The New Sadler's Wells Pinafore (1987)

Sir Joseph PorterNickolas Grace
Captain CorcoranGordon Sandison
Ralph RackstrawChristopher Gillett
Dick DeadeyeThomas Lawlor
Bill BobstayPaul Parfitt
Bob BecketPaul Thomson
JosephineElizabeth Ritchie
Little ButtercupLinda Ormiston
HebeJanine Roebuck

New Sadler's Wells Opera
Conductor: Simon Phipps

MCA MCAD 2-11012
MCA MCAD 2-11012
Jay CDJAY2 1324
Jay CDJAY2 1324

This was the second of two recordings the New Sadler's Wells Opera made in 1987 (see the NSWO Ruddigore). Both were based on new performing texts by Dr. David Russell Hulme, who went back to Sullivan's autograph score and prepared an edition conforming as closely as possible to the composer's original orchestrations. The Ruddigore is clearly more important in this regard, since that opera has been far more subject to well-meaning "improvements" over the years. Nevertheless, Pinafore is not without its surprises. The concluding dialogue of the opera ("Here, take her sir, and mind you treat her kindly") is sung as recitative, as Sullivan originally wrote it, instead of spoken as in the definitive version.

TER CDTER 2 1150
TER CDTER 2 1150

Three readings of the Act II finale are given:

  • One that ends with "Rule, Britainnia," which Sullivan himself prepared for the 1887 revival that celebrated Victoria's golden jubilee. (This version was apparently retained in performances through the early years of the 20th century, as it is heard on the 1908 recording.)
  • Another with Sullivan's original coda.
  • Another with the four-bar coda that D'Oyly Carte used in modern performances.
Koch International 340 292
Koch International 340 292

The New Sadlers Wells Opera brought this production of Pinafore to New York's City Center Theater in the late eighties. (Ruddigore was supposed to tour as well but was canceled due to budgetary problems that foreshadowed the company's ultimate demise.) The stage version was full of interpolated mugging for Nickolas Grace's Sir Joseph, including an entire added scene. None of this is incorporated in the recording, which is a sheer delight.

Madacy 778
Madacy 778
Issue History
1987 MCA LP MCA 2-11012  
CD MCAD 2-11012
Cassette MCAC 2-11012
Cassette ZCTED 1150
1992 Boots CD DDD 606 Highlights
1994 Koch International CD 340 292
1995 Showstoppers CD M-2-0778
Cassette M-4-0778
1998 Showtime CD 22
199-? Madacy CD 778
1999 Jay Records CD CDJAY2 1324