Grand Opera comes to G&S! or is it the other way round?
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording has been available in the UK for some time, and in a market that has some competition. Sir Neville Marriner conducts a disciplined orchestra and cast. The superbly idiomatic Kurt Weill is a tenor worthy of the best G&S performers. Having an 'English' ear I found it difficult to determine that he is American! No mean feat to convince a 'Brit'!. But, I am glad to be beguiled so easily. Bryn Terfyl as Shadbolt, is glorious when in singing mode, his dialogue though is somewhat of a disappointment, as is the dialogue of Phoebe, Jean Rigby, though her singing is nicely projected. The celebrated baritone Thomas Allen, decided upon using his native Northumbria for his accent. This does lend an individualistic quality to a a performance that shows the comedian role, for once, having a strong singing voice, without loss of diction in the 'Patter songs'. Do get this recording and compare it with the 1964 D'Oyly Carte, Decca performance. For myself, when D'Oyly Carte were at their finest, none could even approach them for style and delivery of such particular music. When I perform in, listen to or see a well staged performance of Yeoman, I can never understand why the English National Opera House (Covent Garden) over-look such an influential composer, and lyricist. Could it be 'English snobbery' ? I rest my case. In conclusion, the dialogue in the 'Marriner' version is a bonus not-withstanding the reservations mentioned earlier."