Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore [1959]

Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore [1959]

by D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
     
 
The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company was founded in 1875, giving the first performance of Trial by Jury at the Royalty Theatre in London, and is the company most closely associated with the performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's work. Not surprisingly, the D'Oyly Carte recorded rather prolifically, and this 1959 album is the

Overview

The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company was founded in 1875, giving the first performance of Trial by Jury at the Royalty Theatre in London, and is the company most closely associated with the performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's work. Not surprisingly, the D'Oyly Carte recorded rather prolifically, and this 1959 album is the fourth of their five recordings of H.M.S. Pinafore -- the best of the lot, as it happens. One of the great stars of this era was the comic baritone John Reed, and one can hear why in his delightfully arch portrayal of the Right Honorable Joseph Porter, K.C.B. In fact, the cast is uniformly excellent: Thomas Round is a sweet-voiced Ralph Rackstraw, Jeffrey Skitch a noble Captain Corcoran, Gillian Knight a wily Buttercup, and Donald Adams a menacing (but not too) Dick Deadeye. The early stereo recording still sounds quite good for its age, and the two discs include the complete score with dialogue. An essential set for any self-respecting Savoyard.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Patsy Morita
This 1959 D'Oyly Carte Opera Company stereo recording is the first with John Reed, who plays the Right Honourable Joseph Porter, K.C.G. with the straightforwardness appropriate to the importance of the ruler of the Queen's Navy. It is also the first the company recorded with complete dialog included, as performed on-stage, which actually gives you a fuller picture of the characterizations. (If you only want to hear the music, you're out of luck: the dialog is always on the track with the music that precedes it.) Gillian Knight is Buttercup, Jean Hindmarsh is Josephine, Thomas Round is Ralph, and Jeffrey Skitch is Captain Corcoran. Dick Deadeye, sung by Donald Adams, is decidedly (and delightfully) more pirate than royal navy. This skilled, veteran cast and the New Symphony Orchestra of London are all conducted by Isidore Godfrey, the company's longtime music director. The excellent performance certainly reflects the English essence of the work. As for the sound quality, it is also very good. Despite "Pinafore"'s being recorded as it was performed on-stage (without audience), there seem to have been enough microphones to pick up all the voices, all the time. Overall, this is one of the best recordings of "H.M.S. Pinafore," and certainly one of the best stereo recordings made by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2003
Label:
Decca Import
UPC:
0028947363828
catalogNumber:
473638

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. H. M. S. Pinafore (The Lass that Loved a Sailor), operetta

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