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Libretto by the composer after 'The Pickwick Papers' by Charles Dickens (E)

Scoring

Major roles: Bar,BBar,B;
minor roles: 4S,5M,A,17T,8Bar,2BBar,B,4speakers,9mimes
2.2.2.2-4.2.3.0-timp.perc:xyl/t.bells-cel-harp-pft-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
20/11/1936
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
Company: British Music Drama Opera Company

Roles

PICKWICK, founder of the Pickwick Club Bass-Baritone
TUPMAN, Pickwick's friend and Member of the Club Tenor
WINKLE, Pickwick's friend and Member of the Club Tenor
SNODGRASS, Pickwick's friend and Member of the Club Baritone
WARDLE, owner of Manor Farm, Dingley Dell Bass
JOE, the fat boy Tenor
TRUNDLE, Wardle's son-in-law Bass-Baritone
JINGLE, a strolling actor Tenor
SURGEON Baritone
YOKEL Baritone
THE IRATE GENT Tenor
MILLER Tenor
CLERGYMAN Tenor
SAM WELLER, Boots in the White Hart Inn, afterwards Pickwick's servant Baritone
TONY WELLER, coachman, Sam's Father Deep Bass
PERKER, a lawyer Tenor
SLUMKEY, candidate in the election at Eatanswill Baritone
FIZKIN, candidate in the election at Eatanswill Baritone
MAYOR OF EATANSWILL Tenor
WHIFFIN, a crier Tenor
THIN STUTTERING GENT Tenor
ROBUST VOICE Tenor
DODSON, an attorney Spoken role
FOGG, an attorney Spoken role
WICKS, clerk at Dodson and Fogg's Spoken role
JACKSON, clerk at Dodson and Fogg's Baritone
ROKER, Turnkey in the Fleet prison Bass
TWO BEGGARS Tenors
PRISONER Baritone
SMANGLE, a prisoner Baritone
MIVINS, a prisoner Tenor
THE DRUNK MAN, a prisoner Tenor
THE TIMID GENT Tenor
THE CHANCERY PRISONER Bass-Baritone
JOB TROTTER, Jingles's Factotum Spoken role
JUDGE STARELEIGH Mimer
SERJEANT BUZFUZ Mimer
SERJEANT SNUBBIN Mimer
SKIMPIN Mimer
PHUNKY Mimer
STIGGINS Mimer
MRS WELLER Mimer
OLD LADY, Wardle's mother Mezzo-Soprano
RACHEL, Wardle's sister Mezzo-Soprano
EMILY, Wardle's daughter Soprano
ISABELLA, Wardle's daughter Mezzo-Soprano
ARABELLA, their friend Soprano
CLERGYMAN'S WIFE Mezzo-Soprano
EMMA, Parlour maid at Wardle Mezzo-Soprano
MRS BARDELL, widow Contralto
TOMMY, her young son Mimer
LANDLADY OF THE WHITE HART INN Soprano
MARY, a serving maid in the White Hart Inn Soprano
MRS CLUPPINS Mimer
Soldiers, Servants, Farm Hands, Villagers, Prisoners, Guests, Crowd Chorus (SATB)
Time and Place

England, 1830

Synopsis

At a military review, Pickwick and his companions Tupman, Snodgrass and Winkle are entertained by Wardle and his family. Wardle’s sister Rachel flirts with Tupman. At Dingley Dell, however, where Wardle next invites the Pickwickians, she transfers her affections to newcomer Mr Jingle, who elopes with her. Wardle and Pickwick give chase, and catch up with them the following morning, with assistance from a hotel boots, one Sam Weller. Jingle is paid off. Back at home with his widowed housekeeper, Mrs Bardell, Pickwick converses with her obliquely as to his hiring a manservant (Sam), but she, misunderstanding, believes him to be proposing marriage. Pickwick hires Sam. His next trip is to the Parliamentary Election at Eatanswill, where he is shocked to receive a letter from Mrs Bardell’s solicitors Dodson and Fogg indicating that she has begun an action for breach of promise of marriage against him. Pickwick loses the case and, refusing to pay damages of £750, is sent to prison. In the Fleet, he is struck with the suffering of other inmates – notably Jingle, now in dire need. Pickwick gives him money. Next to turn up is Mrs Bardell, unable to pay Dodson and Fogg’s fees. Winkle appears with his new wife Arabella, and thereafter Wardle and the other Pickwickians, including Snodgrass and his fiancée. In order to have Mrs Bardell released and to keep his friends happy, Pickwick agrees to pay the damages and is freed. In the final scene, Snodgrass and Emily are married from Mr Pickwick’s home. All rejoice, and Pickwick delivers his valedictory epilogue.

Moods

Comic, Dramatic

Subjects

History, Literary, Relationships, Society




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