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Vol. XXIX No. 4
Jan-Feb 2005
~ When the night wind howls ~

RUDDIGORE at Newton Free Library
Sunday, January 16 at 1:30

In This Issue:

NEGASS Business

Meeting News

Member News

Performances and auditions
in NE and elsewhere










RUDDIGORE film at Newton Free Library Jan. 16 1:30

Sir RoderickHow to get there: The Newton Free Library, Newton, MA)

RUDDIGORE: film at Newton Free Library Jan. 16 1:30 This production, featuring the professional Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company and filmed live at the 2004 Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, restores RUDDIGORE essentially to its "First Night" version as G&S originally conceived it. As such, it is a revelation and introduces the opera to the modern audience as if they were seeing the opera for the first time.


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CASTING CALL: Last-Minute Light Opera PINAFORE, March 20

The LMLO will be the American beta-test of the Broude Brothers’ new orchestral score and band parts of HMS PINAFORE. Casting opens with this Bray and closes March 13. Like usual, people should call or e-mail me —preferably e-mail me — with the roles they desire, in the order they want 'em, and I'll try to put together the best cast I can.

Singing roles in PINAFORE:


Sir Joseph Porter


dance a hornpipe

Capt. Corcoran



Ralph Rackstraw



Dick Deadeye



Bill Bobstay



Bob Becket









Little Buttercup



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A merry and well-fed time was had by all at the NEGASS Holiday Party on December 11th. Carl Weggel brought a whole roasted turkey with all the accoutrements, and there were two large tables full of food of all kinds contributed by other members, and very good it all was.

We watched a video of a NEGASS PRINCESS IDA sing-through of about 15 years ago, semi-staged and costumed, with Marion Leeds Carroll in the title role. Then Janice Dallas led us in an entertaining G&S party game. She affixed the name of a G&S character to each participant’s back, and that person then had to figure out which character it was by asking other people questions.

The party was held in the historic First Parish Church in Lexington, which was just in the news (paragraphs got into all the papers) for its major “facelift,” or rather steeple-lift. Nancy Burdine writes: “Yes, that was our new, compliant with historic district commission requirements for an "exact" replica, steeple. The 150 years-plus old one was "plucked" at the end of summer and this new one built in Vermont by steeplejack Jay Southgate. It was brought to Lexington and final assembly done on the premises, then lifted into place a week ago last Tuesday.” There were striking photos in local papers of the steeple suspended from a crane, which We wish We could reprint here.

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Tentative Meeting Schedule, 2004 - 2005

January 16, 2005 Film viewing: RUDDIGORE at the Newton Free Library
April 17 G&S Potpourri - TRIAL / Bab Ballads/ G without S
June 5 Elections/Fantasy meeting

Next Bray Copy Deadline: Feb. 27, 2005

NOTE from tsw: We put this in each Bray because YOU, the Members, are Our Writers! You are all encouraged to send in reviews and other G&S material!

Next Bray Stuffing: March 6, 2005, 3 pm, at the home of Janice & Ron Dallas, 63 Everett St in Arlington, MA. Email for directions:

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Welcome, Welcome We! new members…

David Matz, of Boston, who describes himself as audience and "man of all work." He also tells us he directs the graduate programs in dispute resolution at UMass/Boston. (A useful person to have in any society! –tsw)

Mitchell Adams, of Dedham

April Grant, who writes:
I'm very pleased to be joining the Society. Ms. Dallas has asked me to say a few words about myself. I'm twenty-three years old, I live in Northampton, Massachusetts, and I'm a writer. I like 19th-century literature and theatre, and, most of all, G&S. Ever since I was a child, I've loved their operas, but RUDDIGORE is my favorite. Back in 1997 I sang in the chorus of THE MIKADO with the Valley Light Opera. Since then I haven't been onstage in any Gilbert and Sullivan, but I've gone to lots of performances, by the V.L.O. and other companies. Also, I like to cook, so I learned how to make Sally Lunn cakes. In themselves, they aren't as exciting as, say, chocolate chip cookies, but for light snacking and general ambience and history, they can't be beat. If anyone wants me to bring Sally Lunn cakes to a meeting, I will be glad to oblige.

There, that's me in a nutshell. I look forward to meeting everyone connected with NEGASS.


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Can someone within NEGASS offer an opinion regarding Gilbert & Sullivan's vocal scores in general, and about the vocal score of RUDDIGORE in particular? We (Humboldt State U.) are performing RUDDIGORE next semester and I must order a copy online. The dilemma is choosing one in particular -- Schirmer? Oxford University Press? Warner Chappell Edition? Bad orchestral reductions abound in opera scores; I do not know which edition will translate best to the piano. I am deeply grateful for any input/experiences anyone can share with me regarding this. Thank you so much! --Billie Whittaker

A NEGASS member replies:

I have to recommend the Oxford University Press edition. It has its problems, just as any score does, but it's still head and shoulders above the rest. In terms of piano reductions, this one is based on the original reduction by George Lowell Tracy of Boston, which is the one Sullivan authorized for publication and performance. It is also the only score still in print which presents the opera as Gilbert and Sullivan left it, completely free of the changes introduced by the D'Oyly Carte from 1919 on.

There are a few caveats with this edition: firstly, since it is the only edition without the D'OC alterations, the only matching full score is the OUP edition. However, as full scores (especially critical editions) go, it is not very expensive. Secondly, while the quality of the research and editing of the edition is stupendous, the quality of the layout is less so; hence, lyrics run together from time to time.

Thirdly, since the overture we know and love was one of the D'OC changes (and one of the only ones that did any good to the score), this edition has instead the original, weaker overture. Oh, and in Rose's solo (Act 1, No.3), the first ending begins one measure before it's marked.

That said, it is still far and away the best of all editions of RUDDIGORE available. Any serious G&S fan should have it.

-- “O.G”

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NEW EDITION OF COX AND BOX from Preeta Triangle

Cox and BoxDave Leigh is announcing February 1 as the official publication date for his edition of COX AND BOX. The score will cost $12.00, and will include the complete vocal score, with dialogue, plus the original versions of Box's lullaby and Bouncer's "Rataplan" solo. More information — including samples — will be on his website (, probably by mid-January.

He writes:
COX AND BOX has maintained popularity over the decades, thanks to its use by the D’Oyly Carte as a curtain opener for the shorter operas, but that continued popularity has come at a price. In order for the show to work as a curtain opener, the running time had to be reduced from about 70 minutes to about 35 minutes. This means that seven of the ten musical numbers were truncated, one was cut entirely, and approximately half the dialogue was deleted. It is this “Savoy Version” which is known to its fans.

Vocal scores of the complete Cox and Box still exist, but they are hard to find, and are all either reprints of the 1871 edition, whose 19th-Century typeface and formatting make it difficult for modern performers to read, or are such faithful reproductions of that edition that they include many of its obvious mistakes. It seemed to me that a new edition was called for, one which offered modern typesetting and notation, and which avoided at least the most egregious errata of previous editions, and that is what I have set out to create in this edition.

It is important to bear in mind, then, that I created this edition from what sources were readily available to me. This is not a critical edition. Rather, it is designed strictly for practical use. My intention in creating this edition is to provide a complete vocal score from which a group of actors with a piano and a stage could perform the entire triumveretta.

The primary source for this edition is a reprint of the vocal score published in 1871 by Boosey & Co., London. Secondary sources, used primarily to weed out what errors and inconsistencies I could find, include a reprint of the 1869 vocal score, also published by Boosey; a full score, edited by Roger Harris, and published by R. Clyde in 1999; and the libretto available online at the Gilbert & Sullivan Archive.

In formatting this edition, I have endeavored to blend efficiency, practicality, and clarity. I have completely reformatted the score, with a modern typeface. Repeats are taken when practical, with any difference in the repeated music clearly marked. Clefs for the voice lines have been standardized throughout, in keeping with contemporary notation: transposed treble clef for the tenor, and bass clef for the baritones. Any inconsistencies regarding individual page formatting is in deference to overall clarity.


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The curator of the G&S Archive, Jim Farron, died unexpectedly in his sleep on November 20.

Paul Howarth, the Associate Curator of the Archive, posted the following on SavoyNet and has kindly allowed Us to print them:

crying girl  

I read of Jim's death this morning with great shock sadness and I find it difficult to put my thoughts and feelings into words.

Jim's enthusiasm as for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan was boundless, and he worked tirelessly at his self-appointed task of evangelist. Only last Saturday, he wrote to me:

“I ‘found’ G&S relatively late in life. I have no idea how I missed it to that point, as I have always been a classical music fan, but somehow I did. I don't recall exactly, but I don't think that I really discovered G&S until about 20 years ago. And now I want to help the other unfortunates who were in the same situation that I was -- an ignorant, lost soul missing out on the real joys of life!"

He was a man of wide and diverse interests. He read widely - putting the time when he was travelling to and from work on the bus to good use in that respect. His garden, wildlife and his vintage car (a VW Beetle if I recall correctly) were other passions.

It is now some years ago that he posted my first contributions to the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive. Over the years he has always been patient, helpful and encouraging and I was delighted when he designated me "Associate Curator". As he pointed out to me at the time, "it sounds impressive – and can mean almost anything you want it to mean". Since he resumed the reins of the Archive just over a year ago we have worked closely together, and I am proud to have been associated with him. He will be greatly missed.

I hope that the Archive will continue - and go from strength to strength. There could be no better memorial to Jim in the G&S world than for the work which he started to continue to flourish.

I am sure his family will be in our thoughts at this sad and difficult time.


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Looking for the reviews in this issue? Visit our review page.

Looking for the Calendar section, featuring local auditions and performances? Visit our Calendar page

INDEX TO RECENT ON-LINE BRAYS There are no links yet to the out-of-date calendar pages - but the articles are now available. Enjoy! - mlc

Note: Very old issues of The Trumpet Bray are still available in The G & S Archives.

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IN-PROGRESS PDF BRAY ARCHIVE We've been posting PDF versions of recent Brays on the web. What does this mean? It means that if you have a (free and easily accessible) copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, you can print out a copy of the issue you want, looking pretty much the same as the copy you received in the mail - in case you lost your old copy, or want to give a copy to someone else. Ultimately, We hope to create a more nearly complete archive of old Brays in PDF format.



All contributions are welcome, of course - but, strictly speaking, only activities and articles relating to G&S ought to be published. (…although an occasional Yes We Know It's Not slips by when the subject relates to a promising activity presented by long-standing and active member of NEGASS.)

  1. E-mail is the best way to send things! - is the best path. (Actually, anything else will also get here, eventually...)
  2. The US Postal Service (aka "snail mail") is fine, too - send letters, preferably typed, or hand-written very clearly so that We can read and correctly reproduce names, dates, etc. - to NEGASS, PO Box 367, Arlington, MA 02476-0004.
  3. The Telephone is a very last choice: Editor T. Skyler Wrench can be reached at 617-924-5303. Note: spellings of names and specifics of dates are awfully hard to be sure of when delivered by Word of Mouth (Oricular or otherwise), and We rarely have time to phone people back to check details. Please use the phone only if you have no other choice!

 -- mlc   

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