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Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900): HMS Pinafore, opera / John Mark Ainsley, tenor; Elizabeth Watts, soprano; Tim Brooke-Taylor, narrator; Scottish Opera, Richard Egarr

Album Summary

>Sullivan, Arthur : HMS Pinafore
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This live recording of an acclaimed one-off, sold-out performance at the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival captures the wit and fun of Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. Heading up a cast that reads like a 'who's who' of the opera world is John Mark Ainsley, Elizabeth Watts and Toby Spence. Completing the star-studded line up is comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor (The Goodies, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue) as the narrator. Conductor Richard Egarr (AAM, SCO) applies his extensive knowledge of period performance practice to recreate the sound and style typical of the late 19th century, a first for a G&S recording. HMS Pinafore is rich in comic burlesque, sending up theatrical and operatic conventions and parodying the Italian opera of the day. The tongue-in-cheek writing is apparent from the opening chorus and the music is equally rich in comic pastiche and styles; 'For he is an Englishman' is one of the greatest master-strokes. The complete cast list is: John Mark Ainsley (The Rt Hon. Sir Joseph Porter KCB), Elizabeth Watts (Josephone), Andrew Foster-Williams (Captain Corcoran), Toby Spence (Ralph Rackstraw), Kitty Whately (Hebe), Neal Davies (Dick Deadeye), Hilary Summers (Little Buttercup), Gavan Ring (Bill Bobstay) and Barnaby Rea (Bob Becket). Climb aboard the HMS Pinafore for a hugely fun seafaring romp!

Sunday Times
Gilbert's satire...still resonates, and was a gift for Sullivan's talent for parodying Italian opera. That and its native tunefulness keep the score fresh, as this Scottish Opera performance under Egarr, recorded live at last year's Edinburgh International Festival, happily reminds us.

Gramophone Magazine, June 2016
It sounds like everyone involved was having a lot of fun. Richard Egarr, for example: who knew that he was such an affectionate Savoyard?...It was clearly one of those occasions where everyone plays off each other, and with a cast like this, the results are never less than engaging.

MusicWeb International, June 2016
The whole presentation is well-rehearsed and the orchestra is excellent. It was nice to see that Scottish Opera follow the D'Oyly Carte with the need for excellent diction... . In many a recording we find there are woodwind lines that fail to come across, but here there is absolute clarity from every section.

Sunday Telegraph, 5th June 2016
[Egarr proves] himself a natural for this repertoire; the whole thing bounces, sparkles and

BBC Music Magazine, August 2016
Richard Egarr brings springy energy to the score...Elizabeth Watts's Josephine has a mischievous touch.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK (08/23/2015).


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Works Details

>Sullivan, Arthur : HMS Pinafore
  • Conductor: Richard Egarr
  • Ensemble: Scottish Opera
  • Running Time: 64 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1878
  • Studio/Live: Live