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Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore

Release date: 20 May 2016, CKD522


Elizabeth Watts, Andrew Foster-Williams, Hilary Summers, John Mark Ainsley, Neal Davies, Toby Spence, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Scottish Opera, Richard Egarr


Arthur Sullivan






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Press Quotes

MusicWeb International

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.


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.

The 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.

YOU HAVE SELECTED:  Duration Price Price Price Price  
Arthur Sullivan: HMS Pinafore, Act I 40:11   $
Overture 05:18   $
Chorus. We sail the ocean blue 02:02   $
Recitative & Song. Hail, men-o 03:12   $
Recitative. But, tell me 00:31   $
Scena. The Nightingale sighed 05:17   $
Recitative & Song. My gallant crew, good morning 02:17   $
Recitative. Sir, you are sad! 01:41   $
Song. Sorry her lot 03:55   $
Chorus of Women. Over the bright blue sea 00:48   $
Chorus of Sailors & Relatives. We sail the ocean blue 02:02   $
Recitative, Song & Chorus. I am the monarch of the sea 01:23   $
Song. When I was a lad 02:50   $
Exit for Ladies. For I hold that on the seas 00:50   $
Trio. A British tar 02:40   $
Duet. Refrain, audacious tar 03:44   $
Finale. Can I survive this overbearing 01:41   $

Album Spectogram

Album information

Richard Egarr conducts the Scottish Opera in Gilbert and Sullivan’s much-loved nautical comic opera: HMS Pinafore. Performed and recorded live at the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival to a sold out audience, the story unfolds with additional narration from comic actor and broadcaster Tim Brooke-Taylor. Heading up a cast that reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the opera world are John Mark Ainsley, Elizabeth Watts and Toby Spence.

The well-crafted, yet light-hearted story unfolds on the HMS Pinafore as Josephine, the captain’s daughter, falls in love with a lowly sailor (Ralph Rackstraw) despite arrangements by her father to marry Sir Joseph Porter. Sir Joseph is a perfect caricature of Britain’s class system of the day – a pompous and splendidly incompetent man. Nevertheless, this likeable character decrees his liberal views and inadvertently encourages a couple in love to reject social conventions and elope. A tale of British silliness, filled with British humour, ends happily for all characters.

Egarr applies his extensive knowledge of period performance practice to recreate the sound and style typical of the late nineteenth century, a first for a Gilbert and Sullivan 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.

Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore

Category Opera

Period Romantic

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