The Michael Sammes Gondoliers (1966)

Mary Thomas, soprano
Irene Thomas, contralto
Nicholas Curtis, tenor
Michael Sammes, baritone
John Camburn, baritone
Eric Wilson-Hyde, bass-baritone

The Michael Sammes Singers
Conductor: John Gregory

Wing WL-1113
Wing WL-1113
Philips International 6625 006<
Philips International 6625 006

This is the one of six highlights discs featuring the Michael Sammes Singers. The singers are not credited with specific roles, but presumably Michael Sammes and Eric Wilson-Hyde are Duke and Don Alhambra respectively (but they may cover other roles, as well).

The performances here are unidiomatic and unmemorable. Whoever plays the Duke (Sammes?) is dull as dishwater, although the Don Alhambra (Wilson-Hyde?) is quite good. Some of the musical choices are odd, such as playing the accompaniment of the "Good morrow, pretty maids" section without any singing, and presenting "I am a courtier" (an odd choice to end the album with) as a duet for Marco and Giuseppe. I could also swear that there are more than two men singing in "We're called gondolieri." The orchestrations are "souped up"—not as badly as in some other recordings that have attempted this, but still irritating.

Contents are as follows:

Side 1Side 2
  • Overture
  • "List and learn"
  • "For the merriest fellows are we"
  • "Buon giorno, signorine"
  • "We're called gondolieri"
  • "From the sunny Spanish shore"
  • Duke of Plaza-Toro [sic]
  • "I stole the Prince"
  • "Try we lifelong"
  • "When a merry maiden marries"
  • "Take a pair of sparkling eyes"
  • "Dance a cachucha"
  • "There lived a king"
  • "With ducal Pomp"
  • "On the day that I was wedded"
  • "To help unhappy commoners"
  • "I am a courtier grave and serious"
Issue History
1966 WING (Philips) Stereo LP WL-1113  
1967-8? Fontana Stereo LP SFL-13033
197-? Philips International Stereo LP 6625 006 [U.K.] Two-record set, "G&S Extravaganza, Vol. 2," including the Michael Sammes Gondoliers and Yeomen
6641 242 [Australia]
1984 Ditto Cassette DTO 10067