The 1951 D'Oyly Carte Iolanthe

Ld. ChancellorMartyn Green
MountararatEric Thornton
TollollerLeonard Osborn
Private WillisFisher Morgan
StrephonAlan Styler
Fairy QueenElla Halman
IolantheAnn Drummond-Grant
CeliaJoyce Hill
LeilaYvonne Dean
PhyllisMargaret Mitchell

D'Oyly Carte Opera Company
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

Decca LK-4044/5
Decca LK-4044/5
London A-4210
London A-4210
Richmond RS-62005
Richmond RS-62005
Decca Viva 1018/9
Decca Viva 1018/9
Decca LKA 4073
Decca LKA 4073

This Iolanthe and a Patience recorded the same year were the valedictory D'Oyly Carte gramophone appearances for Martyn Green and several other notable stars of the post-war period. After the celebrated Festival of Britain season in 1951 (when this recording was made, though issued in 1952), Green left the Company in disgust at Bridget D'Oyly Carte's management, and about a score of principals and choristers left with him.

Darrell Fancourt's absence on this recording may seem puzzling, but by 1951 he had been the Company's principal bass for over thirty years. So that he could have some extra nights off, he had reliquished Mountararat to Eric Thornton at the conclusion of the 1949-50 season. Fancourt, in fact, was not among the group that left after the summer of 1951. He remained with the Company through the summer of 1953, was awarded the O.B.E., and died shortly thereafter. Thornton had a fairly brief career with D'Oyly Carte, and this was his only recording.

The Lord Chancellor is one of the most challenging roles for the G&S patter baritone, and it was one of Martyn Green's best parts. I find him the best Chancellor on record, and in particular his diction in the Nightmare Song is miles ahead of John Reed's. Reed's 1960 recording will undoubtedly have its fans, however, as it includes all the dialogue.

This was the first D'Oyly Carte recording to be issued only on LP. (Previous recordings in this series had been simultaneously issued on 78's.) It was later re-issued on the budget Richmond label and is now available on CD.

During the 1950's, Decca issued highlights of this recording (side 2), coupled with highlights of the 1950 Gondoliers (side 1). The items included were as follows:

  1. Loudly let the trumpet bray
  2. The law is the true embodiment
  3. When I went to the Bar
  4. When all night long
  5. Love unrequited
  6. When you're lying awake
  7. If you go in
  8. Soon as we may
Regis RRC2049
Regis RRC2049
Naxos 8.110231-32
Naxos 8.110231-32

Sounds on CD VGS 233
Sounds on CD VGS 233
Issue History
1952 Decca Mono LP LK 4044/5  
LKA 4044/5 Australian issue
London Mono LP LL 469/70  
1954 Decca Mono LP LK 4073 Iolanthe and Gondoliers highlights. Note that LKA 4073 was an Australian issue.
LKA 4073
London Mono LP LL 784
Late 1950s London Mono LP 5089
1961 London Mono LP LLP 469/70 in
Album A-4210
1962 Decca Mono LP ACL 1128/9
1960s Richmond Mono LP RS 62005
R 23057 Iolanthe and Gondoliers highlights
1979 Decca Stereo LP
DPA 3055/56  
ca. 1980 Decca Viva Stereo LP
AUS 1018/9 Australia/New Zealand issue
Cassette KAUS 1018/9
2002 Regis CD RRC 2049 Also includes Pineapple Poll
2002 Sounds on CD CD VGS 233  
2003 Naxos CD 8.110231-32  
2004 AVID CD AMBX138 10-CD set containing the entire nine-opera series recorded 1949–51, plus Pineapple Poll, the Overture ’Di Ballo’, and orchestral highlights (S. Robinson) from Pinafore and Yeomen