and music for the meeting of the two Bad Barts
Carole Round in the 1999 SavoyNet Performing Group Ruddigore
DAME HANNAH [quoting the burning witch]:
"Each lord of Ruddigore,
despite his best endeavour,
shall do one crime, or more,
once every day forever.
This doom he can't defy,
however he may try.
For should he stay
his hand, that day
in torture he shall die!"
[We heard the story in full in this week's preview, "The Witch's Curse."]
Gillian Knight (ms), Dame Hannah; Orchestra or the Royal Opera House, Covent Gardn, Isidore Godfrey, cond. Decca, recorded July 1962
Monica Sinclair (c), Dame Hannah; Pro Arte Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent, cond. EMI, recorded Dec. 11-14, 1962
SIR DESPARD SOLILOQUIZES ABOUT HIS PICTURE GALLERY
Ruddigore, Act I: All the village girls express their horror of SIR DESPARD MURGATROYD, Bad Baronet of Ruddigore. As he approaches them they fly from him, terror-stricken, leaving him alone on the stage.
SIR DESPARD MURGATROYD: Poor children, how they loathe me -- me whose hands are certainly steeped in infamy, but whose heart is as the heart of a little child! But what is a poor baronet to do, when a whole picture gallery of ancestors step down from their frames and threaten him with an excruciating death if he hesitate to commit his daily crime? But ha! ha! I am even with them! [Mysteriously] I get my crime over the first thing in the morning, and then, ha! ha! for the rest of the day I do good -- I do good -- I do good! [Melodramatically] Two days since, I stole a child and built an orphan asylum. Yesterday I robbed a bank and endowed a bishopric. Today I carry off Rose Maybud and atone with a cathedral! This is what it is to be the sport and toy of a Picture Gallery! But I will be bitterly revenged upon them! I will give them all to the Nation, and nobody shall ever look upon their faces again!
Before we continue with Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddigore, we're going to observe our frequent custom of starting at the beginning, with the Overture. For our purposes, as I hope you'll hear, it's especially important here. (Note that this is the "later" overture, in which Sullivan had no hand. But something had to be done when for the 1920-21 revival of the show -- after the deaths of both Gilbert and Sullivan -- the tune that had served as the big "developoment" tune of the original Overture, Robin's "When a man has been a wicked baronet" from the Act II finale, was cut. I happen to think that the replacement Overture, generally credited to Geoffrey Toye, a longtime assistant of Sullivan's, is quite dandy.)
GILBERT and SULLIVAN: Ruddigore: Overture (1920)
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Isidore Godfrey, cond. Decca, recorded July 1962
Pro Arte Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent, cond. EMI, recorded Nov. 3, 1960
ON TO BUSINESS -- ABOUT THAT PICTURE GALLERY
[Sorry, I was so pressed for time that I completely screwed this up this morning. The texts and the audio files were all ready to go, and I didn't get around to inserting them!]
This is officially, or at least this post began life as, a continuation of last week's idea of a tribute to the great G-and-S bass Donald Adams. Well, things happen. Much of the text was written on paper napkins in the shadow of the Harkness Tower at Yale, with a carillon ringing that included "Send in the clowns." (I was hoping for "Send in the clowns," but that wasn't bad.) We actually will get to Adams. But first . . . .