A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala (1983, 1985, 1987)

Valerie Masterson, soprano
Sheila Armstrong, soprano
Robert Tear, tenor
Benjamin Luxon, baritone

Bournemouth Sinfonietta,
Kenneth Alwyn, cond.

Northern Sinfonia of England,
Richard Hickox, cond.

EMI WP 9461
EMI WP 9461

In 1982, EMI published an album of G&S solos and duets featuring Valerie Masterson, the former D'Oyly Carte soprano, and Robert Tear, an English grand opera tenor with little G&S background. Most of the items were G&S staples, with a couple of items from Ruddigore being as adventurous as the disc got.

In 1984, EMI published a considerably more interesting highlights disc called "Here's a How-De-Do" featuring Tear, Sheila Armstrong and Benjamin Luxon. Robert Tear is the common denominator between the two discs, and I find him unpersuasive: his interpretation is a bit too precious; he lacks the swagger I expect in a G&S tenor. The remaining performers are all excellent, and the second disc has the additional virtue of presenting a number of items not often heard on records, particularly two items from Haddon Hall.

EMI CDM 7 64393 2
EMI CDM 7 64393 2
HMV 5 72128 2
HMV 5 72128 2

In 1987, EMI combined material from the two original LPs into a CD issue called "A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala." Some items were dropped, however, so that the entire package could fit on a single CD. The contents of the two LPs are listed below, with asterisks denoting the items included on the CD. Singers' initials are given after each number.

Valerie Masterson & Robert Tear Sing Gilbert & Sullivan
Valerie Masterson, soprano; Robert Tear, tenor
Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Kenneth Alwyn, conductor.
Iolanthe: "If we're weak enough to tarry" (VM/RT) [*]
Ruddigore: "If somebody there chanced to be" (VM) [*]
The Gondoliers: "Take a pair of sparkling eyes" (RT) [*]
Patience: "Prithee, pretty maiden" (VM/RT) [*]
The Yeomen of the Guard: "Is life a boon?" (RT) [*]
H.M.S. Pinafore: "The hours creep on apace" (VM)
The Mikado: "A wandering minstrel, I" (RT) [*]
Ruddigore: "Happily coupled are we" (VM/RT)
The Gondoliers: "O rapture, when alone together" (VM/RT)
Patience: "A magnet hung in a hardware shop" (RT) [*]
The Mikado: "The sun whose rays" (VM) [*]
H.M.S. Pinafore: "Rafrain, audacious tar" (VM/RT)
H.M.S. Pinafore: "Sorry her lot" (VM)
The Mikado: "Were you not to Ko-Ko plighted" (VM/RT) [*]
The Yeomen of the Guard: "Free from his fetters grim" (RT) [*]
The Pirates of Penzance: "Poor wandering one!" (VM) [*]
The Pirates of Penzance: "Stay, Frederic, stay!" (VM/RT) [*]
Here's a How-De-Do! A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala
Sheila Armstrong, soprano; Robert Tear, tenor; Benjamin Luxon, baritone
Northern Sinfonia of England, Richard Hickox, conductor.
Ruddigore: "In sailing o'er life's ocean wide" (SA/RT/BL) [*]
Patience: "When I go out of door" (RT/BL) [*]
The Sorcerer: "Oh, happy young heart!" (SA)
Ruddigore: "The battle's roar is over" (SA/RT) [*]
Utopia, Limited: "Oh, Zara, my beloved one....A tenor all singers above" (RT)
Iolanthe: "None shall part us from each other" (SA/RT) [*]
Haddon Hall: "I've heard it said" (BL) [*]
Ruddigore: "You understand? I think I do!" (RT/BL)
Haddon Hall: "The earth is fair" (RT)
H.M.S. Pinafore: "Never mind the why and wherefore" (SA/RT/BL) [*]
The Mikado: Here's a how-de-do!" (SA/RT/BL) [*]
The Yeomen of the Guard: "Here upon we're both agreed" (RT/BL) [*]
The Grand Duke: "When you find you're a broken-down critter" (BL) [*]
The Gondoliers: "There was a time" (SA/RT) [*]
The Sorcerer: "For love alone" (RT) [*]
Cox and Box: "The buttercup dwells on the lowly mead" (RT/BL)
The Sorcerer: "When he is here" (SA) [*]
The Gondoliers: "We're called gondolieri" (RT/BL) [*]
The Sorcerer: "My name is John Wellington Wells" (BL) [*]
The Yeomen of the Guard: "Alas! I waver to and fro" (SA/RT/BL)
Issue History
DateLabelFormatNumberAlbum Title
1983 EMI Stereo LP ASD 4392 Valerie Masterson & Robert Tear sing Gilbert & Sullivan
Cassette [need number]
Stereo LP ASDZ 4392 New Zealand issue of the above
Angel Digital LP DS-37996 A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala
1985 EMI Digital LP EL 27 0170 1
WP 9461
Here's a How-De-Do! A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala
EMI/Angel Digital LP DS-38147 Here's a How-De-Do! A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala, Album 2
1987 EMI CD CDC 7 47763 2 A Gilbert & Sullivan Gala
1992 EMI CD CDM 7 64393 2
1997 HMV CD 5 72128 2