Sullivan: Haddon Hall


Catalogue No: DDA 21201
EAN/UPC: 809730120120
Release Date: January 2000
Genres: ,
Discs: 2
Total Playing Time: 111:19


Sir Arthur Sullivan wrote his light opera Haddon Hall when he was at the height of his considerable creative powers. Despite his intention to turn away from writing “lighter” works so that he could concentrate on more serious fare, Sullivan’s love of the good-life forced his return to the rather more lucrative stage of the Savoy Theatre, and the world of comic opera. Sydney Grundy presented him with a libretto based on an actual historical incident, namely the elopement of Dorothy Vernon, with her lover John Manners, from Haddon Hall, her ancestral home. The opera was completed and presented at the Savoy Theatre on 24th September 1892.

The reception to Sullivan’s music (though not the libretto!) was ecstatic. Bernard Shaw thought Haddon Hall to be the very best of the Savoy Operas, and for a while the piece beat even The Mikado in box office receipts. We hope that, after hearing this new recording, you will agree that Haddon Hall is an unjustly neglected work of great charm, fully worthy of Britain’s most famous composer of the 19th century, Sir Arthur Sullivan.

Above notes extracted from Booklet notes © 2000 Alan Borthwick

Track Listing

    Sir Arthur Sullivan:

  1. I. Haddon Hall − Ye Stately Homes of England (2:43)
  2. II. Haddon Hall − Today it is a Festal Time (2:13)
  3. III. Haddon Hall − But Midst our Jubilation – Twas a dear little dormouse (3:22)
  4. IV. Haddon Hall − Hail to the Lord of Haddon (3:24)
  5. V. Haddon Hall − Welcome, I bid ye welcome – When the budding bloom of May (4:14)
  6. VI. Haddon Hall − Nay, father dear (2:20)
  7. VII. Haddon Hall − Mother, dearest mother (3:20)
  8. VIII. Haddon Hall − Ribbons to Sell – Come Simples and Gentles (3:21)
  9. IX. Haddon Hall − The Sun’s in the Sky (2:43)
  10. X. Haddon Hall − My mistress comes (0:55)
  11. XI. Haddon Hall − Oh tell me, What is a Maid to say (2:51)
  12. XII. Haddon Hall − Why Weep and Wait? – Red of the Rosebud (3:26)
  13. XIII. Haddon Hall − Down with Princes (1:14)
  14. XIV. Haddon Hall − I’ve heard it said (2:40)
  15. XV. Haddon Hall − The bonny bridegroom cometh (3:56)
  16. XVI. Haddon Hall − When I was but a little lad (1:50)
  17. XVII. Haddon Hall − Hail, cousin Rupert (2:11)
  18. XVIII. Haddon Hall − When yestereve I knelt to pray (1:58)
  19. XIX. Haddon Hall − Father, forgive! (1:30)
  20. XX. Haddon Hall − The earth is fair (2:20)
  21. XXI. Haddon Hall − Sweetly the morn doth break (2:05)
  22. XXII. Haddon Hall − Hoarsely the wind is howling (1:47)
  23. XXIII. Haddon Hall − My name it is McKrankie (2:24)
  24. XXIV. Haddon Hall − There’s no one by (3:04)
  25. XXV. Haddon Hall − Hoity-toity, what’s a kiss? (2:09)
  26. XXVI. Haddon Hall − The west wind howls (7:52)
  27. XXVII. Haddon Hall − Storm (3:03)
  28. XXVIII. Haddon Hall − Silence all! Attend your host – In days of Old (3:02)
  29. XXIX. Haddon Hall − Eloped! Eloped! (1:11)
  30. XXX. Haddon Hall − We were sheltering all (3:34)
  31. XXXI. Haddon Hall − In vain they will blunder (2:51)
  32. XXXII. Haddon Hall − Our heads we bow (1:54)
  33. XXXIII. Haddon Hall − Queen of the Garden (4:27)
  34. XXXIV. Haddon Hall − Alone – alone (1:11)
  35. XXXV. Haddon Hall − Bride of my Youth (2:35)
  36. XXXVI. Haddon Hall − In frill and feather (1:31)
  37. XXXVII. Haddon Hall − Good General Monk (2:24)
  38. XXXVIII. Haddon Hall − We have thought the matter out (2:06)
  39. XXXIX. Haddon Hall − Hech mon! It gars me greet (3:12)
  40. XL. Haddon Hall − Hark! The Cannon (Finale) (5:17)


Musical Opinion

During recent years record collectors have been grateful for the enterprise and imagination of Stephen Sutton’s aptly named Divine Art label, and here is another winner. …the Chorus and Orchestra of the Prince Consort has produced an infectious recording of what deserves to be a regularly staged member of the Savoy Opera repertory. With 15 singing and one speaking parts Haddon Hall is no inexpensive work to stage but listening to these CDs is such a delight that it must be possible to convince the legion of G&S quality amateurs to bring it to life. The Sir Arthur Sullivan Society has collaborated with Divine Art in this project and their number is 01388-710308. This is Sullivan at his best… we have a wealth of solos, duets and ensembles filled with drama, eloquence, and sheer joie-de-vivre. Not to be missed.

” —Denby Richards
International Record Review

the whole score is masterly…the soloists and chorus recreate the authentic period style with élan…enjoyable and well-recorded…booklet notes are excellent…most recommendable

” —Robert Matthew-Walker

[Haddon Hall] undeserved obscurity, as this splendid new recording from the Divine Art amply proves. The score is prime Sullivan; he never wrote a lovelier aria than “Queen of the Garden bloomed a rose.” Haddon Hall…is…nearly flawless. High praise for the excellent cast, especially the lovely Mary Timmins as Dorothy Vernon, Fiona Main as Dorcas, and Maxwell Smart as the McCrankie. Good choral singing especially, and fine playing by the orchestra. A libretto is included. In an era in which few operas are being recorded at all, much less repertoire rarities, this is a true find, and is highly recommended.

” —James Camner
Journal Of The Federarion Of Recorded Music Societies

most impressive…very professional…chorus is excellent…recommended

” —Arthur Baker
Penguin Guide To Compact Discs

The opera comes vividly to life in this excellent recording…will give much pleasure

” —Penguin Guide Rosette Award
Gilbert & Sullivan Discography

HADDON HALL is easily the best of the Prince Consort recordings. All of the roles are at least acceptably cast, the orchestral playing is generally to a high standard, and the chorus shine. This is a set that will give pleasure for years to come. There is much to discover in this score, and I heartily recommend it to those who have yet to discover Sullivan outside of the G&S canon. An unfamiliar opera needs a great recording, and I think this is one…David Lyle coaxes a great sense of drama out of the Consort Orchestra…The chorus sing beautifully. The two-CD set comes with a generous booklet that includes the complete libretto. Overall, it’s a most welcome addition to the Sullivan discography.

” —Marc Shepherd