The original treatment offered innovations which, at the time could not be achieved logistically by staff producers at an ITV or BBC studio and therefore could only be produced by an independent production company. The commission was to create a popular music show that would not only help build ratings but have the potential to run into more series as well as a secondary market.
Top Cs & Tiaras I (special) - Balconies, balls and bravado, a selection from operetta which often took place in exotic places. Songs from The Gypsy Princess, Bless The Bride, plus ‘Ol Man River from Showboat. Operetta didn’t always deal in love, it also dealt with action and war; a medley of some of the best tunes. Perhaps the most famous goodbye song is from The White Horse Inn. A selection of more goodbyes.
Top Cs & Tiaras II (special) - The first of the waltz themes, some of the best waltzes from the best shows. Summertime from Porgy & Bess, Ivor Novello and Glamorous Nights, Pedro The Fisherman, Glitter And Be Gay from Candide. A medley of songs from Out Of This World by Cole Porter, plus a selection of titles from Kismet. The world of operetta is littered with good drinking songs, reach for your glasses and join in some of the best. And, from the ‘mad facts, the shortest operetta ever, at Dury Lane (early 50s) closed at interval on opening night called ‘Lucky Boy’ and never made it to act 2.
Ep 1: This Will Be My Shining Hour (Intro to the series) - The conductor returns to the podium at Wrotham Park, Hertfordshire with a selection of the best of operetta and musical comedy. The cast pay tribute to Sigmund Romberg, one of the best loved American composers of operetta, a treat of disguise and mistaken identity from Die Fledermaus, plus songs of unrequited love.
Ep 2: Best of All Possible Worlds - More of the best and the worst from the wonderful world of operetta and musical comedy. Julian Slade wrote a hit musical in 1954 about two under graduates from Oxford, Salad Days. In operetta soldiers never fight, they enjoy life, they drink, they get the girl, and they strut around in their finery looking very macho. For some light relief, we hear from the ‘incredible names and plots department’ about The Earl & The Girl.
Ep 3: One Night of Love - A waltz medley, the Czardas, and songs about different attitudes to age and growing old gracefully plus the somewhat scandalous Mayor’s wife of Perpignan. A tribute to duets, three contrasting duets from three contrasting shows. Three songs from a Planquette operetta Paul Jones, based on an historical figure born in Cumbria.
Ep 4: Dance Little Lady - A selection of ballroom dances from operetta, Guiditta by Franz Lehár, Mad Dog and Englishmen by Sir Noel Coward, and a naughty ‘Miss Primrose’. A medley from the little known operetta Tenderloin, about the district in New York of the same name with a reputation of ‘ill repute’ and the plot being the plan to reform and clean-up the town. More interesting plots, The Circus Girl which premiered at the Gaiety Theatre (1896).
Ep 5: Play To Me Gypsy - A tribute to Robert Stolz (d.1975) one of the last composers to carry on the Viennese tradition of Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar writing 49 operettas and musicals. Songs also from the world of the gypsies, not the ones today but the old romantic ones, fortune tellers, violin players, handsome young men and naughty eyed young ladies around the campfire and love was always in the air. In the ‘operetta facts department’ The Mikado being the cause of a diplomatic incident, or the plot of involving cross-dressing in the Chinese operetta San Toy.
Ep 6: When Vienna Sings - Viennese waltzes, the Doleful Prima Donna, and. more from Madame Pompadour. Love songs being the staple diet of operetta, two very contrasting songs plus another showstopper from Giuditta, ‘Love Gentle & Tender’. Favourites from London shows in the fifties and sixties, Sir Noel Coward, Ron Grainer and Ronald Millar, Laurie Johnson, and musicals by Lionel Bart including ‘Blitz’ (1962). A finale The Showstopper Medley, a section of songs which literally stopped the shows, decade by decade (specially arranged by Burt Rhodes).
Why digitise and remaster?
The renewed interest in the Bright Thoughts Company product we have requests for this show to be digitised and remastered for 'on-demand' audiences. If you'd like to Add Your Support and let us have an expression of interest it will help us gauge the level of interest.