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Libretto by Beverley Cross (E,G)

Scoring

2S,2M,A,hT,2T,hBar,2Bar,BBar,B; men's chorus 3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3(II=bcl,III=Ebcl).2-4.3(III=crt,bugle).2.1- timp.perc(2):glsp/SD/TD/BD/cyms/susp.cym/tamb/tgl/rattle/whip/ 2bongos/cowbell-harp-cel-strings-stage band (taken from orchestra): version A: picc,2cl,Ebcl,3tpt,3trbn,perc:SD/BD with pedal/hi-hat version B: 2cl,Ebcl,trbn,tuba,perc:BD with cym

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
19/07/1970
Glyndebourne
Anne Howells, Alexander Oliver, John Gibbs, Richard Van Allan, Colin Graham, dir
Conductor: Raymond Leppard
Company: Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Roles

BROTHER TIMOTHY High Tenor
DONAL O'DOWD Baritone
CATHLEEN SWEENEY Mezzo-Soprano
COLONEL LORD JOWLER Bass Baritone
MAJOR MAX VON ZASTROW High Baritone
CAPTAIN LILLYWHITE Tenor
LADY EUGENIE JOWLER Soprano
FRAU ELIZABETH VON ZASTROW Mezzo Soprano
MISS ATLANTA LILLYWHITE Soprano
CORPORAL OF HORSE HAYWOOD Baritone
CORNET JOHN STEPHEN BEAUMONT Tenor
THE WIDOW SWEENEY Contralto
LYNCH Bass
Officers and Men of the 31st Royal Lancers male chorus
Time and Place

An autumn day and night in Ballinvourney in the Plains of Mayo, Ireland, 1875

Synopsis

In the half-derelict monastery of St Brendan the Less, Brother Timothy, the farmer Donal O'Dowd and the innkeeper's daughter Cathleen deplore the arrival of the Thirty-First Royal Lancers. Enter the leading officers – Colonel Lord Jowler, his adjutant Captain Lillywhite and the Prussian observer, Major von Mastrow, who decide to quarter among the ruins. Their ladies arrive – Jowler's wife Eugenie, Mastrow's wife Elizabeth and Lillywhite's daughter Atalanta – and are stationed at the village inn. That evening a new officer turns up – the sensitive and poetic Cornet Beaumont. His fellow officers require proof of his manliness and set him the task of smoking three cigars, drinking three bottles of champagne and seducing three women before dawn. He reluctantly agrees. In the second act, in the charge of Corporal Haywood, Beaumont is taken to the village inn (which the Irish have led them to believe is in fact a more distant one) where he sets forth on his tasks. He enters Eugenie's room on pretence of protecting her from rebels. As he leaves it, he encounters Elizabeth and finds her even more willing to respond to his charms. Cathleen meanwhile swaps rooms with Atalanta, who thus receives a nocturnal visit from the rapacious Mastrow, who has turned up at the inn seeking the Irish girl and been directed along the corridor. Cathleen herself has taken a fancy to Beaumont, and after he stumbles downstairs following his second assignation she lets him fall asleep in her arms. The following morning the regiment's officers awake to find Beaumont's embarrassing proofs of his seduction of their womenfolk. Their only option is to leave Ballinvourney behind, while Beaumont resigns his commission.

Moods

Comic, Romantic

Subjects

History, Politics




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