing it. The rapid fire "My name is John Wellington Wells. I'm a dealer in magic and spells..." with a serious tone but devilish smirk.... I get lost in this like very few films. I find the Television setting adds to the movie feel so I sense more that I am there with them. The sets are all inside but the arrangement makes me feel trees and an English manor and lawns and with marriage tent. I do not find Oliver's age to be a problem. He seems just right for a late 18th century man marrying later with odd ideas about the value of "True Love". Nan Christie's solo (I really love her smile) in the library is beautiful and fun, and so is the nuanced and so very polite minuette between Donald Adams and Nuala Willis. I feel such sympathy for their frustration of wanting rush into each others arms after years but being politely restrained. The story as played almost becomes very suggestive of a wildness that makes me feel it is racy and yet it is not. The minister's reveries of a past of love that might have been.... I just feels like a dream with much cheer and fun and in another time and place, that at the end with a fair ground like dance and whirl, and they the hit the cricket ball into heaven where the Sorcerer sits on a star (nice, touches like this throughout) I am thinking: "I will go back to that world again. That was fun and beautiful."
But, get the Opera World set. I think it is worth it if you like this type of thing. I really disagree with the negative comments from Opera purists who have live memories they compare with. The sets are well done. The players are good enough to please my ears and make me fall into the spell. Clive Revill, Donald Adams, Nan Christie are just a few of the players and most are in more of the series along with Keith Mitchell, Alexander Oliver, Beverly Mills. I would take this series to a desert island. Something in entertainment was perfected here and G&S will never be forgotten."