Richard Bratby

A spirited attempt to fix a show that’s never really flown: Utopia, Limited reviewed

Plus: a braver critic might suggest that the Jonas Kaufmann and Diana Damrau lieder recital didn’t entirely come off

Miniature melodramas: Helmut Deutsch, Diana Damrau and Jonas Kaufmann at the Barbican. Credit: Mark Allan/Barbican

Utopia, Limited (1893) is a rare bird, and one that every Gilbert and Sullivan completist simply has to bag. The point of completism, of course, is to acquire an overview: if artists are truly original, everything they created should illuminate the whole. But what if a career tailed off, or ran to seed? It’s just going to be depressing, isn’t it? By the time they began their penultimate opera, Gilbert and Sullivan hadn’t collaborated for three years.

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