What they say
VIEWER FEEDBACK AND SHORT EXTRACTS FROM REVIEWS
Channel 4 Annual Report
Top Cs and Tiaras (Bright Thoughts) won the channel’s most enthusiastic response by phone and letter for its stylish rediscovery of the middle ground of operetta with Julie Migenes Johnson.
Page 6, Channel 4 annual report 1984
In date sequence, read more ...
... I loved the mixture of well known and rarely heard numbers and the fact that the details of each song were clearly displayed on the screen. The setting was super and of course you employed wonderful singers such as Marilyn Hill Smith, Ben Luxon and Julia Migenes. You can't imagine Channel 4 broadcasting a show like that now sadly.
I recorded each programme - eight in total I believe - on video but sadly lost several of them when I was burgled a few years later ...
... a follow up series of three programmes called Julia and I was very lucky to attend the recording of one of these on a very wet evening!
... I would love to see them again and would certainly buy them all. - Geoff
Bright Thoughts Company, 18 October 2020
Extracts from Independent Television in Britain (vol.6)
Cecil Korer, the other first casualty of short-termism, was a good old professional who had become something of a specialist in game shows for the family while at the BBC. Isaacs had, until Tesler's tirade at the Ascot conference, set his heart against spending more than the smallest possible percentage of his limited funds on entertainment. As a consequence, Korer had to make bricks without straw.
Korer did also cater for musical tastes deserted by British television since the days when the BBC broadcast from Alexandra Palace. He revived the music of Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar, Rudolph Friml, Sigmund Romberg and other light classical composers in 'Top Cs and Tiaras' with the help of the singer with a remarkable voice and great style, Julia Migenes-Johnson.
Independent Television in Britain (vol.6) by Paul Bonner, 28 November 2002
From a letter by Gilbert Roberts, Palmers Green, London:
... Television chooses to ignore whole areas of the musical spectrum. When did we last see a music programme featuring stylish cabaret? Channel 4 presented an excellent series of show and operetta songs called Top Cs and Tiaras. Surely this could be revived successfully? Many people's musical tastes are not acknowledged by television.
The Stage, 19 August 1999
From a letter by Frank Blundell:
Give us more good music - Do you think perhaps they will return the marvellous Channel 4 programme from 1985, Top Cs and Tiaras? It was non-stop music with top singers like Peter Morrison and lots of others. It went on for six months every Saturday night and it would be fantastic if they would repeat it. I hope they can be persuaded - we get so little middle of the road music.
Sandwell Evening Mail, 26 June 1991
Extracts from Storm Over 4, A Personal Account
Duty Officer's Report - Sunday, 10 April 1983
Middle-of-the-road viewers, fans of middle-of-the-road music, have a constant appetite that goes unsated. Julia Migenes-Johnson, before she sang Lulu at the Vienna State Opera or Carmen to Placido Domingo's Don Jose, appeared in half a dozen shows for us - Top C's and Tiaras, devised and directed by Bryan Izzard (Neil Anthony). Though made on a shoestring they went down a treat with the fans. But they could not be a call on our air-time week in week out, I thought. Other priorities claimed our limited space. But some day, on radio or television, someone should cater, day in day out, for the neglected middlebrow.
Storm Over 4: A Personal Account by Jeremy Isaacs, 22 September 1989
From a letter by Queenie Smith, Exmouth, Devon:
All the magic of Top Cs and Carmen - I was thrilled to read the splendid article in praise of that marvellous lady Julia Migenes-Johnson! She is utterly fantastic; the first time I saw her I said to myself 'Carmen to perfection' - not knowing she was to make the film with Placido Domingo. I cannot imagine a more dynamic pair. But why did your article not mention Julia's wonderful television programme Top Cs and Tiaras - pure magic - which now carries her own name. I hope it will be back on my screen very soon.
Daily Mail, 20 May 1985
Extract from TV listings:
... the lively sparkling series "Top C's and Tiaras," which, despite its rather off-putting title, shows what a fund of talent and resources are available in operetta and musical comedy.
Telegraph, 31 December 1984
Extract from In My View by Hilary Kingsley:
Super Singers - If you haven't already, try trilling along with Top Cs and Tiaras on Sundays ... this team of singers is so superb, you wonder how Channel Four can afford them ...Julia Migenes Johnson is a knockout and Benjamin Luxon's voice is wonderful.
Daily Mirror, 5 May 1984
Mrs W. Buchanan, Aberdeen:
To all lover of musical comedy and operetta 'Top C's and Tiaras is a programme of real relish. These talented performers might well be described by a master of ceremonies as "succulent, euphoric, and gifted to a high level."
Aberdeen Evening Express, 2 June 1984
A short extract from TV Mail article by Paul Donavan:
Channel 4's new series of Top C's and Tiaras, beginning tomorrow, was made in and around the imposing pile outside South Mimms where Byng's descendants still live.
Daily Mail, 28 April 1984
A short extract from an interview by Peter Lewis:
Top Cs and Tiaras pioneered a new, relaxed, unstuffy approach tonight music on television ... no tiaras, there is not much evening dress, no old-fashioned pomp and hand-clasping - and no audience ... they let their hair down together, not in a studio or theatre but a country house, singing around a piano to one another or wandering through the gilded rooms or the grounds.
The Arts, The Times, 24 April 1984
Extract from TV listings by Sean Day-Lewis:
... the second helping of Top Cs and Tiaras (C4), a slickly assembled and more or less uncorrupted sequence of melodies from operetta and musical comedy ... of it's kind, it was an excellently finished video which would have won a high rating indeed on one of the senior channels.
Daily Telegraph, 1 November 1983
Extract from TV listings by Elizabeth Crowley:
... when the first Top Cs programme was broadcast last April, viewers' response was terrific. So Channel 4 decided to do another, and tonight's show is the forerunner of a full series ... an hour of non-stop music ...
Daily Mail, 31 October 1983
Presenting | Bright Thoughts Today | Anthony/Izzard Partnership | Producer's Choice | Projects & Formats | Chorus Girl | About the Shows | The Catalogue | The Monologues | Performance Listings | Top C's & Tiaras | More on Top C's | Top C's Feedback | Max Miller | Art Ensemble of Chicago | Ephemera | Scrapbook | Further Research | Independent TV Production | Company Details | Enquiries