Retrospect Opera

Great British Operas On Record

The Boatswain’s Mate by Ethel Smyth

Somewhere in the English countryside we find the self-regarding ex-boatswain Harry Benn, determined to win the hand of the widowed landlady, Mrs Waters, at all costs. But is he wise to involve the younger, handsome Ned Travers in his scheming? And is the sturdily independent Mrs Waters ready to lay aside her shotgun and embrace romance? She is no stereotyped operatic heroine and generates comic twists and turns aplenty!

  • CD1 - tracks 1-16 - Part 1 (47.12)
  • CD2 - tracks 1-8 - Part 2 
  • CD2 - tracks 9-17 - extracts from The Boatswain’s Mate (recorded in 1916), conducted by Ethel Smyth, with Rosina Buckman, Frederick Ranalow, and Courtice Pounds
  • CD2 - track 18, overture to The Wreckers (recorded in 1930), conducted by Ethel Smyth
  • CD2 total 73.44
  • The cast is: 
Mrs Waters - Nadine Benjamin
Harry Benn - Edward Lee
Ned Travers - Jeremy Huw Williams
Policeman - Simon Wilding
Mary Ann - Rebecca Louise Dale
The Man - Ted Schmitz
Chorus - Mark Nathan
The Lontano Ensemble, conducted by Odaline de la Martinez.
  • The 32-page booklet includes the full libretto, and essays by Odaline de la Martinez, Christopher Wiley, and David Chandler. 
  • TO BUY please click on THIS LINK
Listen to clips here:


Part 1 Scene 2: I know what I want when I see it!

Part 1 Scene 6: What if I were young again, careless and gay

Part 2 Scene 2: A rickety stair can be scaled without noise

Part 2 Scene 7: No I shouldn't mind - When the sun is setting