Key to the Indexes

There are several indexes to the recordings catalogued at this site:

  • The opera index lists recordings by opera.
  • The chronological index lists opera recordings and videos by date of issue.
  • The highlights index lists anthologies, "highlights discs," and other items not covered by the other indexes.
  • The video index lists videos and other visual media.
  • The sullivan index lists recordings of Sullivan's non-operatic compositions.

The indexes contain entries that look like this:

**** 1960 D'Oyly Carte Pinafore Ster Dlg LPCassCD

This page explains:

Rating System
To the left of the name of each recording is a rating, which is assigned according to the following system:

* Poor
** Adequate
*** Good
**** Excellent
***** Superlative

G&S fans tend to support their favorite recordings as football fans their favorite teams. Don't flame me if you think I've done one of your favorites wrong (but if you disagree, I would appreciate hearing why; perhaps you'll change my mind). There is no science to assigning these ratings, and I hesitated even including them. However, they do provide a rough idea of the relative merit of various recordings. They are not locked in stone, and I may alter them over time. I have attempted to make the ratings consistent within an opera, but there may well be some inconsistencies between operas.

The ratings are assigned on artistic, not technical merits; the old '78s are therefore not penalized for their comparatively poor sound quality (though this may very well be a consideration in some people's preferences). An NR ("not rated") in this column indicates that I chose not to provide a rating, either because I have no basis for one or because I feel the recording cannot be fairly compared against others of the same genre. Note that this does not mean that the recording is artistically poor.

Key to Abbreviations
To the right of the name of each recording are one or more abbreviations which are interpreted as follows:

AcouAcoustical Recording
ElecElectrical Recording
MonoMonaural Recording
SterStereo Analog Recording
DigDigital Recording
VideoVideo Recording
AbrgAbridged Recording
HltsHighlights Only
DialDialogue Included
NarrNarration Provided
Bonus"Lost" Material Included

Note that the designation "abridged" is assigned only if there is a substantial amount of missing material. A recording with minor cuts is not considered abridged.

Issue Formats
Lastly, the symbols at the right are interpreted as follows:

CYL Indicates issue on cylinders.
78 Indicates issue on so-called 78rpm records. (The actual playing speed of such records varied.)
1931 LP
1931 LP
Indicates release on Victor Long-Playing Records circa 1931. (See related discussion.)
45 Indicates issue on 45rpm records.
LP Indicates issue on 33rpm records.
Cass Indicates issue on audiocassette.
reel Indicates issue on reel-to-reel tape.
CD Indicates issue on audio compact disc.
Film Indicates the item originated as a motion picture.
VCass Indicates issue on videocassette. (North American and U.K. video formats are different, and many items have not been issued in both.)
LD Indicates issue on laser disc.
DVD Indicates issue on DVD.
Blu-Ray Indicates issue on Blu-Ray disc.
TV Indicates the item originated on television, has only appeared on television, or that the television version was substantially different from the original film or video.
Radio Indicates a radio broadcast.

These designations are historical and do not necessarily mean that the recording is currently available in that format.