Ruddigore was Gilbert and Sullivan's 10th collaboration and the fifth of the so-called Savoy operas, named after the theater in which they were performed and earning performers of this music the title of "Savoyard". In this work Gilbert writes his usual favorite stereotypes: the helpless yet virtuous village maiden, the sailor home from the sea, the hero born into a hapless lot, and the evil lord of the manor. Sullivan, on the other hand, penned his most serious music, perhaps because he arrived at the project fresh from composing an entirely serious cantata, The Golden Legend. His music for the ghosting scenes in Act II is masterful and atmospheric, but quite somber and scary.
This New Sadler's Wells OperaRead more performance proves quite enjoyable. All of the singers are excellent. Marilyn Hill Smith is a pure-voiced Rose Maybud and Gordon Sandison projects an appealing, vocally fresh Robin. Thomas Lawlor, who has a deep, dark, and menacing voice just right for the part, sings Sir Roderic Murgatroyd, the villain of the piece. The chorus and orchestra are alert and articulate, and Simon Phipps finds the right tempo for every number. The recording uses the original overture (the D'Oyly Carte recording employs it as an extra prelude to Act II), and excises many orchestral "improvements" that have cropped up over the years, for a sound that is leaner and cleaner than you might have heard in the past. Alternate versions and orchestrations are fully discussed in the program notes, though there is no libretto or plot synopsis.
John Yap, president of Jay Records and its executive producer, has shown almost as avid an interest in Gilbert and Sullivan as he has in Broadway shows. He produced a number of recordings with the famed D'Oyly Carte company in the early 1990s, these in excellent surround sound and released in this country on Sony Classical. This recording from 1987 is not surround, but nevertheless is handsome and detailed, with an appealing roundness and warmth. [7/24/2000]
--Rad Bennett, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Ruddigoreby Arthur Sullivan Performer:
Gordon Sandison (Baritone),
John Ayldon (Bass),
Thomas Lawlor (Baritone),
Marilyn Hill Smith (Soprano),
Linda Ormiston (Mezzo Soprano),
Joan Davis (),
Harold Innocent (Baritone)
New Sadler's Wells Opera Orchestra,
New Sadler's Wells Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1887; England Date of Recording: 1987 Length: 88 Minutes 54 Secs. Language: English
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Nice Performance, But Lacks Libretto and DialogJanuary 16, 2014By Henry S. (Springfield, VA)See All My Reviews"This recording does not include the spoken dialog, which to some may be something of a shortfall. Digitally recorded in the late 1980's, one might think it has a technical edge over the earlier D'Oyly Carte Opera recordings (at least in theory); I'll leave that up to your judgement. Ruddigore is one of Gilbert and Sullivan's lesser known operas, and one thing that struck me on first hearing was its more 'conventional' story line, if that is even possible for something from the pen of William Gilbert. What I am driving at here is the notion that Ruddigore's overall ambience and atmospherics seem to be somewhat less frenetically boisterous compared to the top drawer Gilbert and Sullivan works. The cast here is very good, and so is the orchestral score, although I don't think the New Sadler Wells Opera Company Orchestra compares strongly with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra or the New Symphony Orchestra (the orchestras of the D'Oyly Carte recordings). The packaging of this recording is weak, in my opinion. Besides omitting the spoken dialog, there is neither a libretto nor even a synopsis of the story, just an essay on Ruddigore's developmental issues (cuts and revisions, etc.). Thus, the listener is on his own to research the work's story line. Overall, though, this recording has more than enough true Gilbert and Sullivan charm to hold interest, so I can give this a qualified recommendation to Gilbert and Sullivan fans."Report Abuse
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