Our Island Home (1870)

Libretto by W. S. Gilbert
Music by Thomas German Reed

Mrs. German ReedKatherine Emory
Mr. German ReedKen Meyer
Miss Fanny HollandGinger Green
Mr. Arthur CecilKrishan Oberoi
Captain Bang, a pirate
     chief, later Alfred Reed
Kevan Vanek

The Royal Victorian Opera Company
Elaine Smith, music director and pianist

Reviewed by J. Donald Smith

This production incorporates the original German Reed music, a discovery of Frederic Woodbridge Wilson, then curator of the Gilbert and Sullivan Collection at the Pierpont Morgan Library. The music serves to enhance the action but is unmemorable otherwise. For the first time, here is the overbearing contralto and the meek, submissive baritone. The original performers played themselves; in a typical Gilbertian twist, their personae were the opposite of those in real life. In many other respects, the opera is a precursor to The Pirates of Penzance.

The video is a very well-done and believable production.

Issue History
1995[none]VHS NTSC[no number]