The 1977 D'Oyly Carte Gondoliers

Duke of Plaza-ToroJohn Reed
LuizGeoffrey Shovelton
Don AlhambraKenneth Sandford
MarcoMeston Reid
GiuseppeMichael Rayner
AntonioJames Conroy-Ward
FrancescoBarry Clark
GiorgioMichael Buchan
AnnibaleJames Conroy-Ward
Duchess of Plaza-ToroLyndsie Holland
CasildaJulia Goss
GianettaBarbara Lilley
TessaJane Metcalfe
FiamettaGlynis Prendergast
VittoriaCaroline Baker
GiuliaAnne Egglestone
InezBeti Lloyd-Jones

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Royston Nash

Recorded at CBS Studios, Whitfield Street, London
18, 21 & 25 February 1977

Sounds on CD VGS252
Sounds on CD VGS252

This recording continued D'Oyly Carte's second stereo traversal of the operas, which had begun with the 1968 Pirates. After the excitement of the centenary and the recording of two operas, Utopia, Limited and The Grand Duke, that the Company had never recorded before, this Gondoliers was a bit of a let-down. Like a number of recordings of this period, it seemed to be without point and failed to improve on its predecessor. The recording included all the dialogue, but then, so did the artistically superior 1961 recording. Particularly annoying was the affected Castilian accent taken by Julia Goss.

Tony Watson added:

Much as I admire James Conroy-Ward in other roles, he simply does not have the right voice for Antonio. The trumpet comes in at the wrong place at the beginning of "From the sunny Spanish shore," and Marco (Meston Reid) is missing in "Then turn around…" from the opening number (a balance error in the recording, I think). It all seems to have been recorded as cheaply as possible, as a couple of retakes would have improved it greatly. Like the 1961 recording, the Act One finale is split over two sides. I can understand the reasons for this with LPs, but it is unforgivable not to have amended this in the CD version. Finally, I am sorry, but I never could enjoy Barbara Lilley's voice.

A recording of Sullivan's Marmion Overture was included as a bonus on the original LP issue. The Marmion has been re-issued on CD with the 1976 Utopia. The opera itself (sans Marmion) is now available on CD from Sounds on CD.

Decca SKL 5277/8
Decca SKL 5277/8
Issue History
1977 Decca Stereo LP SKL 5277/8 With Marmion Overture
Cassette K73K 22
London Stereo LP OSA-12110
Cassette OSA5-12110
4-track reel-to-reel OSAO-12110
2005 Sounds on CD CD VGS252