The Pirates of Penzance : Work information

Arthur (Seymour) Sullivan ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Marilyn Hill Smith (Voice), Malcolm Rivers (Voice), Eric Roberts (Voice), Philip Creasy (Voice), Susan Gorton (Voice), Simon Masterton-Smith (Voice), Pauline Birchall (Voice), Patricia Cameron (Voice), Gareth Jones (Voice), D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, John Pryce Jones (Conductor)

This work

Work name
The Pirates of Penzance
Work number
1879-01-01 02:00:00

This recording

JAY Records
John Yap
John Kurlander
Recording date

Track listing

  • Act I: Overture 7:10 min
  • Pour, Oh Pour, The Pirate Sherry 1:29 min
  • When Fred'ric Was A Little Lad 2:35 min
  • Oh, Better Far To Live And Die 2:31 min
  • Oh! False One, You Have Deceiv'd Me 3:10 min
  • Climbing Over Rocky Mountain 3:38 min
  • Stop, Ladies, Pray! 1:28 min
  • Oh! There Not One Maiden Breast 4:04 min
  • Poor Wander'ing One 2:46 min
  • What Ought We Do? 0:40 min
  • How Beutifully Blue The Sky 1:55 min
  • Stay, We Must Not Lose Our Senses 1:24 min
  • Hold, Monsters! 0:52 min
  • I Am The Very Model 2:57 min
  • Finale Act One 8:14 min
  • Oh! Dry The Glistning Tear 3:06 min
  • Then, Frederic, Let Your Escort Lion-Hearted 0:20 min
  • When The Foe-Man Bares His Steel 4:27 min
  • Now For The Pirates' Lair! 1:26 min
  • When You Have Left Our Pirate Fold 3:42 min
  • Away, Away, My Heart's On Fire 1:27 min
  • All Is Prepar'd! 1:12 min
  • Stay, Frederic, Stay! 5:02 min
  • No, I'll Be Brave! 2:46 min
  • When A Felon's Not Engaged In His Employment 2:18 min
  • A Rolicking Band Of Pirates We 0:54 min
  • With Cat-Like Tread 2:28 min
  • Hush, Hush! Not A Word 1:28 min
  • Sighing Softly To The River 2:53 min
  • Now What Is This? / Finale Act Two 7:13 min

The Composers

Arthur (Seymour) Sullivan

The man famous as half of the opera-writing duo Gilbert and Sullivan was a gifted composer and musician in his own right. He was born on May 13th 1842 into a very encouraging musical family - by the time he was eight the young Sullivan had written his own anthem, and by ten he had mastered all the wind instruments in his father's Royal Military College band.  He won scholarships for several conservatories and academies, and when he had finished at the last in Germany, he returned to England, wrote incidental music for 'The Tempest' and became famous - at age 20. He was professor of composition at the Royal Academy and conducted the Royal Philharmonic between 1885 and 1887, and was quite a society man, friends with monarchs across Europe.

In 1867 he collaborated on Cox and the Box and The Contrabandista with the writer F C Brunand, revealing a talent for comic opera.  And in 1871 to 1896 he worked with W S Gilbert on fourteen comic operas, including Trial by Jury (1875), H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1879), The Mikado (1885), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), and The Gondoliers (1889).  Sullivan had a gift for writing great melodies and for musical parody of traditional types of song, and he invented too new forms of comic song, such as the patter song - a long, rapidly delivered text to a light tune of restricted vocal range.

Some of Sullivan's most beautiful music was composed while he was in intense pain from the kidney stones that plagued him for the 28 years before his death on 22nd November 1900.  His later works include the grand opera Ivanhoe (1891), Onward Christian Soldiers (1872) and a Te Deum (1897).