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CHAN 5036M
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CHAN 5036
(multiple CD Set)
The Mines of Sulphur

Bennett: The Mines of Sulphur

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2005

Originally recorded in 2004


Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra

Stewart Robertson

Michael Todd Simpson

baritone - Tooley

James Maddalena

baritone - Tovey

Kristopher Irmiter

bass-baritone - Braxton

Kristopher Irmiter

bass-baritone - Sherrin

Dorothy Byrne

mezzo-soprano - Leda

Beth Clayton

mezzo-soprano - Rosalind

Andew Gorell

silent part - Trim

Caroline Worra

soprano - Jenny

Brandon Jovanovich

tenor - Boconnion

Brian Anderson

tenor - Fenney


Alice Busch Opera Theater, Cooperstown, New York


Blanton Alspaugh


Stephanie Jacobson

Dirk Sobotka

John Newton

Record Label




Total Time - 106:58
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The Mines of Sulphur

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(b. 1936)
premiere recording

The Mines of Sulphur

  An Opera in Three Acts  
  Libretto by Beverley Cross  
  Dedicated to Benjamin Britten  
  Act I  
1 No. 1. Introduction 1:25
  No. 2  
  (Rosalind enters. . .) -  
2 'Slut! You slut!' 2:54
  Braxton, Rosalind  
  No. 3  
  (The main door opens slowly and Boconnion enters cautiously. . .) -  
3 'Easy and quietly' 2:22
  Boconnion, Tovey, Rosalind, Braxton  
  No. 4  
  (Boconnion moves off into the shadows.)  
4 'The key!' 1:53
  Boconnion, Tovey, Rosalind  
  (They gaze in wonder at the contents of the open chest.) -  
5 'You see! What did I tell you?' 1:06
  Rosalind, Boconnion, Tovey  
  No. 5  
6 'Old goat!' 4:23
  Boconnion, Rosalind  
  No. 6  
  (Tovey returns, carrying logs and wine. . .) -  
7 '''The cup it is white and the ale it is brown. . .''' 2:23
  Tovey, Boconnion  
  No. 7  
  (Rosalind appears above. She is transformed. . .) -  
8 'Am I beautiful?' 2:12
  Rosalind, Boconnion, Tovey  
  (From the distance we hear the sound of a horn. . .) -  
9 'A horn!' 0:53
  Boconnion, Rosalind, Tovey, Sherrin  
  No. 8  
  (Sherrin enters, blinking, into the light. . .) -  
10 'Good evening, sir' 5:58
  Sherrin, Boconnion, Rosalind, Tovey, Leda, Fenney, Tooley  
  No. 9  
  (The players wander round the Hall. . .) -  
11 'I once played Romeo, in Chester' 3:37
  Fenney, Sherrin, Tooley, Leda  
  No. 10  
  (Rosalind enters. She moves slowly round the Hall. . .) -  
12 'It looks very well on you' 7:13
  Jenny, Rosalind  
  Act II  
13 No. 11 Overture 1:05
  No. 12  
  (Enter, from the lower doors, the two Flunkeys. . .) -  
14 'Good morning, your Excellency!' 0:45
  No. 13. Recitative  
15 'Item: A fountain in the Palladian style' 1:46
  The Count  
  No. 14. Duet  
  (Hugo, the valet, enters with the Count's clothes and a basin. . .) -  
16 'Good morning, your Excellency' 2:54
  'This morning I was passing the square' -  
  Hugo, the Count  
  No. 15. Aria  
17 'O when will I a lover know' 4:04
  No. 16  
  (The Count and Hugo appear below. . .) -  
18 'Well?' 1:52
  Hugo, the Count, Mrs Traxel  
  No. 17  
  (She calls up to the balcony.) -  
19 'Haidee!' 4:03
  Mrs Traxel  
  No. 18. Interlude  
  (Mrs Traxel leads the way into the house. . .) -  
20 'Your eyes are shining, Rosalind' 1:22
  Boconnion, Rosalind, Tovey  
21 (Enter Trim and Tooley to prepare the bed. . .) - 2:27
22 No. 20. Nocturne I 1:09
  No. 21  
  (A cock crows and the lights fade up on the bed. . .) -  
23 'Good morning, my doves' 2:19
  Mrs Traxel, Haidee, Hugo  
  No. 22  
24 'Hugo!' 2:02
  Haidee, Hugo  
25 No. 23. Nocturne II 1:49
  No. 24  
  (The lights fade up. . .) -  
26 'I said to the cook: who does he think he is?' 2:07
  Tooley, the Count  
  No. 25. Nocturne III -  
27 'In the moonlight they are beautiful' 1:46
  The Count  
  No. 26  
28 'Get up! and quickly, do you hear me' 1:14
  The Count, Haidee, Hugo  
  No. 27  
29 'Stop! Make them stop!' 1:47
  Tovey, Boconnion, Rosalind, Sherrin, Leda  
  No. 28  
30 'We must get away from here' 1:23
  Rosalind, Boconnion  
  No. 29  
31 'I am very sorry, Colonel Boconnion' 1:00
  Sherrin, Rosalind, Boconnion, Leda, Tooley  
32 'Well now, Colonel' 2:28
  Tooley, Boconnion, Leda  
33 'You would do better to save your new coat' 2:05
  Tooley, Boconnion  
  Act III  
  No. 30  
  (The players move slowly back and away from Boconnion.) -  
34 'Back! Back against the wall where I can watch you' 1:48
  Boconnion, Sherrin, Tooley, Leda, Rosalind  
  No. 31  
  'This house is made of wood' -  
  No. 32  
35 'What will you gain by killing us' 3:22
  Sherrin, Tooley, Boconnion  
  (Tovey returns.) -  
  'All correct, Colonel' -  
  Tovey, Boconnion, Rosalind  
  No. 33  
  'I want to leave this house' -  
  No. 34  
36 'We must wait till morning' 4:21
  Boconnion, Leda, Fenney  
  'Ah! The poor little mute' -  
  No. 35  
  (Trim obeys. He dances jerkily and awkwardly.) -  
  No. 36  
  (Boconnion stalks arrogantly along the line of frightened actors.) -  
37 'This mute!' 2:39
38 'I lived as a boy in a village by the sea' 2:19
  'Tovey! Bring down the girl' -  
  Boconnion, Tovey, Leda  
  No. 37  
  (Rosalind wanders away from the others.) -  
39 'I want to leave this house' 1:54
  Rosalind, Jenny, Boconnion  
  'Tovey! Into the cellar with them' -  
  Boconnion, Rosalind  
  No. 38  
40 'All correct, Colonel' 0:55
  (Boconnion turns back to Jenny. . .) -  
41 'What was your question, in the play?' 1:17
  Boconnion, Jenny, Rosalind  
  No. 39  
42 'Once, once long ago some actors came riding' 4:24
  No. 40  
  (The horn sounds, far beyond the house.) -  
43 'The horn! Their horn!' 2:16
  Tovey, Boconnion, Rosalind, Jenny  
  (Boconnion lifts his arm to strike.) -  
44 'Then look! Soldier, look!' 3:57
  Jenny, Tovey, Rosalind, Boconnion  
  Also available as SACD CHSA 5036
No Notes Found.
All credit then to Glimmerglass Opera for reviving the work in 2004. Stewart Robertson, Music Director at the upstate New York festival, conducts with complete authority and his orchestra reward him with a fine account of the score that walks an elegant tightrope between late Serialism and unabashed lyricism.
International Record Review

This performance by a respectable company under Stewart Robertson suggest that it’s time some UK company mounted a Bennett revival.
The Observer

As to the performance, it’s surely enough to note that the composer regarded both staging and performance a unsurpassable. As sound, performance, and a handsomely documented set, this is an outstanding issue.
Opera Now

Clarity of sound is always needed in Tippett, and this Super Audio CD from Chandos gives us a depth, range and detail that make his last orchestral piece ‘The Rose Lake’ glitter and beguile as never before. The changing colours of a Senegal lake gave Tippett the inspiration; though stuck in Swansea, Hickox and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales transport us, with bells, xylophone, and roto-toms cascading trhough music rich in echoes of the composer’s past.
The Times ‘The Knowledge’

Certainly the Mines doesn’t deserve the neglect it has suffered for more than a quarter of a century: this performance shows it can work on stage, and pack a real dramatic punch.
The Guardian

…everyone is well cast and directed – as Bennett’s own tribute indicates – in this astonishly assured first full-length opera which belongs in the repertoire.

This new ‘Rose Lake’ from Chandos seems to catch the work’s poetry even more clearly, and to make even more of a single majestic arch out of its mosaic of 12 sections, than does Colin Davis’s world premiere account. This is partly due to Richard Hickox’s firm and sympathetic direction, but also to the excellence of Chandos’s SACD recording, which provides superior delineation of Tippett’s complex textures, not least the passages of cloudy polyphony in the bass registers. The same virtues apply to the ‘Ritual Dances’, which receives an account of unusual vibrancy, culminating for once in its abandon, the BBC NOW here showing themselves a truly virtuoso band.
BBC Music Magazine

Stewart Robertson and his orchestra convey all the atmosphere of this sometimes Gothic thriller about murderous goings-on in a run-down West Country manor house. The cast is uniformly fine, but Brandon Jovanovich’s Boconnion and Dorothy Byrne’s Leda/Mrs Traxel deserve special mention.
The Telegraph

The work comes across strongly on disc: Richard Rodney Bennett’s style may be rooted in the serialism of the 1960s, but his sounds make for gripping music theatre and are for more interesting that the latter-day Puccini churned out by so many of his successors.
BBC Music Magazine

The American cast performs the opera with flair and conviction (and superb diction)…Stewart Robertson conducts a taut interpretation and the orchestra performs the Nocturne interludes with poetic evocation. First rate recording.
Sunday Telegraph

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