The Cheam Operatic Society Haddon Hall (1981)

John MannersRoy Foulsham
Sir George VernonLaurence Reed
OswaldPaul Simmonds
Rupert VernonLee Power
The McCrankiePeter Leech
Sing-Song SimeonFrancis McNulty
Kill-Joy CandlemasRobert Crick
Nicodemus Knock-kneeGeorge Boeldieu
Barnabas Bellows-to-MendPeter Waghorn
Major DomoJohn Gilbert
Dorothy VernonElsie Broadbent
Lady VernonJean Caldwell
DorcasValerie Dibble
NanceDiane Watson
GertrudePat Thompson
DeborahJanice Tribe

Cheam Operatic Society
Southern Festival Orchestra
Conductor: David Harding

The Parish of Cheam Operatic Society produced Haddon Hall on 13-16 May 1981. Whether by luck or design, opening night coincided with Sullivan's birthday. Shortly after the production, the cast made this recording in a studio. Several members of the stage cast were replaced for the recording by singers with better voices. Interestingly, Valerie Dibble, who plays Dorcas on the recording, was Dorothy on stage.

In the original production, Sullivan and librettist Sydney Grundy replaced No. 8 (Manners' song and duet with Dorothy) with No. 8a (Dorothy's Solo). Cheam made some libretto changes to allow the original No. 8 to be inserted into the score, while also retaining No. 8a. The order of the relevant numbers is: 7, 8a, 9, 10, 8, 11.

Pearl Records published two recordings by the Cheam Operatic Society: Haddon Hall and The Grand Duke. It was a noble gesture by a commercial record label that cannot have expected to sell many copies. This is a better-than-average recording by amateur standards, and it gives a good account of the score's charms. However, it has now been superseded by the 2000 Prince Consort recording.

(Many thanks to Philip Sternenberg and Stephen Turnbull for much of the background in this write-up.)

Issue History
1981PearlStereo LPSHE-566/7