Cox & Box and The Sorcerer
By Sullivan & Burnand AND Gilbert & Sullivan
Directed by Bill Farlow, Stage Director; Gary McKercher, Music Director/Orchestra Conductor
Cox & Box
With this little work, Arthur Sullivan made his first entry into the world of comic opera.
Cox and Box received its first performance in private on 16 May 1866. This took place at Moray Lodge in Kensington, the home of Arthur Lewis, and the regular venue for the 'Moray Minstrels', a group of musicians, actors and artists. Burnand later claimed that the first performance actually took place at his house three days earlier, but this may have been no more than a rehearsal.
The libretto for this one act little masterpiece was adapted from the famous farce Box and Cox by John Madison Morton, by librettist and sometime editor of Punch, Francis Cowley Burnand.
A year later, the death of Punch artist, Charles Bennett, resulted in the piece being performed for the first time in public at the Adelphi Theatre, and from then on Cox and Box became a favourite, appearing as a curtain raiser to many productions world wide.
After the early and resounding success of their one-act opera Trial By Jury in 1875, Gilbert and Sullivan, and their producer Richard D'Oyly Carte, decided to produce a full-length work. Gilbert expanded on one of his earlier writings based on a favourite operatic theme to create a plot about a magic love potion that would result in everyone falling in love with the wrong partner.
The Sorcerer was first produced at the Opéra Comique, a charming little theatre in the Strand, on November 17, 1877. The original run of the piece was a satisfactory 175 performances, enough of a success to encourage Gilbert & Sullivan to continue to collaborate, which led to their next piece, H.M.S. Pinafore. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Produced by Madison Savoyards, Ltd. at Music Hall
Performances: July 20-29, 2007
Performance Times: Fri, July 20 - 7:30 PM; Sat, July 21 - 7:30 PM; Sun, July 22 - 3:00 PM; Fri, July 27 - 7:30 PM; Sat, July 28 - 7:30 PM; Sun, July 29 - 3:00 PM
Ticket Prices: (Assigned Seating) Adults $25, Seniors $23, Students $10, Children $5
Call (608) 231-9005 for reservations or more information.