The 1960 D'Oyly Carte Iolanthe

Lord ChancellorJohn Reed
Earl of MountararatDonald Adams
Earl TollollerThomas Round
Private WillisKenneth Sandford
StrephonAlan Styler
Queen of the FairiesGillian Knight
IolantheYvonne Newman
CeliaJennifer Toye
LeilaPauline Wales
FletaDawn Bradshaw
PhyllisMary Sansom

D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
New Symphony Orchestra of London
Band of the Grenadier Guards
Conductor: Isidore Godfrey

Recorded in September 1960

London A-4242
London A-4242
CD Cover
London 414 145-2
CD Cover
Decca DFE 8631

This was the second D'Oyly Carte recording to be issued in 1960, the second to feature John Reed, and the second recorded with complete dialogue. The "Thomas"/"George" scene in Act II between Donald Adams and Thomas Round remains one of my favorite G&S dialogue passages on record. Gillian Knight's Fairy Queen and Kenneth Sandford's Private Willis are also strong. I am told that Alan Styler was an excellent performer on stage, but here he sounds a bit stiff. Mary Sansom has a sweet voice, but lacks depth. John Reed is a capable Chancellor, but not as polished as Martyn Green.

It is not well known that Sullivan wrote an expanded orchestration for military band, which was used in the March of the Peers and the Act I finale. This orchestration was featured in the original production at the Savoy Theatre, but it has rarely been heard since then, probably due the the extra expense entailed. This is the only complete recording of the opera that uses the expanded orchestration, making it of special interest. (The Reader's Digest highlights recording also uses the military band.)

Overall, whether this is the Iolanthe for you may depend on how important it is to have the dialogue. If you can forego that, then the Green recording or the New D'Oyly Carte recording (which also includes "Fold your flapping wings") deserves your attention.

Decca 473 641-2
Decca 473 641-2
Issue History
1960 Decca Mono LP LK 4378/9
LKA 4378/9
The catalog numbers containing 'A' are Australian pressings.
Stereo LP SKL 4119/20
SKLA 4119/20
London Mono LP A 4242  
Stereo LP OSA 1215
1965 Decca Mono 45rpm DFE 8631 Highlights
196-? London 4-track reel-to-reel LOS-90046  
Late 1960s Decca Stereo LP 9BB 156/61 Six-LP set that also included the 1960 Pinafore and the 1968 Pirates
1984 Decca Stereo LP 414 145-1 Digitally remastered
Decca/London Cassette 414 145-4
London Jubilee Stereo LP 414 145-1 LJ2
1986 Decca CD 414 145-2
1990 London
2003 Decca CD 473 641-2
2003 Decca CD 473 631-2 24-CD set including the complete Decca G&S series on CD (13 G&S operas, plus Cox and Box and The Zoo).