The Reading University Haddon Hall (1992)

John MannersJames Petts
Sir George VernonIan Henderson
OswaldChristopher Skidmore
Rupert VernonAnthony Witt
The McCrankieJoff Hamilton
Sing-Song SimeonMatthew Ellison
Kill-Joy CandlemasRupert Perkins
Nicodemus Knock-kneeChristopher Nickless
Barnabas Bellows-to-MendPhilip Jacobs
Fifth PuritanHuw Owen
Sixth PuritanLuke Anderson
Major DomoTrevor Bottomley
Dorothy VernonAnn Todd Howarth
Lady VernonJean Hornbuckle
DorcasJane Amblar
NanceAnthea Byron
GertrudeAnne-Marie Catling
DeborahDoris Sharp

Reading University Music Department
Conductor: Nigel Burton

This amateur recording of Haddon Hall was recorded at the Great Hall on the London Road site of Reading University. Unlike the Cheam Operatic Society recording, this includes all the dialogue. However, the performing space was full of echoes and reverberations, making this a less-than-ideal account of the score. The opera's charms do come through, but it takes some work on the listener's part.

Jeff Trim added:

I have often performed in the University Great Hall, where this recording was made. It is hugely resonant and lacks an orchestra pit. This means that all the recordings I have of performances there share the same problems of poor balance and cloudy detail.

The recording issued was compiled from the best takes from the three performances, with the choice of take being supervised by Nigel Burton, conductor, member of music staff at Reading University and president of the Sullivan Society (round about then).

I might add that on the night which I attended, Friday the 8th May 1992, the audience was outnumbered by the cast on stage. A shame, as the amateur cast gave a committed performance worthy of better support.

Issue History