Der Yiddisher Pinafore (1994)

Der Admiral, Reb Yosl
   Yitzkhak Nimitzbaum [Sir Joseph]
Al Grand /
Arthur Goldstein
Der Kapitan [Captain Corcoran]Arthur Goldstein /
Bob Tartell
Labe [Ralph Rackstraw]Phil Bennis
Shloyme der Shlemil [Dick Deadeye]Marty Fuller
BoatswainJoe Feldman
Rokhl [Josephine]Arlene Kane /
Gloria Montlack
Putershisl [Little Buttercup]Scheila Schertzer /
Roz Gertz
HebeEvelyn Robb

The Gilbert & Sullivan Yiddish Light Opera Company
Yiddish Lyrics by Al Grand and Miriam Walowitt
Adaptation by Al Grand and Bob Tartell
Produced by Bob Tartell and Elaine Lerner
Accompanist: Elizabeth Latorre

Yiddish Pinafore Cassette
Cassette Version
CD Cover
CD Version

This is one of three recordings by the Long Island-based Yiddish Light Opera Company, which has performed G&S operas in Yiddish in New York, Florida, Toronto, London, and elsewhere. The production is not a literal translation, but a free adaptation, with humorous Jewish phrases liberally inserted. For example, the wares Putershisl (Buttercup) offers for sale are items Jewish sailors would presumably want, like bagels, knishes and latkes (potato pancakes). In Rokhl's [Josephine's] Act II scena, when she compares the prospect of life with Labe [Ralph] and life with Der Admiral [Sir Joseph], the comparison takes a Jewish slant (giving up shopping at Nieman Marcus, for instance). When the Captain confronts Rokhl and Labe in Act II, Labe exclaims not that he is an Englishman, but that he is a Guter Yid (a good Jew).

The performers are amateurs, but the performance makes up much in personality and enthusiasm of what it lacks in vocal accomplishment. The piano accompaniment is excellent. I would have preferred that the roles be cast consistently, but this is a nuisance one must accept. The recording is considerably more enjoyable than Der Yiddisher Mikado, even though both were made by the same people, at about the same time. Although the recording was undoubtedly made for Yiddish aficionados, non-Yiddish speakers (which includes the present writer), and even non-Jews who are open-minded, may find this recording an enjoyable change-of-pace.

The selections, as given in the liner notes, are as follows:

  1. "Mir Forn Iber Dem Yam." ["We sail the ocean blue"]
  2. "Men Rut Mir Kleyne Putershisl" ["I'm called little Buttercup"]
  3. "Zi iz A Meydl Sheyn" ["A maiden fair to see"]
  4. "Mayne Khaverim, Gut Morgn" ["My gallant crew, good morning"]
  5. "Troyerig Mayn Lage" ["Sorry her lot"]
  6. "Iber Dem Sheynem Yam" ["Over the bright blue sea"]
  7. "Ikh Bin Der Keynig Fun Dem Yam" ["I am the monarch of the sea"]
  8. "Ven Ikh Hob Di Yunge Keykhes Gehal" ["When I was a lad"]
  9. "Heruf Du Shtoltser Yung" ["Refrain, audacious tar"]
  10. "Oy A Yiddish Man" ["A British tar"]
  11. "Ikh Zing Tsu Di Livone Sheyn" ["Fair moon to thee I sing"]
  12. "Zakhn Zaynen Zelten Vos Men Trakht" ["Things are seldom what they seem"]
  13. "Der Tog Flit Shnel Avek" ["The hours creep on apace"]
  14. "Vos Men Vil Ken Men Dergraykhn" ["Never mind the why and wherefore"]
  15. "Mayn Kapitan Ikh Hob Aykh Vos Tsu Zogn" ["Kind Captain, I've important information"]
  16. "Oyf Di Tsipkes" ["Carefully on tiptoe"]
  17. "Er Iz A Guter Yid" ["He is an Englishman"]
  18. "A Mol Mit Yorun Tsurik" ["A many years ago"]
  19. "Ikh Bin Mer Nisht Ayer Kapitan" ["Though before my fall I was Captain of you all"]
  20. "Lomir Zingen Maxl Tov" ["For he is an Englishman"]

You can order this recording (on CD) from the G&S Yiddish Light Opera Company's website.

Issue History
1994 [none] Cassette YD-GSO-10C
ca. 1997 [none[ CD YD-GSO-10D