Conductor, HORACE FELLOWES
Relayed from The Pavilion Gardens,
The plot of Sir Charles Stanford 's most successful opera, Shamus O'Brien , deals with a conflict between Irish lads and English soldiers-' rebels ' and ' tyrants ' as they passionately call each other-and the overture is designed to emphasise this conflict. The composer had included therein two folk-tunes, one Irish and one English. The Irish one is best known to us, from the verses set to music by Alfred Perceval Graves , as ' Father O'Flynn ', but the tune is really that of ' The Top o' the Cork Road '. The English melody is an old marching tune which even in Cromwell's day was known as ' The Glory of the West'.
The story of the opera is a good one, and the music is written in the manner of a folk-opera by a master of his medium and a musician with a striking sense of the theatre. It was first given in London in 1896, and has been spasmodically performed since then, yet a dozen such works would provide a handsome argument for those who sigh for a National Opera.
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