…including a complete concert performance of Trial By Jury which I was in, in a fully-staged semi-pro production, the year before my sweet Geordie lad was born.
Above my bonny John and members of the Trial by Jury cast: The D’Oyly Carte production, 1975.
Hastily conceived as a one-act filler for an evening’s entertainment with Offenbach’s La Périchole, Trial By Jury quickly established itself as the real hit of the production. Although this was not Gilbert & Sullivan’s first collaboration, it was the work that established the partnership for good. The first performance of Trial By Jury was on 25 March, 1875.
From Bachtrack.com: The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has always gone its own way, choosing its own repertoire and collaborators and pioneering a now established framework for ‘historically informed’ performance. So what would happen when its players alighted upon WS Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, alongside the vivacious and intrepid John Wilson, king of 20th-century popular repertoire? Wilson drew miraculous playing from the OAE, which seemed completely at home among the clouds of meringue and piles of whipped cream that Gilbert & Sullivan offer their audiences. The overture to The Gondoliers is rather boilerplate stuff, lacking Sullivan’s flair for pastiche and relentless tunefulness we find in say, Iolanthe, whose wispy opening enchanted later. But Wilson offered us a generous cone of creamy gelato, coaxing sumptuous and effulgent warmth from the OAE strings… ~Benjamin Poore
- “The Story So Far, with Conductor John Wilson”
- “The Story So Far; Or, Conductor John Wilson—His Limits”