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Vol. XXV No. 1  
  The sun, whose rays are all ablaze - 

SUNDAY, August 27 at 2:00 PM
Picnic/MIKADO Sing-Through

***RENEWAL ISSUE***

 In This Issue: 

 NEGASS Business 

 Renewal Information 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   AUGUST MEETING: Picnic plus MIKADO Sing-through:  August 27at 2:00PM (How to get there)

The NEGASS Annual Picnic will be held this year on Sunday, August 27, at the home of Dr. and Mrs. David Sheldon, 281 Fairmount Avenue, in Boston's residential Hyde Park neighborhood. Activities will get under way at 2:00 p.m. with a complete and unabridged sing-through of MIKADO, for which Ms. Juliet Cunningham has graciously agreed to provide the accompaniment, and will be followed later in the afternoon by feasting and general merriment. All NEGASS members, prospective members, and their guests are cordially invited.

All those attending the picnic are asked to bring their own entrees and beverages and one item (salad, vegetables, dessert, etc.) to share. Grills (with fuel) will be available for barbecuing, and there will be condiments and paper plates available as well. We suggest that you bring a lawn chair or blanket upon which to enjoy your meal.

Those who are interested in the possibility of singing one of the lead roles during the musical portion of the picnic should contact Rebecca Consentino, at becca@altavista.net, or Carl Weggel at (978) 474-0396. It is anticipated that a most agreeable time will be had by all.

    -- PROGRAM CHAIR ART DUNLAP

JUNE ELECTION MEETING

The June Meeting took place at the home of Janice and Ron Dallas, to whom NEGASS is grateful for their kind hospitality. Out-going NEGASS Secretary Carol Mahoney provided her usual sumptuous selection of food and drink to keep the participants in the Fantasy Performance well stoked.

After we'd made short work of the uncontested elections (see the Masthead page for a list of new officers), Eric Schwartz took up his usual place at the piano to accompany a varied selection of G&S favorites. It was very much a "Family Day" as Katherine Bryant and her father sang I once was a very abandoned person from RUDDIGORE [now we know where she got that lovely voice and fine acting talent! - mlc], Ilana and Dick Freedman gave us There grew a little flower from RUDDIGORE, and new Vice-President Jen Morris and her son Alex Gundy provided a spirited Beauty in the bellow of the blast.

Juliet Cunningham continued her traversal of tenor roles with I shipped, d'ye see from RUDDIGORE, but declined to do the hornpipe. Not to be outdone in travesti singing, Katherine essayed There lived a king from GONDOLIERS and new member Carlotta Stern greeted the crew of PINAFORE with I am the captain of the Pinafore.

Art Dunlap rose from bass to tenor in When first my old, love I knew from TRIAL [sounding better than many an acknowledged tenor! - mlc]. Hostess Janice Dallas provided A lady fair from IDA, while Marion Leeds Carroll and Nancy Burstein relived their childhood in Although of native maids the cream from UTOPIA, after which Marion invited Juliet to put on trousers again to sing Fitzbattleaxe to her Zara in Sweet and low. They went on to sing solos in In a doleful train from PATIENCE. Eric rose from the piano, replaced by Katherine, to join Marion in There was a time from GONDOLIERS.

Everyone got to join in, taking various solo and chorus parts in the Act I finales of PATIENCE and IOLANTHE as well as the Act III finale of IDA. The door prize, a cassette recording of Jim Broadbent reading Gilbert's Bab Ballads, graciously provided by Janice, was won by Ilana. [See a review of the recording, later in this Bray -mlc]

The long and enjoyable meeting adjourned after some three hours, although there were those who certainly could have kept going. Next year!

    -- J. DONALD SMITH

OCTOBER MEETING: BRUCE & HELGA'S IOLANTHE DISCOVERY

Helga J. Perry, Bruce I. Miller's colleague and fellow-explorer, can't be with us in October, but Bruce will be here to share the details of their latest adventure: they have found part of the long-missing music for Mountararat's second-act song, De Belville was regarded as a Crichton of his age. As the Associated Press reported in June: "'The De Belville Song,' a sharp-tongued satire on the British House of Lords, was scrapped from the script of the opera IOLANTHE soon after the opera opened in New York and London in 1882… While the words to the song have long been known -- they were printed in the libretto sold to opera patrons -- the score disappeared when the song was deleted. By the time the score of IOLANTHE was published, the music had disappeared." We all enjoyed Bruce and Helga's talk on their previous discovery, the music to Captain Corcoran's Reflect, my child from PINAFORE. Put October 15 in your calendar, and prepare to listen to the latest!

--mlc    

Tentative Meeting Schedule, 2000-2001 

Sunday, August 27

Picnic Meeting plus MIKADO Sing-through

Sunday, October 15

Bruce Miller's talk on the "De Belville" song, plus sing-through of IOLANTHE highlights

1/21? Possible video viewing, possibly at MIT, possibly of GRAND DUKE
3/18 or 25 Last Minute Light Opera/Orchestra IDA
5/? Master class? Or a talk by Ric Wilson ?
6/? Elections/Fantasy Day

Next Bray Copy Deadline: September 17

Next Bray Stuffing: Sunday, September 24, 2000 at 3:00 PM. Call Us at (781) 646-9115 evenings and weekends, or send email to Marion@leedscarroll.com, for directions to Our snug and easy-to-get-to home. -mlc

  

NEW BOARD BEGINS IN REAL EARNEST

On Sunday, June 25 the new NEGASS board met to plan policies and meetings for the coming year. Present, in addition to most of our official board members, were our Hospitality Chair Carol Mahoney, retiring Membership Chair Bill Mahoney, and unofficial Member-at-Large Carl Weggel.

Philip Burstein presented a Treasurer's Report. Although we ran a slight deficit this year, Phil expects no further deficit in future years. He has provided the following delightful pie chart which explains where NEGASS dues go - We are not surprised to learn that the most expensive item in our budget is the Bray.

Not included in the pie are the generous gifts we have received from Bill and Nancy Burdine, which have been earmarked, in part, for the purchase of a limited number of piano/vocal scores to be used at NEGASS meetings or lent to local groups. [Loudly let the trumpet bray!] There will be MIKADO scores available at the picnic for those who do not have one, IOLANTHE scores at the October talk-and-sing meeting, and IDA scores at LMLO next spring! If you know of an organization which would like to borrow NEGASS scores, please contact the NEGASS Board.

It's membership renewal time! - so a renewal question came up: If someone joins in mid-year, must he or she renew in August with the rest of the band? This year we have meetings planned for August, October, January, March, May and June, so it seems reasonable that people joining in March or later should not be required to pay again the following August. The cut-off date remains unresolved. Now tell Us, We pray you - how is this knot to be disentangled? We are getting rather mixed. If anyone has any bright ideas, please contact a Board member to share them.

We discussed meeting and Bray plans for the year, and came up with ideas that ought to make all as merry as ourselves: In addition to the meetings listed in the Tentative Meeting Schedule, We're planning an extra Bray in early November to puff all the shows that blossom at that time of the year. Former Program Chair Rebecca Consentino has since offered to organize a few "unofficial" meetings, in the form of group attendances followed by dinner, suggesting MITG&SP's November SORCERER, Sudbury's February GONDOLIERS, and Fiddlehead Theater's April PINAFORE as worthy shows to catch.

This looks like a lively new board. NEGASS is not dead after all!

 -- mlc    

New Members

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome We New Members Randolph C. Lindel of Cambridge, MA, Ms. Patricia McDonald, Lisa M. Redpath and Carlotta Stern.

Randy writes: My G&S interest began in seeing the productions of the Harvard-Radcliffe group when I was an undergrad there in the mid-60s. And I began performing the G&S canon in 1970 when I moved to NY and joined the Blue Hill Troupe, of which I am a past president and still an active member. Though I now live in Cambridge, my management consulting career takes me to NY about once a week, so I can continue to sing with the Troupe fairly regularly. As I've done all 13 shows at least twice (except only once for DUKE), getting up to speed on the music takes less time these days. I look forward to NEGASS meetings and events.[ A valuable and welcome new member!- mlc]

We know from personal experience that Carlotta has a lovely soprano voice and excellent stage presence, and We hear that she lives in Belmont, MA. We know nothing yet about Patricia and Lisa -- Tell Us, Tell Us All About It! Hearty Greeting Offer We!

-- mlc    

 And now, M'Luds, to the business of the day  

(by all means!):

It's time to renew your membership!

The Board's decision several years ago to create extra categories of membership is still in effect - please bear in mind that the majority of our members are still "Yeomen," but that those who wish to contribute more to NEGASS have the opportunity to do so, in the following increments:

$15
Yeomen (basic membership)
25
Daughters of the Plough
50
Bucks and Blades
100
Flowers of Progress

(On the other hand, if even the $15 basic membership is a problem, please talk to Membership Chair Janice Dallas.)

Lacking the means for a Display of Fireworks in the Evening, We celebrate these friends by printing a yearly list of Members Extraordinary - those who chose a category higher than Yeomen for the previous year. Here, forthwith, is the list of 1999-2000 Extraordinary Memberships (Bow, bow, ye Lower Middle Classes):

Daughters of the Plough

Frank Behrens
Lisa Berglund
Nancy & Philip Burstein
Mr. Peter Cameron
Ms. Judith Chasin
R. E. Colson
Philip Drew
Barry Garden
Stephen Grover
Robert & Ursula Haslun
Melissa Hirshson
Mr. Fred Hughes
Charlee Hutton
Alessandra Kingsford
Steven B. Levine
Ernest V. Loewenstein
Stephen Malionek
Bob Manninen
David Marshall
Neil McCormick
Daniel & Rena Miller
Meghan Monahan
Lee Patterson
Lonnie Powell
Ruth Roper
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Russell
Larry Seiler
Barry Singer
Mr. David Stieber
Jonathan Strong
Victor Troll
Tom Weber
Carl Weggel
Dr. & Mrs. Charles Wilder
Edward H. Wiseman
Jane Young
Stephen Zydofsky

Bucks and Blades

Mike Bromberg
Dean S. Edmonds Jr.
Richard Freedman
Nathan Handspicker
Sheldon & Alice Hochman
John N. Howard
Walt Howe
Arthur & Jean Koykka
Miles Cary Leahey
Mr. Larry Littlefield
Jim Parmentier
J. Donald Smith

Flowers of Progress

Bill & Nancy Burdine

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As we approach the 25th anniversary of the founding of NEGASS, it seems appropriate to publish a list of still-active Charter Members. Have we left out anyone who was a member during the inaugural year, 1976-77, and who's still active now? Tell Us, tell Us all about it!

Charter Members

Eleanor Babikian
Harry Benford
Van Pelt Brower
Ruth Colson
Juliet Cunningham
Dean Edmonds Jr.
Jim Ellis
Alexander Nicoll Gerli
Mr. & Mrs. Alan Hopfenberg
Walt Howe
Larry Littlefield
Leslie Moore
Richard Sewell
William C. Venman
Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Weaver
Peter Zavon
   
Whichever category suits you - please send the enclosed Renewal Form to Membership Chair Janice Dallas, 63 Everett St., Arlington, MA 02474-6921 with what dispatch ye may! --- mlc

Information about membership in The G&S Society of NY is published in their newsletter, The Palace Peeper. NEGASS members with questions about our own membership fee might be interested in their membership scale:

In-Town (within a 35-mile radius):
Individual: $30; Joint: $40.
Out-of-Town (more than a 35-mile radius):
Individual: $20; Joint:$27.
Student/under 18 years: $15

 REVIEWS  

MORE IN SITU PERFORMANCES: PINAFORE      

Performed June 30, July 1-2 at the Charlestown Navy Yard, presented by The Boston Academy of Music and Boston National Historical Park, with Richard Conrad artistic director; Carole Charnow producer; David Daniels conductor and Patricia-Maria Weinman stage director.

Visually a unique production, staged on a set next to the access ramp to the USS Constitution. Reportedly, capacity attendance at all performances. The miking on the whole was good, and the orchestra and cast could be heard throughout.

The singing and characterizations generally were good. This reviewer felt that Debra Rentz as Josephine and Richard Simpson as Ralph deserve top honors. The opera got off to a good start with the seaman's chorus ably led by Bryan McNeil as Bill Bobstay and Drew Poling as Bob Becket, and Buttercup's solo (Anna Maria Silvestri) showing some Gilbertian discipline. As the action progressed, however, more and more melodrama and burlesque intruded into the performance. Buttercup's reaction, "Ralph - that name!" was much overdone. The dialogue between Ralph and Josephine went well; "irreconcilable antagonisms" got a good laugh. Dick Deadeye (William Thorpe) showed some restraint in his opening scene. For some reason, the Captain (Richard Conrad) spoke his first words way at the back - (where is he?). His opening solo was well sung.

The entrance of Sir Joseph Porter (Keith Jurasco) on the arm of Hebe (Laurie Lemley) was something else. First he was divested of his life preservers, and then inhaled a pinch of snuff and expelled it (loudly), and he could never get names right (Captain Conner, Miss Butterball). His solos were relatively restrained, but there was too much harrumphing and pomposity. The sisters, cousins and aunts in vivid red outfits entered from the audience and did their number with the sailors very well. When Ralph called "Messmates, ahoy," the chorus had already appeared, and he turned around expressing surprise; a nice touch. But then came the pistol, which was passed around on a white cushion and finally ended up with Hebe who presented it to Ralph. The finale had the usual sort of conga line, with Dick pushed overboard by Tom Tucker, Cabin Boy (Eoin Gaj).

The Captain opened the second act standing on the deck of the "Constitution" singing Fair moon with feeling - observed by Buttercup below clinging to a street lamp (one of three borrowed from downtown Boston?) (Conrad then had to hurry to the gangplank to get to the set to finish the number.) The second act deteriorated further into melodrama: "The poor bumboat woman has GYPSY BLOOOOD;" the duet Things are seldom what they seem was marred by the two singers sorting through Tarot (?) cards and flinging them about, and by Buttercup exiting accompanied by a few bars of the Habanera. The hours creep on apace was a highlight, but was followed by Never mind the why and wherefore; after three verses, champagne glasses were brought on and two encores followed (whether you wanted them or not), with the Captain and Sir Joseph slapstick and inebriated. The choreography of Kind Captain was confined to Dick swooping around à la Dracula in a cloak, which he then handed to the Captain to use as a boat cloak. During He is an Englishman, well sung by the Boatswain, Buttercup passed around hats representing different nationalities to the crew, champagne was served to all, and tea to Ralph and Josephine, who gave a royal wave.

There was much good singing and playing, but lasting well over two hours under a hot sun, this was a strenuous production.

      -- PETER CAMERON

UTOPIA AT CLOC

I spent a delightful afternoon at the College Light Opera Company's UTOPIA LTD. UTOPIA was the finest school production of a G&S opera I've seen, although, with principals and chorus recruited from across the U.S., the high quality is no surprise. The audience, mostly retirees and a few families with children, was generally enthusiastic; however, I noticed not a few defections at intermission (one departing couple left agreeing oxymoronically that "it was very funny and they couldn't understand the words"; another gentleman who was getting into his car said to his wife: "It's not as good as the MIKADO.") Still, CLOC has a strong subscriber base (my elderly seatmate said she has come to every show for 15 years). With a season that includes popular shows like MY FAIR LADY, OKLAHOMA and PIRATES, I suppose CLOC can afford a loss-leader or two.

The show was traditional, with two cuts: Subjected to your heavenly gaze and the final verse of A wonderful joy our eyes to bless. A few comments on production: Utopia appears to be located at the crossroads of the South Pacific, as the islanders' garments were inspired by Fiji, Bali and Hawaii and probably several other archipelagos, with a little Hollywood thrown in (I was delighted to see one young lady with a cocoanut-husk brassiere). The twins' dresses were utterly charming (and extremely demure); Lady Sophy was a little over-dressed in black ruffles. Having Mr. Goldbury in tails at first seemed an error, but when he embarked on Some seven men he was tossed a topper and cane from the wings and transformed into a song-and-dance man, which perfectly illustrated his true nature (he also seemed to be a bit of a vaudeville magician). Sir Bailey, unfortunately, seemed to be wearing Mr. Blushington's costume (a loud yellow-check suit), while the latter was dressed as a waiter! The drawing-room dresses were a mishmash of Edwardian styles, a reasonable choice, and the Utopian maidens clearly found them uncomfortable. The Utopian gents seemed to have raided the ghosts' wardrobe from RUDDIGORE (I saw a Tower warder and a cavalier). A minor error: Zara referred to longing to try on her new dress but did not change after her duet with Fitzbattleaxe, and though she said the drawing room was by candlelight, no ladies were in evening dress. The maidens might err sartorially, but Lady Sophy and Zara would not. But tush, I am quibbling. The backdrop was a vivid South-Sea-scape.

All the performances were strong. For me the standouts were the twins (Kiley Swicegood and Maureen McKay), pretty blondes who really did look like twins. They were absolutely marvelous, with attractive voices, clear diction and excellent comic sense. Goldbury (Ryan Looper) was a little older than most of the other actors, and his experience showed; he was very suave and self-possessed. I liked Zara (blonde like her sisters) and Fitz, though both seemed hampered by the limitations of the characterization Gilbert provided, and by uninspired blocking that dampened A tenor all singers above and a pretty rendition of Sweet and low. I should mention that Phylla (Adriana Lomysh) nailed her solo and ensured that the show was off to a fine start.

Paramount (Jonathan Stinson) handled his difficult role with aplomb; despite a tendency to throw away lines, he had immense charm and an excellent voice. (None of the actors was "aged" with makeup but older types were cast in the older roles.) The villains (Marc Webster as T, Paul Murray as P and Michael Salonia as S) were audience favorites; the "capital plot" trio got probably the second biggest hand of the night. Lady Sophy (Amalia Martin) was ill-served in Act 1: entirely upstaged by the blocking of Bold-faced ranger, and having lost the first duet, she remained a cipher until Act 2, when she proved to have a lovely voice. Her Oh the rapture unrestrained with Paramount was delightful. That and the dance that followed (a country dance with the other three couples, not a tarantella) got the biggest hand of the night, I think.

No: the showstopper wasn't Society has quite forsaken. The septet just got respectful applause, I think because it was very traditional (minstrel instruments and all). Today's audiences don't understand the parody; a patty-cake number such as Trent did last year, or some other rhythmic routine or even a dance (LOOM used to give all the singers tambourines) is more lively and engaging.

One cute innovation: Paramount made his act 1 entrance in a wheeled chair drawn by ... a turtle. Is that a metaphor for Lazyland, or what?

A word about the orchestra, also students: they were really really good. I didn't notice them, if you know what I mean. My seatmate commented that they were the best orchestra she'd heard in the last few years.

A hasty scan of the "friends" in the program revealed the name of Peter Zavon; I also ran into 'netter [and NEGASSer] Richard Freedman and his wife at intermission. I hope more New England list members [and NEGASSers!] take advantage of CLOC--it's a bit of drive for most of us, being out on Cape Cod, but it's very inexpensive (only $22!), in a small theater scaled to young voices, and with a production staff (Robert and Ursula Haslun, founder and producers; director Roger Andrews; and music director Elizabeth Hastings) obviously dedicated to Our Heroes.

-- LISA BERGLUND     

New Mikado Scores from Dover - Review by Marc Shepherd 

Marc, a G&S scholar who serves as Listmaster for SavoyNet, has kindly sent Us a combined version of the two separate reviews of the new Dover editions of MIKADO– Full Score and Piano/Vocal editions -which he has published on that list.  Unfortunately the combined review is so long that We cannot fit it into a single Bray– so We are publishing it in installments.  Here’s this month’s section:

The introduction also mentions that the editors consulted two early vocal scores and two early libretti, but these sources are not mentioned in any of the footnotes, and some significant variants are ignored. It does not inspire confidence that the two cited libretti are both American ones, and the editors do not seem to have devoted much editorial attention to the dialogue. The edition offers simply the standard modern version, without any of the traditional add-ons, such as "No money, no grovel."

In the full score, the traditional fanfare at the end of the opera (just before the Act II finale) has been replaced by a new piece of the editors' composition, without a word of explanation. In a SavoyNet post, the editors said that the traditional fanfare seemed to them an undistinguished piece. As they found no evidence for Sullivan's hand in it, they decided to replace it with a new fanfare based on the Miya sama theme, more suited to the opera's musical atmosphere.

It is true that the traditional fanfare doesn't appear in the early scores. But, there is no reason to doubt that Sullivan either wrote it, or approved of it, and we certainly know that he had no hand in the version that Messrs. Simpson and Jones now offer. At the very least, the traditional fanfare should have been offered as an option. SavoyNetter Fred Goldrich pointed out the irony that the editors say in three separate places that the overture is by Hamilton Clarke, but they never say that the fanfare is by Carl Simpson and Ephraim Jones.

After the full score was published, the editors were vilified on SavoyNet for omitting the traditional fanfare. Having seen the decidedly negative tide against them, the editors reversed this decision. The vocal score, while retaining their fanfare (now properly credited), also offers the traditional one as an option. After Dover's current stocks of the full score are sold out, they say that there will be a second printing that corrects this and other errors, including many that were pointed out in an earlier version of this review.

One likes to see apparently similar editorial situations presented similarly, and this is not always the case. The editors silently emend the musical tag of A more humane Mikado to match the later vocal scores, even though earlier vocal scores and the Bosworth score have a tag that's one measure longer. Given the editors' persistent footnoting of much smaller matters, the lack of a printed explanation in this case is puzzling.

The editors have incorporated many traditional readings that Sullivan's autograph does not support, typically in cue-size notes; these are clearly signaled via footnotes. Unfortunately, it is not clear how the editors decided what the "tradition" was, and they seem to have been careless about documenting it. For example, in The criminal cried, the traditional bassoon scale on "For its owner dead was he," and the traditional bassoon and horn parts on "of pedigree," are provided in cue-size notes. Extra notes for the clarinets at measures 14-18 and 46-50 of Here's a how-de-do are noted similarly. Likewise an emendation to the timpani part at measures 84-85 of the overture.

So far, so good. But, most of the D'Oyly Carte recordings have an entire extra measure in the overture at bar 72 (just before the second statement of the "sun whose rays" theme); this bar is added in later editions of the vocal score. If anything is traditional, this extra measure is, but the editors do not mention it. In Sullivan's autograph, the overture ends with simultaneous cymbals and bass drum on the last two notes, but the D'Oyly Carte recordings have a timpani roll. This is not mentioned, nor is a slight emendation to the percussion and string parts on the transition from Miya sama to From every kind of man.

The treatment of libretto variants is hit-and-miss. In the recitative before A wand'ring minstrel, the word "lovely" appears in brackets, below the familiar word "gentle," but without explanation. Similarly, in the little list song, "waltzes" is printed in brackets below "dances" (as in, "doesn't think she…"). These variants are found in early sources, but when offered without explanation, I think that they have a greater potential to confuse than to enlighten. Since the editors are unwilling to provide the necessary background, it might have been better to just choose the best reading and omit the bracketed words.

-- MARC SHEPHERD     

More next month - we're short of space this month! Here are citations Marc provided for the volumes he is discussing:

The MIKADO in Full Score

Dover Publications Inc: Mineola, NY, 1999
xvi + 352 pages; $19.95

The MIKADO Vocal Score

Dover Publications Inc: Mineola, NY, 2000
x + 246 pages; $12.95

BAB BALLADS RECORDING

When Jim Broadbent, playing Gilbert in Topsy-Turvy, began reading aloud Our great Mikado, virtuous man, I instantly concluded that he'd listened to Stanley Holloway's brilliant recording of the Bab Ballads. Everything about Broadbent's intonation and cadence recalled Holloway's treatment of Gilbert's comic verse. (Holloway also recorded one Song of a Savoyard, The Ape and the Lady). The parallel was so close, in fact, that while I was thrilled to learn that Broadbent, directed by Mike Leigh, had recorded 31 Babs in a Penguin audiobook, I wondered whether he would carve out original territory.

The first recording one hears is often personally definitive; I memorized Holloway's renditions in my salad days. With ripening judgment, I still find him superior to Broadbent in three of the four Babs that both read (Phrenology, The Yarn of the Nancy Bell and Peter the Wag; only with Babette's Love do I find Broadbent as compelling, and as funny, as Holloway). Holloway seems to enjoy himself more: his performance is bigger, the final lines of the poems have more punch, and the absurdities of the stories are related with exuberant gusto. Broadbent is dryer, more deadpan; he sometimes allows the stories simply to cease.

However, Holloway only read comic narratives; the poems that Broadbent reads have greater emotional and satirical range, and for them his approach is more appropriate. That we inevitably associate Broadbent's voice with that of Gilbert, thanks to his role in T-T, just makes the performance all the more effective. (I suspect many of us associate Holloway's voice with Alfred P. Doolittle.)

Unlike Holloway's seven Babs, which were paired with Joyce Grenfel reading Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales and marketed as a children's record, Broadbent's The Bab Ballads is definitely aimed at grownups. It offers a comprehensive selection of poems, including a number of sentimental poems and works whose specific, trenchant satire would be less accessible to children. To be sure, kids will love the outrageous violence of Ellen McJones Aberdeen, Gentle Alice Brown, or The Yarn of the Nancy Bell, and will relish absurdities like The Perils of Invisibility, The Variable Baby and Etiquette. Grownups will enjoy the social satire in these pieces as well as in works like Lost Mr. Blake (one of my favorite Babs) and Bob Polter.

I have a few minor quibbles: some of the poems are really not that interesting (The Advent of Spring, Jester James, To My Absent Husband) and instead of THREE policemen poems, two of which Holloway read in his collection, why not give us Ferdinando and Elvira and The Periwinkle Girl?

Much of my c18 scholarship is devoted to the concept of the anthology, and I'm interested in the narrative that an editor creates when he selects and arranges works. One theme of The Bab Ballads is "germs of the Savoy operas": the recording begins with Captain Reece and includes both familiar plot material (like The Rival Curates and The Bumboat Woman's Story) and poems that metamorphosed into songs (The Way of Wooing evolved into A man who would woo a fair maid, The Story of Gentle Archibald anticipates Archibald Grosvenor's Teasing Tom poem, while A Bad Night of It contains the seeds of The Nightmare Song).

Another, and more intriguing thread, especially in the context of Topsy-Turvy, is a dark critique of Victorian theater and, by extension, of Victorian hypocrisy. This recording presents a series of Gilbert's poems on theater, ranging from the sentimental moralism of Only a Dancing Girl; the comic comeuppance of The Haughty Actor; the violent Story of Gentle Archibald who wanted to be a clown; the sardonic exchange in The Pantomime 'Super' to His Mask, and finally The Reverend Micah Sowls with its devastating attack on the abuse of Shakespeare (with a touch at the Church). The entire recording ends with one of Gilbert's grimmest poems, At a Pantomime by a Bilious One which strips the paint to expose the skull beneath the skin.

Some of Broadbent's best performances come in this sequence, as he deftly moves from the pompous voice of the actor Gibbs to the querulous Super to the unctuous Sowls. Indeed, the range of accents and characters he assumes is one of the tape's greatest pleasures: I especially liked Bob Polter and The Folly of Brown: By A General Agent. In Etiquette Broadbent chose voices for Peter Gray and Sommers that exactly match Gilbert's illustrations: the former sounds dapper and brisk, the latter pompous and self-satisfied.

Other poems in the collection not otherwise mentioned above are: The Bishop of Rum-ti-foo; The Wise Policeman; Emily, John, James and I: A Derby Legend; The Story of Prince Agib; and To the Terrestrial Globe by a Miserable Wretch.

This recording is essential for every serious G&S collection.

-- LISA BERGLUND     

REVIEWER NEEDED

We are in receipt of a review copy of Gilbert and Sullivan's London by Andrew Goodman. The book comprises a guided tour of London, filled with historical notes, pictures and anecdotes, and on a brief skimming We found it fascinating - We wish We had time to read it all and write a review Ourself. But alas, We don't. Would someone like to take this copy, review it, and then either keep the book, or share it with other NEGASSers? Let Us know, and We'll send it on. - mlc

Articles

RECORDINGS!

Our president writes: On your list of links, you should include one to Marc Shepherd's G&S Discography (details about every commercial G&S recording, film, broadcast, ever done (and then some). [Done! - mlc]

-- J. DONALD SMITH     

G&S IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND

A member of the MIT G&S Players has taken librettos from The G&S Archives, formatted the text to be readable on his Palm Pilot, and, in order to share the results, has created a Web site which he calls Palm Pirates. As he explains, this is "a web site containing the Gilbert and Sullivan Libretti in DOC format. You'll need a DOC reader for the Palm, like AportisDOC or TealDOC, to read them; you can get one from http://www.palmgear.com….

I have finished converting PIRATES, PATIENCE, PINAFORE, MIKADO, RUDDIGORE, and SORCERER. If your favorite isn't here, stop by a week or a month from now, and maybe it will be…[If you'd like to contribute to the project yourself] E-mail me [goodmanj@MIT.EDU] for a style guide and useful software tools. Comments on readability, typos, and accidental deletions are also welcome.

Memory issues: DOC files are compressed; the six completed libretti average 38 K; I figure all 14 will take up just over 500 K; about 1/4 of the memory of a Palm III. Feel free to pass this message along to whomever you think might be interested."

-- JASON GOODMAN

IN SITU PINAFORE 

Our Swiss connection writes: The June Bray asks about in situ G&S performances in New England. I have been searching, so far without success, for the programme of the production on the Boston Harbor evening cruise, in which I took part in the summer of 1981. We did (I think) a couple of performances on the boat, then back to dry land for a couple more in an open-air auditorium in a park in Lincoln, MA.

The production was put together, and Sir Joseph'd, by an energetic and talented Welsh gentleman named Jeffrey Wayne Davies. He also owned an agreeable small restaurant just behind the Boston theater district, where above the dining-room he had constructed a mini-theater in which I recall seeing him perform in a polished production of COX & BOX (invitees only !).

Unfortunately, about a year later, I heard that Jeffrey had died (in his late thirties, I guess) of a mysterious wasting disease that some attributed to his lifestyle on the New York beaches. No-one had ever heard of AIDS at that time, but hindsight suggests that Jeffrey was one of its earliest victims - a great loss to Boston-area G&S inter alia. [Having seen that fascinating production of C&B, which Jeffrey brought to NYC, We agree that his talent was extraordinary, and are very sorry to hear, after so long, of his death. - mlc]

Hope all the good guys got elected on Sunday. [They did!] Bonne chance for the next year. [Merci! - mlc]

-- DAVID STIEBER    

MORE ON GOULD'S ARTICLE

[A NEGASS SavoyNetter wrote to both SavoyNet and Us:] Mention has been made of a lengthy appreciation of G&S by the Harvard professor Stephen Jay Gould in the current issue of The American Scholar…. [This was the article We quoted last month, in which he explains in a scholarly fashion exactly why G&S are excellent - mlc] I found I was able to order the specific issue I wanted directly from the publication's offices. The magazine is published by Phi Beta Kappa. You can reach the magazine staff via e-mail at subscription@pbk.org. There is also a webpage with mail links at http://www.pbk.org/americanscholar.htm. I telephoned Phi Beta Kappa at 1-202-265-3808. They put me through to the magazine office, and I ordered the single issue I wanted for $8 and charged it to my credit card. (The issue in question is Vol 69 No 2 Spring 2000.)

-- WILLIAM S. KELLY

PROPOSED HADDON HALL CD

Janice Dallas gleaned this from SavoyNet: The only one of Sullivan's operas which has not yet found its way onto compact disc in complete form… is Haddon Hall. I am delighted to announce that this gap is now to be filled.

In the 1980s the Prince Consort of Edinburgh made fine LP recordings of The Emerald Isle, The Beauty Stone and The Rose of Persia (the former two are now available on CD thanks to Chris Webster). The Consort is no more, but its twin driving forces, Alan Borthwick and David Lyle, continue to be active in the Edinburgh musical scene…

...Alan and David have assembled a company (professional orchestra, semi-pro principals and amateur chorus) for the express purpose of making a studio CD recording of Haddon Hall….I had the good fortune to hear a few "rushes" the other day and can testify to the very high quality of the performance, particularly the orchestral playing. It will be issued on The Divine Art label and will be available by the Sullivan Festival in Edinburgh… - possibly earlier. The recording will be a 2-CD set and will sell to the general public at approximately £22. SavoyNetters may place advance orders up to and including the Festival (25 November) at a special price of GBP20 post paid (UK) or GBP22 / $34 post paid (overseas).

There is no limit to the number of copies which may be ordered at this special price. [Clearly, We must learn more about this year's Sullivan Festival itself, as well as asking SavoyNetters to serve as purchasing agents for NEGASSers who wish to buy these CDs - although the extra £2 for the general public doesn't sound so awful. - mlc]…

In addition to your advance orders… your donations, however large or small, towards the costs of the recording will be most gratefully received. Sponsorship of individual numbers in the score will be possible at £100 per song. The sponsor's name will be associated with his or her chosen song in the CD liner/notes, and the sponsor will receive a complimentary copy of the 2-CD set on publication.

Please send your orders, donations, sponsorships to Stephen Turnbull, 48 Front Street, Cockfield, Bishop Auckland, DL13 5DS, UK together with a cheque for the appropriate remittance made payable to Sir Arthur Sullivan Society. If you have any queries or would like any further information, please e-mail me privately.

    -- STEPHEN TURNBULL Secretary, Sir Arthur Sullivan Society  

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We’d like to remind folks:  To subscribe to SavoyNet, the G&S mailing list, send the message "Subscribe SavoyNet (your full name)" to the address - and you’ll be sent all the information you need.

YEOMEN, which was this year's SavoyNet production performed at the current International G&S Festival in Buxton, England, took place on Monday, August 7,  2000.   Join SavoyNet to ask for more details!

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GRAND DUKE SCORE QUERY

Arthur Koykka asked: "Is it possible to buy a copy of DUKE to take to Toronto? Boston Music didn't know what I was talking about…" We replied to him: The G&S Archives Sources page says:

Chappells of Bond Street. At the same location - 50, New Bond Street, London - for nearly 190 years. Carries the scores for all 13 G&S operas (Grand Duke is being reprinted and should be available in 2000), and is willing to ship them anywhere in the world. Their telephone number is 020-7491-2777 (International: 44-20-7491-2777), and their email address is sheet_music@chappell-bond-st.co.uk.

And Arthur replied with this valuable information: Chappell charged me £13.99 for the score of DUKE, and postage of 6.56, making a total charge of £20.55. It arrived in eight days. I don't consider that bad at all. Something to pass along the next time someone asks you how to get this score. Boston Music had IDA, so now we have two scores of everything.

- - ARTHUR S. KOYKKA

 

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