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CHAN 10186M
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CHAN 10186
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - Baa Baa Black Sheep

Berkeley: Baa Baa Black Sheep

The Classical Shop
release date: February 2004

Originally recorded in 2003

Artists:

English Northern Philharmonia


Paul Daniel


George Mosley

baritone - Father, Father Wolf, Messua's Husband

William Dazeley

baritone- Mowgli, as a young man

Ashley Holland

bass-baritone - Bhini-in-the-Garden, Baloo

Henry Newman

bass-baritone - Captain, Akela

Clive Bayley

bass-baritone - Meeta, Bagheera

Malcolm Lorimer

boy treble - Punch, Mowgli as a child

Fiona Kimm

contralto - Auntirosa, Baldeo

Eileen Hulse

high soprano - Mother, Mother Wolf, Messua

Ann Taylor-Morley

mezzo-soprano - Judy

Philip Sheffield

tenor - Harry, Shere Khan

Brian Cookson

tenor - Priest

Paul McCann

tenor - Salaam-Captain-Sahib-Snake-Man, Ka

Opera North Chorus



Venue:

Grand Theatre, Leeds



Producer:

Peter Tanner

(For Radio 3)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Opera




Total Time - 114:40
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Opera - Baa Baa Black Sheep

   
Select Complete Single Disc for
 

MICHAEL BERKELEY

(b. 1948)
   
 

Baa Baa Black Sheep

115:02  
  A Jungle Tale  
  An Opera in Three Acts  
  Text by David Malouf  
   
  Act I  
1 Prelude 2:53
2 Scene 1. A Passage from India 9:04
3 Scene 2. In the House of Desolation 12:36
4 Scene 3. At the Council Rock 6:05
5 Scene 4. The Education of Mowgli 6:22
   
  Act II  
6 Scene 1. The Ways of Man 4:21
7 Scene 2. Akela Misses His Kill 10:03
8 Scene 3. A Death in the House 10:49
   
9 Scene 4. In the Village 17:58
   
  Act III  
10 Scene 1. Black Sheep 10:39
11 Scene 2. Letting in the Jungle 10:25
12 Scene 3. The Spring Running 11:14
13 Scene 4. Return 2:11
   
 Malcolm Lorimer boy treble - Punch, Mowgli as a child
 William Dazeley baritone- Mowgli, as a young man
 Ann Taylor-Morley mezzo-soprano - Judy
 George Mosley baritone - Father, Father Wolf, Messua's Husband
 Eileen Hulse high soprano - Mother, Mother Wolf, Messua
 Henry Newman bass-baritone - Captain, Akela
 Fiona Kimm contralto - Auntirosa, Baldeo
 Philip Sheffield tenor - Harry, Shere Khan
 Ashley Holland bass-baritone - Bhini-in-the-Garden, Baloo
 Clive Bayley bass-baritone - Meeta, Bagheera
 Paul McCann tenor - Salaam-Captain-Sahib-Snake-Man, Ka
 Brian Cookson tenor - Priest
  Vivienne Bailey, Stephen Briggs, Bruce Budd, Anne-Marie Ives, Keith Mills, David Owen-Lewis, Lesley Roberts, Victoria Sharp - Wolves and Villagers  
 Paul Daniel
  (Live), 13, 16, 17 and 19 November 1993  
   
  This recording was previously released on Collins Classics 70362  
Chandos is proud to present Michael Berkeley’s first opera, Baa Baa Black Sheep.

The opera, written to a libretto by distinguished Australian novelist David Malouf, was first performed by Opera North at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, in 1993, and proved an enormous success.

Michael Berkeley’s second opera, Jane Eyre, released on Chandos in 2002, was a great critical success, described by The Sunday Times as ‘compelling psychotheatre’. This live recording, taken from the Grand Theatre, Leeds, is the only available version of Baa Baa Black Sheep.


Baa Baa Black Sheep is based in part on an autobiographical story by Rudyard Kipling which describes how, as young children, Kipling and his sister were brought to England from India and sent to live with a retired ship’s captain, his fanatical wife (Aunty Rosa) and their bully of a son, Harry.

Aunty Rosa took violently against Kipling, and the boy was constantly beaten. In his short story Kipling referred to his new home as the ‘House of Desolation’. This childhood experience marked Kipling for life and explains a great deal of his later writing – the often terrifying elements of revenge, for example, and of course the escape offered by fantasy. Kipling acknowledged that it was during this ordeal he first thought about a child living amongst animals.

The opera marries the outline of the short story with the elements of The Jungle Book that quite naturally seemed to comment psychologically on the child’s predicament. Each of the characters from one world has its counterpart in the other, and thus a comparison of human and animal behaviour is drawn. So, for instance, the bully, Harry, becomes Mowgli’s arch-enemy in the jungle, the tiger Shere Khan; the sea captain, the only person to show kindness to Kipling, becomes Akela, the old wolf leader; Kipling’s sister runs with Mowgli as Grey Wolf etc. In his libretto David Malouf has endowed the young Kipling with the power to effect his own form of wild justice, so that the tormentors are murdered in the fantasy. The seemingly austere walls of a wretched childhood fall down to reveal an exotic and magical place.


This is a powerful first opera, a welcome challenge to any enterprising opera company, and reissued at a time when much more of Michael Berkeleys music is appearing on the Chandos Berkeley Edition. The recording captures the intensity of a live performance, which never loses impetus.
Gramophone

This recording was made at performances by a uniformly strong Opera North cast' warmly recommended: even if you dont think you like contemporary opera, give it a try.
BBC Music Magazine

The recorded performance is excellent, less sung than acted, less performed than lived. Malcolm Lorimer (boy treble) sounds truly terrified of the savage, vicious Aunty of Fiona Kimm, a triumph of the portrayal of evil. The rest of the singers are uniformly fine. The orchestra and chorus contribute their excellence to the show.
American Record Guide

''the cast is marvellous from top to bottom. Everyone sings extremely well, with remarkably clear diction, especially given the difficulty of some of the musical lines. The orchestra and chorus completely belie their status as provincial organisations. The recording, while obviously live, captures the wide range of colour and dynamic coming from the stage. James North, in particular, has written eloquently about the rarity of a new opera that has legs. It seems to me that this is one of them. If you missed the original Collins issue, don't make that mistake again.'
Fanfare

'The recorded performance is excellent, less sung than acted, less performed than lived. Malcolm Lorimer (boy treble) sounds truly terrified of the savage, vicious Aunty of Fiona Kimm, a triumph of the portrayal of evil. The rest of the singers are uniformly fine. The orchestra and chorus contribute their excellence to the show.'
American Record Guide

'This recording was made at performances by a uniformly strong Opera North cast' warmly recommended: even if you don't think you like contemporary opera, give it a try.'
BBC Music Magazine



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