Gilbert and Sullivan Archive



MICHAEL NASH: One of the most obvious musical "quotes" to me is When The Night Wind Howls, which seems a direct parody of the Ride Of The Valkyries tune.

BILL SNYDER: Has anyone else noticed that, note by note, "If somebody . . ." starts out exactly like "Whene'er I spoke . . ." from Princess Ida?

LOUIS WERNICK: Has anyone noticed an operatic reference in Mad Margaret's entrance song? When Sullivan set to music the words: "Never doubting never doubting that for Cytherian posies", he used a melody virtually identical to that used by Elvira for the opening of her "Mad Scene" in Bellini's I Puritani. This aria has been recorded in the original I Puritani form by Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills and Maria Callas among others, so a reference for comparison is easy to locate.

ANDREW CROWTHER: Listening with half an ear to a broadcast of Ambroise Thomas's opera of Hamlet a couple of days ago, I was struck by a woodwind accompaniment to Ophelia's Mad Scene, which seemed remarkably like the flute (?) introduction to Mad Margaret's scene. I see the Thomas opera is from 1868. Can someone more musically literate than I confirm the resemblance, and hazard whether it's likely to have been deliberate?

MICHAEL RICE: Most seem to agree that the flute cadenza is based on the mad scene from Lucia Di Lammermoor.

Page created 4 October 1997