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A Musical Comedy Programme


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FAY CAROLL (Soprano)
BRIAN GAYE (Baritone)
IN the nineties of last century, we had some reason to be proud of our achievements in light opera. Not only was D'Oyly Carte running the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at the Savoy Theatre with unabated success, but George Edwardes , another immensely clever theatrical impresario, was producing at Daly's Theatre, a different and rather lighter series of entertainments to which he gave the name of musical comedy. In those days, and for some years after, we did not import our musical plays-we exported them, and to the whole of Europe and America. It is not too much to say that England invented ' musical comedy,' and while it is very far from the highest form of comic opera, it has been found good enough for Continental composers to imitate. Yet of all the musical comedies that have arisen out of George Edwardes ' famous ventures-The Gaiety Girl, The Geisha, San 7'oy, My Lady Molly and a host of others-none have really surpassed, at any rate musically, those set to the engaging tunes composed by Sidney Jones. Amateurs up and down the country perform them constantly, and The. Geisha, to name no others, is still given in Continental theatres.
WHEN, after the production of The Grand
Duke, the Gilbert and Sullivan quarrel had reached a point where the two gifted collaborators finally separated, Sullivan cast about for someone to provide him with a book to set. He selected The Beauty Stone, written by Arthur Pinero and Comyns Carr. It was not a good book, and Sullivan was not inspired by it. The opera was put on, of course, but had no success. It was followed by The Rose of Persia, written by Basil Hood . This was a. success, and The Emerald Isle, also by Basil Hood , was half-finished when Sullivan died. The music was completed by Edward German , how successfully, everybody knows.
A LFRED REYNOLDS , who has been in charge of so many' of Sir Nigel Playfair 's musical productions at the Lyric, Hammersmith, has unobtrusively written for them a good deal of very delightful music. Now and then, as in the case of his setting of A. P. Herbert 's The Policeman's Serenade and this opera, The Fountain of Youth, for which Graham Robert son wrote the book, he gets his real chance and makes full use of it. As a matter of fact, he is now very much in the public eye as successful collaborator with A. P. Herbert in Derby Day, now running at Hammersmith.


Soprano: Fay Caroll
Baritone: Brian Gaye
Leader: S. Kneale Kelley
Conductor: Leslie Woodgate
Unknown: George Edwardes
Unknown: George Edwardes
Composed By: Sidney Jones.
Written By: Arthur Pinero
Written By: Basil Hood
Unknown: Basil Hood
Unknown: Edward German
Unknown: Lfred Reynolds
Unknown: Sir Nigel Playfair
Unknown: A. P. Herbert
Unknown: Graham Robert
Unknown: P. Herbert

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