Related Reviews
Classical CD Choice
'This is a lively and ingratiating reading of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic masterpiece...the opera is dispatched in energetic fashion.'
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Critic's Choice: 'Revelatory...An eminently seaworthy Pinafore, sure to captivate Savoyards everywhere.'
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BBC Radio 2 'Desmond Carrington'
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Crescendo
4 Stars
« HMS Pinafore est une œuvre plaisante contenant de nombreux airs fort bien construits ... Elle reste somme toute assez lisse... »
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'So beautifully done. Sophisticated. It's a strong cast.'
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Arthur Sullivan Society Journal
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BBC Music Magazine
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Opera Choice: 'As a full modern recording without dialogue, this is definitely recommendable.'
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AllMusic
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KulturRadio
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„Diese CD ist ein Glücksfall und ein erstaunlicher Lebensbeweis des Genres.“
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Der Neue Merker
„Die Aufführung der Schottischen Oper in Edinburgh ist jedenfalls ein Hit."
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The Telegraph
'...the performance is largely excellent...the whole thing bounces and sparkles and smiles...'
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The New Listener
„Dazwischen hinreißende Chöre und Ensembles, kurzum ein Vergnügen, das diese Live-Aufnahme durchaus adäquat einfängt."
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The Herald Scotland
'Conductor Richard Egarr, the Scottish Opera orchestra and chorus and a fine line-up of soloists, including John Mark Ainsley, Elizabeth Watts and Toby Spence shine...'
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Gramophone
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Financial Times
'A first-rate cast...[it] sparkles.'
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MusicWeb International
'The singers are first class and well suited to their roles...The rest of the cast do equal justice, with soloists and chorus singing with excellent tonal balance, energy and commitment under Richard Egarr's leadership.'
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Ihr Opernratgeber
„Für den spritzigen Orchesterklang sorgt der Dirigent Richard Egarr . Eine witzige Produktion, die glücklicherweise ohne Holzhammerhumor auskommt.“
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The Sunday Times
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Presto Classical
Disc of the Week: '…for my money Egarr and Co. get the balance between tradition and freshness absolutely spot-on: there’s a tremendous sense of affection and conviction from all involved, and never a suggestion of anyone condescending to the material…Working from two recent scholarly editions of the score, Egarr brings out some wonderful orchestral detail...'
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Pizzicato
4 Stars
„frisch gestrichen“
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The Herald Scotland
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Scottish Opera - HMS Pinafore - Limelight


21 October 2016
Limelight
James McCarthy

A dazzling comic opera still going strong after 135 years.

The fourth of Gilbert and Sullivan's remarkable operettas was HMS Pinafore, almost stillborn due to a heatwave that kept the public out of the stifling theatre in 1878. It was eventually saved by Sullivan playing excerpts at some prom concerts and the rest is history.

This recording is from a concert performance made in August 2015 at the Edinburgh Festival...it is good to have a fresh take. Instead of dialogue, for example, Tim Brooke-Taylor provides the narrative and droll comments between the numbers.

Andrew Foster-Williams' Captain Corcoran is strong, if a little strained at times. Elizabeth Watts brings to Josephine a bit more spunk than is usual; this character can sometimes be a bit wet and she makes much of her splendid second act aria. Neal Davies is an excellent Dick Deadeye. As the hero, Ralph, Toby Spence is equally effective. John Mark Ainsley's Sir Joseph is far too mannered for me. Conductor Richard Egarr keeps the music moving; Pinafore almost conducts itself unless you get in the way.

As an aside, there are many reasons why these operettas have proved such useful school shows: the music is bright and melodic with excellent harmonies; Gilbert provides a wide door to richer and wittier language than most children ever experience. You don't get many of those qualities in a rock show. 


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Elizabeth WattsElizabeth Watts
John Mark AinsleyJohn Mark Ainsley
Richard EgarrRichard Egarr
Scottish OperaScottish Opera
Toby SpenceToby Spence
Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS PinaforeGilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore