Merrie England

Merry England was also performed in: 1946 and 1906



Music by Edward German  
Book and Lyrics by Basil Hood  
Adapted by Dennis Arundell  

The Story

This well known comic opera is set in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The famous courtier, Sir Waiter Raleigh, loves Bessie Throckmorton, one of the Queen's Ladies in Waiting. Bessie is frightened that a misplaced letter from Raleigh will fail into the hands of the Queen, who would be displeased at the association. Raleigh's rival, the Earl of Essex, is given the letter by Jill-All-Alone, who is persecuted by the local people who think she is a witch. A forester begs the Queen to protect Jill. However, when Essex hands Elizabeth the letter, the Queen is so incensed that she orders Bessie's imprisonment, Raleigh's banishment and Jill's death by burning.  Elizabeth retracts each sentence when Essex halts a threat to her life through his exposure of Dr Lopez, the Queen's Portuguese physician, who is planning to poison her.  This adaptation was first seen at Sadlers' Wells in 1960 and has the effect of increasing the dramatic realism and allowing the music to give greater unity.   


Songs Include:

The Yeomen of England
She Had A Letter From Her Love
Love Is Meant To Make Us Glad
O Peaceful England
The English Rose 
It Is The Merry Month of May

Director -John S Brewster and A K Craighead
Musical Director - George W Lingard


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