rand’s esoteric otr

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Gilbert and Sullivan - Yeoman of the Guard, Sept 16, 1944

May 23rd, 2008

As if this blog weren't esoteric enough, here's a show that's a bit different from the material I've usually posted here. It's the Sept 16, 1944 episode of the series "Gilbert and Sullivan" with a presentation of "Yoeman of the Guard". In the cast are Florence Aims, Mureal Wilson, Fred Hufsmith, Paul Reed, Celia Branz, Hugh Thompson, Veronica Wiggins. The orchestra is conducted by Joseph Stopak.

This show actually comes from an AFRS disc set from their series "Metropolitan Opera" and is program number 43 in their series of that title. The AFRS used the "Metropolitan Opera" series as a kind of "catch all" for opera performances and they would use broadcast recordings by other companies or from other opera radio series; I've run into another example in the series that is a broadcast recording by the San Francisco Opera.

"Gilbert and Sullivan" was a series broadcast on the Blue Network of operas by the duo. There are two other surviving shows from the series I've been able to find references for; one of "Iolanthe" and another of "The Gondoliers", both broadcast in September 1944 and from AFRS transcriptions.


  • Walt Santner

    Many thanks! I’ve shared this with friends who have also enjoyed listening to it.

    May 28, 2008 at 6:42 pm
  • Razzilla

    I found no records of this one through the Met archives…so I know this is another one of those…

    Jul 25, 2008 at 8:05 pm
  • Dan Dorfman

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wonderful performance, much quicker & crisper than usual.

    Nov 12, 2008 at 1:19 pm
  • Patsy Hufsmith (maiden name)

    I was just playing around today with the internet—and since I had a few extra minutes, I began putting in some of my family members in to “google”—and was shocked to see how many articles/music were in connection to my aunt and uncle who apparently were quite popular on radio and performances in NYC back in the 40’s. While writing this, I am listening to the opera Yeoman of the Guard, and listening to my aunt and uncle actually singing. What a thrill. Thanks for making this available!! My sister and I were raised in Iowa, and we heard about an aunt and uncle in NY–but I only saw them for about 10 minutes. When I was probably 11 years old, I returned home one afternoon to find two unfamiliar faces in our living room (sitting on the sofa). My mother introduced me to my aunt and uncle who had been taking an auto trip across the country. And when I flew to NYC at the age of 18, I remember calling them on the phone, but we never got together. Too bad, I didn’t make more of an attempt to see them when I was 18. My sister, Mary, was named after Muriel’s role in the Lanny Ross Show (Showboat), his sweetheart, Mary Lou. Muriel and Fred offered my mother $150 to name her Mary Lou, as they could not have children. Fred Hufsmith apparently sang at many venues in NY. Muriel maintained her stage name (maiden name) as Muriel Wilson and sometimes spelled Mureal Wilson. Not only was she a vocalist but posed for advertizements as well. Fred & Muriel were married for many years and Muriel died one year after Fred—same date, May 1st. Again, thanks for making this opera accessible—and amazingly “clear”. Patsy

    May 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm