In Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! expert and enthusiast Ian Bradley explores the world of Gilbert and Sullivan over the last four and a half decades, looking at the way this phemen is passed from generation to generation. Taking as his starting point the expiry of copyright on the opera libretti at the end of 1961 and using fascinating hitherto unpublished archive material, Bradley reveals the extraordinary story of the last years of the old D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, the guardian of Savoy tradition for over a hundred years, and the troubled history of its successor. He explores the rich vein of parodies, spoofs, and spin-offs of the songs, as well as their influence on twentieth century lyricists and composers. He analyzes professional productions across the world, looks at the unique place of G&S in schools, colleges, and universities, and lovingly explores the culture of amateur performance. He also uncovers the largely male world of the obsessive fans, those collecting memorabilia, the myriad magazines, journals, websites, and festivals devoted to G&S, and the arcane interests of some of the faithful inner brotherhood.
Ian Bradley is one of world's leading authorities on and enthusiasts for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. He annotated them from top to toe in The Complete Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan (OUP, 1996), has broadcast regularly on the operas for the BBC, and acted as consultant to the D'Oyly Carte Company. He is Vice President of the Arthur Sullivan Society and honorary life president of the St. Andrews University Gilbert and Sullivan Society with whom he has performed several principal bass-baritone roles. His abiding passion for G&S is fitted into his more serious life as a minister in the Church of Scotland, University Chaplain and Reader in Practical Theology and Church History in the School of Divinity at St. Andrews University. He is the author of more than 30 books.