Smyth, Ethel - The Boatswain’s Mate View larger

Smyth, Ethel - The Boatswain’s Mate

RO001

New

Nadine Benjamin (Mrs Waters)

Edward Lee (Harry Benn)

Jeremy Huw Williams (Ned Travers)

Lontano Ensemble

Odaline de la Martinez (conductor)

Retrospect Opera RO001 – 120 mins

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£ 14.95

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From our blog, 25 October 2016:

The Boatswain’s (pronounced “Bosun’s”) Mate was Ethel Smyth’s most successful work, a comedy presenting serious social themes of the day with a lighter musical touch than she allowed herself in her symphonic works. Central to the plot is the question of whether Mrs Waters, recently widowed, would be happier if she re-married than if she continued to live independently. First performed in 1916, two years before women over 30 were granted the right to vote, the opera’s overture incorporates “The March of the Women”, which, written by Smyth in 1911, had become the anthem of the women’s suffrage movement. Until now, the overture was one of the few sections of the opera to be commercially available, and Smyth’s own recordings of extracts from this opera and another, The Wreckers, supplement this first complete recording. As well as marking the 100th anniversary of the opera’s first performance, this release is also the first from Retrospect Opera, which plans to release further British operas such as Solomon and Burnand’s Pickwick, Loder’s Raymond and Agnes, and Smyth’s Fête Galante.

ETHEL SMYTH

The Boatswain’s Mate

CD1 - Part 1

CD2 - Part 2, plus Smyth conducting extracts from The Boatswain’s Mate (recorded in 1916), and the overture to The Wreckers (recorded in 1930)

CAST

Nadine Benjamin (Mrs Waters)

Edward Lee (Harry Benn)

Jeremy Huw Williams (Ned Travers)

Simon Wilding (Policeman)

Rebecca Louise Dale (Mary Ann)

Ted Schmitz (the Man)

Lontano Ensemble

Odaline de la Martinez (conductor)

The booklet includes the full libretto, and essays by Odaline de la Martinez, Christopher Wiley, and David Chandler.

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