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The Piper


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Repeat Performance of the Lyric Drama in One Act, suggested by and founded upon Browning's 'Pied Piper of Hamelin' by Herbert Ferrers.
The Wireless Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Herbert Ferrers.
Scene: The Market Place of Hamelin; in the centre, the East end of the Great Church; on the right, the Town Hall.
The action passes from the evening of one day to the next morning, the curtain dropping for a minute during the intermezzo to indicate the lapse of time
Period-XV. Century: the Piper's Costume one hundred years earlier.
Mr Herbert Ferrers's opera The Piper, which was broadcast so very successfully from London in October, is, of course, founded on Browning's famous poem. The story is the old German legend of the town overrun with rats, which are causing the people to rebel against the Mayor and Corporation, who cannot rid them of this plague. This riot of the crowd forms the first scene of the opera. It is followed by the entry of the Piper and his conversation with the little lame boy. After this, the Mayor and Corporation make a bargain with the Piper that if he rids the town of rats they will give him a thousand guilders. The Piper plays and the rats in thousands follow him to the river where they are drowned.
The curtain rises again to the peal of bells upon the scene of rejoicing next morning when the townsfolk are celebrating their relief from the plague of rats, and the Mayor is taking all the credit. The Piper appears and demands his price, but having got all they wanted, the authorities refuse it, and the Piper plays again. This time, the people are struck dumb and motionless, all but the children, who follow the Piper and disappear. The' only survivor is the lame boy, who cannot walk fast enough to keep up with the crowd, and comes back to tell the people of the beautiful land to which the rest have gone.
After the repentance of the people, the opera ends with a vision of this beautiful land, a meadow starred with flowers where the children lie listening to the Piper, who sits amongst them for ever playing his faery tunes.
(The words of this lyric drama will be found on pages 570 and 571.)


Conductor: Herbert Ferrers
Writer: Herbert Ferrers

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