A reasonably good abridgement to this ever-popular G&S opera
Yi-Peng | Singapore | 03/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This budget-priced abridgement of D'Oyly Carte's incomporable 1968 PIRATES is a reasonably good way for beginners to get started on the opera itself. The D'Oyly Carte's performance is top-notch and beyond reproach and Isidore Godfrey elicits delicate playing from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The 62-minute playing time gives exceptionl value for money, even though there are scenes I feel should hae been omitted such as Frederic's "Oh is there not one maiden breast" that hold up the action. It would have been ince to include the Act One finale because it reveals what is to come in the second act. To round off, some people think that this performance of PIRATES is far too operatic, but this is Sullivan's original arrangement and not others' work."
Fine Excerpts At An Affordable Price
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gilbert And Sullivan. Eternal names in the musical theatre scene. They were the 19th century British version of Rodgers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Loewe. And this was long before Broadway, when the Savoy was the vogue of musical comedy and the Savoyards were highly popular entertainers. William S. Gilbert provided the libretti and lyrics to the operettas, while Arthur Sullivan, who was a serious music composer in his own right, provided the music. The operettas or light operas they wrote were mostly up-beat social satires dressed up as comedy, very theatrical, historical, inventive, and very patriotic to Brittain. Their works borrowed the opera technique- choruses, arias, ensembles, but as far as plot and content their only serious work was The Yeomen Of The Guard. Other Gilbert And Sullivan hits include Trial By Jury, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, Princess Ida and The Gondoliers. Gilbert And Sullivan's manager/impresario was Richard D'Oyly Carte.This recording is only highlights from a 1968 recording (also available on Amazon.com) with the D'Oyly Carte Opera, conductor Isidore Godfrey directs the Royal Philharmonic. In the role of Frederick, lyric tenor Phillip Potter, in the role of Mabel, soprano Valerie Masterson, John Reed as Major General Stanley, Donald Adams as The Pirate King,Owen Brannigan as the Sergeant Of Police, and mezzo soprano Christine Palmer as Nurse Ruth. These singers were at their vocal peaks, and they provide much comedic acting as well. Impressive scenes include the mezzo soprano vocals of Christine Palmer's Ruth as she describes how she mistook "Pilot" for "Pirate" when nursing Frederick (When Frederick Was A Little Lad"), Frederick's plea to the daughters of the Major General to accept him as husband (O Is There Not One Maiden Breast) Valerie Masterson, whose Mabel is the best, singing the coloratura showcase "Poor Wondering One" and her duet in "Stay Frederick Stay" John Reed singing "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General" is hilarious and a display of virtuosity for this type of singing. The beautiful chorus "O Dry The Glistening Tear" the upbeat "With Cat Like Tread" and the finale are exceptional."