� Tabs | Main | A List of Songs �

January 25, 2003

Stick Close to Your Desks

Last night I took my mother to see H.M.S. Pinafore at the Savoy. The evening was primarily intended as a treat for my mum, but I enjoyed myself hugely, and have been humming the tunes ever since.

This production places the story thirty years or so forward in time to the era of ocean-going liners. That was a clever move which makes room for a sharp, metallic set, a set of highly mannered, smartly drilled sailors, and a female chorus of dotty suffragettes that brought the house down every time they appeared. The choreography was charming, nobody ever puts a foot out of place, and there is no suggestion that the production is taking itself too seriously.

I made the mistake of describing Pinafore as lowbrow to my Mum. But really, what more might you want from an evening out than wickedly funny songs, lovely music and a batch of nice camp sailor boys?

Now, one nice thing about G&S is that it's in the public domain. Remember that? So the G&S Archive has libretto & midi versions of all the operas. The librettos are available in Palm format from the wickedly titled Palm Pirates. You can even download early recordings as mp3s, entirely free and legally, though in a rather convoluted way; and there is a 100MB per day limit, which got me all of Pinafore and about a third of The Mikado. So now I would be able to read the libretto on my Palm while listening to the music on my iPod, on the tube; if only I could refrain from singing along.

Of course, I don't really want early recordings, although they're fine; I would really have liked to have gone somewhere and downloaded, with no fuss and for a reasonable fee, the cast recording of the production I saw last night. I have no further use for the little shiny discs, or the packaging; instead I want minimalist files, a quick and convenient download, no middleman, and none of the cost overheads of packaging, distribution and retailing. What's more, I think this will soon be true of everyone else. I wonder whether the record companies will work this out before they all go bust?

Posted by Alison Scott at January 25, 2003 01:14 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I WANT shiny discs. I WANT packaging. I want a tangible object I can hold in my hand and put on a shelf, to be taken down when I want to use it.

I think you're wrong. I think there will always be a place for music which comes in the shape of an actual physical object, whether that object be a CD, blue laser DVD, holographic data crystal, whatever. It'll be a physical object and it will come in a box and you'll buy it from a shop.

Posted by: Dop at January 27, 2003 12:09 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

Your comment will be moderated unless you're using an authentication service and you've commented here before. You can use some HTML tags for style and links.