Recordings of Patience

Background | Recordings


Patience Poster
Contemporary Drawing of Scenes from Patience

While The Pirates of Penzance ran successfully in London throughout most of 1880, W. S. Gilbert was hard at work on his next opera. His initial thought was a dramatization of his Bab Ballad, "The Rival Curates." As his plot developed, however, he began to worry about adverse reaction to a comic opera that appeared to be mocking the clergy. Luckily, he found that he could transform the opera into a story about rival poets (which apparently had been his original idea) without having to abandon much of what he had written. Thus was Patience born.

The opera makes fun of the so-called Aesthetic Movement that was the rage in 1880. Gilbert had his fears that the opera would seem dated when it was first revived in 1900, but it once again scored a brilliant triumph, and Patience has been a favorite of G&S fans ever since. Aestheticism may be a long-gone fad, but the characters' blind devotion to passing tastes will be recognized by audiences of any era.

Patience has fared well on records. The D'Oyly Carte recording, with dialogue complete, is an excellent choice and is available on CD. Two videos (Brent Walker (1982) and Opera Australia (1995) are both based on the respected English National Opera production first seen in the 1970s.


** 1921 HMV Acou 78 CD
*** 1930 D'Oyly Carte Elec 78 LP Cass CD
** 1951 D'Oyly Carte Mono LPCassCD
**** 1961 D'Oyly Carte Ster Dial LP reel Cass CD
** 1962 Sargent/EMI Ster LPCassCD
NR 1965 D'Oyly Carte TV Broadcast Dial TV
NR 1966 BBC Dial Radio
**** 1982 Brent Walker Productions Dial TV VCass DVD
NR 1989 BBC Ster Dial Radio
** 1994 New D'Oyly Carte Dig Bonus CD
**** 1995 Opera Australia Dig Video CD VCass DVD