The 1970 Mt. Oread Grand Duke

RudolphScott Holmes
Ernest DummkopfScott Shattuck
LudwigMichael L. Rapport
Dr. TannhäuserStephen Weldon
Prince of Monte CarloRonald Highley
Viscount MentonePaul Gilbert
Ben HashbazArthur Kleinman
HeraldAlfred J. Lata
Barkeep (?)Chuck Werts
Princess of Monte CarloCarolyn Weber
Baroness von KrakenfeldtSharon K. F. Zongher
Julia JellicoeBeth Carr
LisaRobyn Lee
OlgaRita Halsig
GretchenKathy Virgilio
BerthaPam Pyles
ElsaCarol Jean Smith
MarthaGail Wilson

Mount Oread Gilbert and Sullivan Company
Stage Direction: John Bush Jones
Musical Direction: Lynn Schornick

In May, 1970, an International Conference on Gilbert and Sullivan was held at The University of Kansas. A production of The Grand Duke was one of the conference's chief attractions (performances of the opera being, at the time, a great rarity). This recording was made at those performances, and though one is not likely to encounter it today, it is included here for its historical importance. J. Donald Smith provided the following review:

This recording has acquired almost legendary proportions. It was the first stereo recording of The Grand Duke and features the complete first night version of dialogue and music, including some lines that eluded Reginald Allen in his First Night Gilbert and Sullivan.

The diction is uniformly excellent, so that one can understand everything even without the libretto. Once one gets past some of the broad midwestern accents, the soloists range from decent to excellent. The chorus is very good but suffers from ragged and tentative entrances. The weakness is the orchestra, which was thin, particularly in the strings and most noticeable in the overture and exposed parts.

Despite being recorded at a live performance, the audience is not intrusive; there seemed to be little reaction, possibly because of the unfamiliarity of the work. There is also very little stage noise.

That said, it is still an amateur performance and one which I would not listen to frequently unless I wanted to hear the dialogue. For a performance with dialogue, there is little choice between this version and that of the Washington Lyric. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice would appear to depend on which recording one might be able to find.

Issue History
1970 no label Stereo LP unnumbered