Ivanhoe lifted above the pedestrian
Sullivan's mediocre opera Ivanhoe is given a first class outing by David Lloyd-Jones directed orchestra and soloists
Artists: Soloists, Adrian Partington Singers, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Lloyd-Jones
Label: Chandos CHAN 10578
Ivanhoe opened to a great fanfare in January 1891. It was the inaugural production at the Royal English Opera House, built by D’Oyly Carte to be the London home of – yes – English opera. It ran for an astonishing 155 consecutive performances; despite this, the project was a failure and Carte sold the theatre the next year. Although the theatre still stands, Ivanhoe eventually sank. All concerned are to be congratulated on this magnificent recording. But Ivanhoe is no rediscovered masterpiece: the libretto is pure fustian and Sullivan’s writing is pedestrian in the extreme. This is a five-star performance of a one-star opera.