|Sullivan > Major Works > Ivanhoe > Music in 1891
The year which has just closed has been mainly remarkable for the production of a great number of important operatic novelties, many of them independent of that particular enterprise which has done so much to win back the ancient prestige of Italian opera. Most important to all those who care for English art was the brilliant opening of the Royal English Opera House with Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Ivanhoe.
In referring to the prospect of the new scheme some time before it was completely matured, we took occasion to point out the impossibility of making the institution one of great national significance without a repertory selected from operas of different schools; the event proved this only too plainly, for in spite of the universal acclamation with which the single opera was received, even the magic of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s name was not enough to secure a great financial success, and Ivanhoe, a work of much beauty, though strangely unequal in merit, was withdrawn before any other English work was ready to take its place.
It is true that the number of consecutive performances was greater than that reached by any other opera, but it would be rash to claim for it a permanent place among the classics of English music. Quite wisely, Mr. D’Oyly Carte chose a French work of remarkable beauty and originality for his second production, and, after passing through a somewhat serious crisis, the fate of La Basoche is now no longer doubtful.
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