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Appeal of G&S

October 21, 1990

I was glad to see that Chris Pasles wrote a positive article on the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company revival ("Reviving the Gilbert & Sullivan Legacy," Oct. 14).

I wonder why it is so hard to stage a first-rate production of Gilbert and Sullivan. Is it because these operas are looked upon as being too middle-class in their appeal to warrant serious consideration by major companies?

A decade ago, the only hope that one had of seeing a good G&S production was an occasional visit by the D'Oyly Carte. Then when it finally did show, it was blasted by the press.

Considering that the company existed for the purpose of being "a source of innocent merriment," it is hard to imagine that the ripping it received was a punishment fit to the crime.

I do not think that chasing opera companies out of the city is a step forward, especially when they have been listed on the endangered-species list.

Gilbert and Sullivan is an excellent way to foster love for classical music in the young, and even a mediocre production will please an audience.

I always take the kids out to these shows, even though everyone sitting around us is at least 105 years old and breathing into a respirator. It is my hope that The Times will use the power of its printed word to help build a younger audience. Please remember that most of us are not comparing these shows to something we saw in Australia in 1947. We are seeing, and enjoying them, for the first time.

FRED JUDKINS

Burbank

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