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Music Text

Libretto by Hugo F Königsgarten, after Ben Jonson's 'Epicoene' (G)

Scoring

Main roles: colS,T,lyrT,Bar; small roles: 2T,Bar,B; chorus; dancers
2(II=picc).2(II=corA).2(II=Ebcl,bcl).ssax.tsax.2(II=dbn)-4.3.3.1-
timp.perc:BD/cyms/tgl/SD/tamb/cast/glock/xyl/tam-t/susp.cym/bells/
rattle/siren/whistle/jazzdr/jazzcym with brushes/tom-t/wood dr/BD/
gong-banjo-harm-harp-pft-strings; onstage tpt

Abbreviations (PDF)

Roles

AN ECCENTRIC, called LORD SPLEEN Tenor
GEORGE, his nephew Tenor
GEORGETTY, George's lover Soprano
JIMMY Baritone
Time and Place

The house of Lord Spleen in London, the present

Synopsis

Lord Spleen hates the present, his nephew George and most of all noise. His servant Jimmy agrees to help George find Spleen a wife who can be guaranteed not to talk. She turns out, of course, to be George's lover in disguise. Jimmy disguises himself as a priest and 'marries' her to Spleen. Immediately she starts to talk endlessly. Next George, his friends and some musicians (Jimmy in yet another disguise) arrive and make a terrible din, driving Spleen to distraction. Finally he accedes to all of George's demands, including making him his heir, if only his new wife will agree to a divorce. He realises that his own servant has fixed everything, but he has the last laugh by asking the audience not to clap until the curtain has fallen.

Moods

Comic

Subjects

Literary, Relationships




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