Retrospect Opera (http://www.retrospectopera.org.uk/) is a small, UK-based charity which makes professional recordings of important musical theatre works from Britain’s past, roughly the period 1750-1950. We are currently working on a pioneering recording of the music composed for David Garrick’s great Shakespeare “Jubilee” of 1769, the most talked about cultural event of the British 18th century. The music was subsequently embedded in Garrick’s sensationally popular musical comedy, The Jubilee, premiered the same year. Next year will of course mark the 250th anniversary of these remarkable events, and our release will mark that anniversary. We want to create something that is at once scholarly, with appropriate supporting documentation, and musically and theatrically done to the highest level, capturing how much fun it all was. Charles Dibdin’s music is tuneful and delightful, demonstrating just how much Shakespeare had become part of popular culture.
There is more detail about the project here: http://www.retrospectopera.org.uk/DIBDIN/Shakespeare.html We have endorsements from Stephen Greenblatt and Jonathan Bate, and several very distinguished Shakespeareans have made donations. For a full list of supporters see here: http://www.retrospectopera.org.uk/DIBDIN/Shakespeare_Supporters.html
Although we are about 80% funded for this, we are very keen to find more supporters, and are hoping (praying!) that individual Shakespeareans who understand the enormous importance of the Garrick Jubilee and recognise the value of reviving and commemorating it will want to help us. The bulk of our funding always does come from individuals, and we have various levels of supporter, as the website explains (basically £25, £50, and £100 categories). All supporters will of course get a copy of the recording and accompanying materials, with all donations of £25 or more being listed on the website and those of £50 or more also being listed in the booklet issued with the CD. Anyone willing to help us can do so from this page: http://www.retrospectopera.org.uk/Donate.html