Sir Edward German was an English musician and composer of Welsh descent, best remembered for his extensive output of incidental music for the stage and as a successor to Arthur Sullivan in the field of English comic opera. Some of his light operas Merrie England, are still performed; as a youth, German led the town orchestra of Whitchurch, Shropshire. He began to compose music. While performing and teaching violin at the Royal Academy of Music, German began to build a career as a composer in the mid-1880s, writing serious music as well as light opera. In 1888, he became music director of Globe Theatre in London, he provided popular incidental music for many productions at the Globe and other London theatres, including Richard III, Henry VIII and Nell Gwynn. He wrote symphonies, orchestral suites, symphonic poems and other works, he wrote a considerable body of songs, piano music, symphonic suites and other concert music, of which his Welsh Rhapsody is best known. German was engaged to finish The Emerald Isle after the death of Arthur Sullivan in 1900, the success of which led to more comic operas, including Merrie England and Tom Jones.
He wrote the Just So Song Book in 1903 to Rudyard Kipling's texts and continued to write orchestral music. German wrote little new music of his own after 1912, but he continued to conduct until 1928, the year in which he was knighted. German was born German Edward Jones in Whitchurch, the second of five children and older of two sons of John David Jones, a liquor merchant, church organist and lay preacher at the local Congregational chapel, Elizabeth Cox, a teacher of Bible classes for young women, his first name was an anglicised form of the Welsh name "Garmon." His parents called him Jim. He began to study organ with his father at the age of five. At the age of six, he formed a boys' concert band to perform locally, teaching himself the violin and music arrangement in the process, he sang alto in the church choir and participated in family entertainments above his uncle's grocery shop playing piano duets and performing comic sketches with his elder sister, who died when he was 15. He wrote comic poems.
His younger sisters were named Rachel. In his mid-teens, German's parents attempted to apprentice him to a shipbuilding firm, as they believed their son had an aptitude for engineering, his studies at a boarding-school in Chester had been delayed by a serious illness, so he was turned away as too old to begin an apprenticeship. In his teens he formed a second band, a quintette, including himself on the violin, his sister on the pianoforte or the bass, three friends of the family, he prepared the orchestrations for this band. He led the town orchestra, did some amateur acting, sang comic songs in local village halls. At the age of 18, he studied with Walter Cecil Hay, the conductor of the Whitchurch choral society and director of music at St. Chad's of Shrewsbury. German entered the Royal Academy of Music, where he changed his name to J. E. German to avoid confusion with another student named Edward Jones, he continued his studies of violin and organ beginning a more formal study of composition under Ebenezer Prout.
Many of German's student works were played at Academy concerts. In 1884, the Academy appointed German a sub-professor of the violin. During his time as an instructor, he was well regarded and won several medals and prizes, such as the Tubbs Bow for his skill with the violin. In 1885, he won the Charles Lucas Medal for his Te Deum for soloists and organ, leading him to change his focus from violin to composition, he soon wrote a light opera, The Two Poets, in 1886, produced at the Academy and performed at St. George's Hall. In 1887, his first symphony, in E Minor, was performed at the Academy. In 1890 he conducted a revised version of this symphony at the Crystal Palace, while The Two Poets toured in England. During his time at the Royal Academy, German taught at Wimbledon School and played the violin in theatre orchestras, including the Savoy Theatre, he visited Germany in 1886 and 1888–89 and was impressed by its opera at Bayreuth. His circle of close friends at the Academy included Dora Bright and Ethel Mary Boyce from Chertsey, Surrey.
He and Boyce became engaged. She was a promising composition student and won the Lady Goldsmid scholarship in 1885, the Sterndale Bennett Prize in 1886 and the Charles Lucas Medal in 1889. Although the engagement was broken off, they remained friends. German never married. After leaving the Academy, German continued to teach at Wimbledon School and to play the violin in orchestras at various London theatres, including the Savoy. In 1888, an introduction by conductor Alberto Randegger to theatre manager Richard Mansfield led to German's appointment as conductor and musical director at the Globe Theatre in London. There he improved the orchestra and began providing incidental music for the theatre's lavish productions, starting with Richard III in 1889; this music was well received, the overture soon became popular in concert halls. This led to other incidental music commissions that gained success. In 1892, German composed music for a production of Henry Irving's version of Henry VIII at the Lyceum Theatre, where he incorporated elements of traditional old English dance.
Within a year, sheet music of the dance numbers from the play's score had sold 30,000 copies. German was by in great demand to write music
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams was an English composer. His works include operas, chamber music and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years. Influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century. Vaughan Williams was born to a well-to-do family with strong moral views and a progressive social outlook. Throughout his life he sought to be of service to his fellow citizens, believed in making music as available as possible to everybody, he wrote many works for student performance. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties. Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. Among the most familiar of his other concert works are Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and The Lark Ascending, his vocal works include folk-song arrangements and large-scale choral pieces.
He wrote eight works for stage performance between 1919 and 1951. Although none of his operas became popular repertoire pieces, his ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing was successful and has been staged. Two episodes made notably deep impressions in Vaughan Williams's personal life; the First World War, in which he served in the army, had a lasting emotional effect. Twenty years though in his sixties and devotedly married, he was reinvigorated by a love affair with a much younger woman, who became his second wife, he went on composing through his seventies and eighties, producing his last symphony months before his death at the age of eighty-five. His works have continued to be a staple of the British concert repertoire, all his major compositions and many of the minor ones have been recorded. Vaughan Williams was born at Down Ampney, the third child and younger son of the vicar, the Reverend Arthur Vaughan Williams and his wife, Margaret, née Wedgwood, his paternal forebears were of mixed Welsh descent.
The judges Sir Edward and Sir Roland Vaughan Williams were Arthur's father and brother. Margaret Vaughan Williams was niece of Charles Darwin. Arthur Vaughan Williams died in February 1875, his widow took the children to live in her family home, Leith Hill Place, Surrey; the children were under the care of a nurse, Sara Wager, who instilled in them not only polite manners and good behaviour but liberal social and philosophical opinions. Such views were consistent with the progressive-minded tradition of both sides of the family; when the young Vaughan Williams asked his mother about Darwin's controversial book On the Origin of Species, she answered, "The Bible says that God made the world in six days. Great Uncle Charles thinks it took longer: but we need not worry about it, for it is wonderful either way". In 1878, at the age of five, Vaughan Williams began receiving piano lessons from his aunt, Sophy Wedgwood, he displayed signs of musical talent early on, composing his first piece of music, a four-bar piano piece called "The Robin's Nest", in the same year.
He did not like the piano, was pleased to begin violin lessons the following year. In 1880, when he was eight, he took a correspondence course in music from Edinburgh University and passed the associated examinations. In September 1883 he went as a boarder to Field House preparatory school in Rottingdean on the south coast of England, forty miles from Wotton, he was happy there, although he was shocked to encounter for the first time social snobbery and political conservatism, which were rife among his fellow pupils. From there he moved on to the public school Charterhouse in January 1887, his academic and sporting achievements there were satisfactory, the school encouraged his musical development. In 1888 he organised a concert in the school hall, which included a performance of his G major Piano Trio with the composer as violinist. While at Charterhouse Vaughan Williams found that religion meant less and less to him, for a while he was an atheist; this softened into "a cheerful agnosticism", he continued to attend church to avoid upsetting the family.
His views on religion did not affect his love of the Authorised Version of the Bible, the beauty of which, in the words of Ursula Vaughan Williams in her 1964 biography of the composer, remained "one of his essential companions through life." In this, as in many other things in his life, he was, according to his biographer Michael Kennedy, "that English product the natural nonconformist with a conservative regard for the best tradition". In July 1890 Vaughan Williams left Charterhouse and in September he was enrolled as a student at the Royal College of Music, London. After a compulsory course in harmony with Francis Edward Gladstone, professor of organ and harmony, he studied organ with Walter Parratt and composition with Hubert Parry, he idolised Parry, recalled in his Musical Autobiography: Parry once said to me: "Write choral music as befits an Englishman and a democrat". We pupils of Parry have, if we have been wise, inherited from him the great English choral tradition, which Tallis passed on to Byrd, Byrd to Gibbons, Gibbons to Purcell, Purcell to Battishill and Greene, they in their turn through the Wesleys, to Parry.
He has passed on the
The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute, K. 620, is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialogue; the work was premiered on 30 September 1791 at Schikaneder's theatre, the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, just two months before the composer's premature death. In this opera, the Queen of the Night persuades Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina from captivity under the high priest Sarastro. Separately together and Pamina undergo severe trials of initiation, which end in triumph, with the Queen and her cohorts vanquished; the earthy Papageno, who accompanies Tamino on his quest, fails the trials but is rewarded anyway with the hand of his ideal female companion Papagena. The opera was the culmination of a period of increasing involvement by Mozart with Schikaneder's theatrical troupe, which since 1789 had been the resident company at the Theater auf der Wieden.
Mozart was a close friend of one of the singer-composers of the troupe, tenor Benedikt Schack, had contributed to the compositions of the troupe, which were collaboratively written. Mozart's participation increased with his contributions to the 1790 collaborative opera Der Stein der Weisen, including the duet among other passages. Like The Magic Flute, Der Stein der Weisen was a fairy-tale opera and can be considered a kind of precursor; the libretto for The Magic Flute, written by Schikaneder, is thought by scholars to be based on many sources. Some works of literature current in Vienna in Schikaneder's day that may have served as sources include the medieval romance Yvain by Chrétien de Troyes, the novel Life of Sethos by Jean Terrasson, the essay "On the mysteries of the Egyptians" by Ignaz von Born; the libretto is a natural continuation of a series of fairy tale operas produced at the time by Schikaneder's troupe, including an adaptation of Sophie Seyler's Singspiel Oberon as well as Der Stein der Weisen.
For the role of Papageno, the libretto draws on the Hanswurst tradition of the Viennese popular theatre. Many scholars acknowledge an influence of Freemasonry. For detailed discussion of sources see Branscombe 1991, as well as Libretto of The Magic Flute. In composing the opera, Mozart evidently kept in mind the skills of the singers intended for the premiere, which included both virtuoso and ordinary comic actors asked to sing for the occasion. Thus, the vocal lines for Papageno—sung by Schikaneder himself—and Monostatos are stated first in the strings so the singer can find his pitch, are doubled by instruments. In contrast, Mozart's sister-in-law Josepha Hofer, who premiered the role of the Queen of the Night, evidently needed little such help: this role is famous for its difficulty. In ensembles, Mozart skillfully combined voices of different ability levels; the vocal ranges of two of the original singers for whom Mozart tailored his music have posed challenges for many singers who have since recreated their roles.
Both arias of the Queen of the Night, "O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn" and "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" require high F6, rare in opera. At the low end, the part of Sarastro, premiered by Franz Xaver Gerl, includes a conspicuous F2 in a few locations; the opera was premiered in Vienna on 30 September 1791 at the suburban Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden. Mozart conducted the orchestra, Schikaneder himself played Papageno, while the role of the Queen of the Night was sung by Mozart's sister-in-law Josepha Hofer. On the reception of the opera, Mozart scholar Maynard Solomon writes: Although there were no reviews of the first performances, it was evident that Mozart and Schikaneder had achieved a great success, the opera drawing immense crowds and reaching hundreds of performances during the 1790s; as Mozart's letters show, he was pleased to have achieved such a success. Solomon continues: Mozart's delight is reflected in his last three letters, written to Constanze, who with her sister Sophie was spending the second week of October in Baden.
"I have this moment returned from the opera, as full as ever", he wrote on 7 October, listing the numbers that had to be encored. "But what always gives me the most pleasure is the silent approval! You can see how this opera is becoming more and more esteemed."... He went to hear his opera every night, taking along relatives; the opera celebrated its 100th performance in November 1792, though Mozart did not have the pleasure of witnessing this milestone, as he had died 5 December 1791. The opera was first performed outside Vienna in Lemberg in Prague, it made "triumphal progress through Germany's opera houses great and small", with the early 19th century spread to all the countries of Europe—and everywhere in the world—where opera is cultivated. As Branscombe documents, the earlier performances were of altered, sometimes mutilated, versions of the opera. Productions of the past century have tended to be more faithful to Mozart's music, though faithful rendering of Mozart and Schikaneder's original stage directions and dramatic vision continues to be rare.
The Magic Flute is presently among the most performed of all operas. On 28 December 1791, three and a half weeks afte
Madama Butterfly is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It is based on the short story "Madame Butterfly" by John Luther Long, which in turn was based on stories told to Long by his sister Jennie Correll and on the semi-autobiographical 1887 French novel Madame Chrysanthème by Pierre Loti. Long's version was dramatized by David Belasco as the one-act play Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan, after premiering in New York in 1900, moved to London, where Puccini saw it in the summer of that year; the original version of the opera, in two acts, had its premiere on 17 February 1904 at La Scala in Milan. It was poorly received, despite having such notable singers as soprano Rosina Storchio, tenor Giovanni Zenatello and baritone Giuseppe De Luca in lead roles; this was due in part to a late completion by Puccini. Puccini revised the opera, splitting the second act in two, with the Humming Chorus as a bridge to what became Act III, making other changes.
Success ensued. Madama Butterfly has become a staple of the operatic repertoire around the world, ranked 6th by Operabase. Puccini wrote five versions of the opera; the original two-act version, presented at the world premiere at La Scala on 17 February 1904, was withdrawn after the disastrous premiere. Puccini substantially rewrote it, this time in three acts; this second version was performed on 28 May 1904 in Brescia. It was this second version that premiered in the United States in 1906, first in Washington, D. C. in October, in New York in November, performed by Henry Savage's New English Opera Company. In 1906, Puccini wrote a third version, performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1907, Puccini made several changes in the orchestral and vocal scores, this became the fourth version, performed in Paris. In 1907, Puccini made his final revisions to the opera in a fifth version, which has become known as the "Standard Version" and is the one, most performed around the world. However, the original 1904 version is performed, such as for the opening of La Scala's season on 7 December 2016, with Riccardo Chailly conducting.
Premieres of the standard version in major opera houses throughout the world include those in the Teatro de la Opera de Buenos Aires on 2 July 1904, under Arturo Toscanini, this being the first performance in the world outside Italy. Its first performance in Britain was in London on 10 July 1905 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, while the first US performance was presented in English on 15 October 1906, in Washington, D. C. at the Columbia Theater. The first performance in New York took place on 12 November of the same year at the Garden Theatre; the Metropolitan Opera first performed the work on 11 February 1907 in the presence of the composer with Geraldine Farrar as Cio-Cio San, Enrico Caruso as Pinkerton, Louise Homer as Suzuki, Antonio Scotti as Sharpless, Arturo Vigna conducting. Three years the first Australian performance was presented at the Theatre Royal in Sydney on 26 March 1910, starring Amy Eliza Castles. Between 1915 and 1920, Japan's best-known opera singer Tamaki Miura won international fame for her performances as Cio-Cio-san.
A memorial to this singer, along with one to Puccini, can be found in the Glover Garden in the port city of Nagasaki, where the opera is set. Time: 1904. Place: Nagasaki, Japan. In 1904, a U. S. naval officer named Pinkerton rents a house on a hill in Nagasaki, for himself and his soon-to-be wife, "Butterfly". Her real name is Ciocio-san, she is a 15-year-old Japanese girl whom he is marrying for convenience, he intends to leave her once he finds a proper American wife, since Japanese divorce laws are lax. The wedding is to take place at the house. Butterfly had been so excited to marry an American that she had earlier secretly converted to Christianity. After the wedding ceremony, her uninvited uncle, a bonze, who has found out about her conversion, comes to the house, curses her and orders all the guests to leave, which they do while renouncing her. Pinkerton and Butterfly prepare to spend their first night together. Three years Butterfly is still waiting for Pinkerton to return, as he had left shortly after their wedding.
Her maid Suzuki keeps trying to convince her that he is not coming back, but Butterfly will not listen to her. Goro, the marriage broker who arranged her marriage, keeps trying to marry her off again, but she does not listen to him either; the American consul, comes to the house with a letter which he has received from Pinkerton which asks him to break some news to Butterfly: that Pinkerton is coming back to Japan, but Sharpless cannot bring himself to finish it because Butterfly becomes excited to hear that Pinkerton is coming back. Sharpless asks Butterfly, she reveals that she gave birth to Pinkerton's son after he had left and asks Sharpless to tell him. From the hill house, Butterfly sees Pinkerton's ship arriving in the harbour, she and Suzuki prepare for his arrival, they wait. Suzuki and the child Butterfly stays up all night waiting for him to arrive. Suzuki wakes up in the morning and Butterfly falls asleep. Sharpless and Pinkerton arrive at the house, along with Kate, they have come
La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini. Since La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most performed operas worldwide. In 1946, fifty years after the opera's premiere, Toscanini conducted a commemorative performance of it on radio with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. A recording of the performance was released by RCA Victor on vinyl record and compact disc, it is the only recording made of a Puccini opera by its original conductor. According to its title page, the libretto of La bohème is based on Henri Murger's novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème, a collection of vignettes portraying young bohemians living in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1840s. Although called a novel, it has no unified plot.
Like the 1849 play by Murger and Théodore Barrière, the opera's libretto focuses on the relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì, ending with her death. Like the play, the libretto combines two characters from the novel, Mimì and Francine, into the single character of Mimì. Early in the composition stage Puccini was in dispute with the composer Leoncavallo, who said that he had offered Puccini a completed libretto and felt that Puccini should defer to him. Puccini responded that he had had no idea of Leoncavallo's interest and that having been working on his own version for some time, he felt that he could not oblige him by discontinuing with the opera. Leoncavallo completed his own version in which Marcello was sung by a tenor and Rodolfo by a baritone, it was unsuccessful and is now performed. Much of the libretto is original; the main plots of acts two and three are the librettists' invention, with only a few passing references to incidents and characters in Murger. Most of acts one and four follow the novel.
The final scenes in acts one and four—the scenes with Rodolfo and Mimì—resemble both the play and the novel. The story of their meeting follows chapter 18 of the novel, in which the two lovers living in the garret are not Rodolphe and Mimì at all, but rather Jacques and Francine; the story of Mimì's death in the opera draws from two different chapters in the novel, one relating Francine's death and the other relating Mimì's. The published libretto includes a note from the librettists discussing their adaptation. Without mentioning the play directly, they defend their conflation of Francine and Mimì into a single character: "Chi può non confondere nel delicato profilo di una sola donna quelli di Mimì e di Francine?". At the time, the novel was in the public domain, Murger having died without heirs, but rights to the play were still controlled by Barrière's heirs; the world première performance of La bohème took place in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio and was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini.
The initial response of the audience at the first performance was subdued and critical responses were polarized. Despite this varied introductory response, the opera became popular throughout Italy and productions were soon mounted by the following companies: The Teatro di San Carlo; the first performance of La bohème outside Italy was at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 16 June 1896. The opera was given in Alexandria and Moscow in early 1897; the United Kingdom premiere took place at the Theatre Royal in Manchester, on 22 April 1897, in a presentation by the Carl Rosa Opera Company supervised by Puccini. This performance was given in English and starred Alice Esty as Mimì, Bessie McDonald as Musetta, Robert Cunningham as Rodolfo, William Paull as Marcello. On 2 October 1897 the same company gave the opera's first staging at the Royal Opera House in London and on 14 October 1897 in Los Angeles for the opera's United States premiere; the opera reached New York City on 16 May 1898 when it was performed at Wallack's Theatre with Giuseppe Agostini as Rodolfo.
The first production of the opera produced by the Royal Opera House itself premiered on 1 July 1899 with Nellie Melba as Mimì, Zélie de Lussan as Musetta, Fernando De Lucia as Rodolfo, Mario Ancona as Marcello. La bohème premiered in Germany at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin on 22 June 1897; the French premiere of the opera was presented by the Opéra-Comique on 13 June 1898 at the Théâtre des Nations. The production used a French translation by Paul Ferrier and
Covent Garden is a district in Greater London, on the eastern fringes of the West End, between Charing Cross Road and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit-and-vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, with the Royal Opera House, known as "Covent Garden"; the district is divided by the main thoroughfare of Long Acre, north of, given over to independent shops centred on Neal's Yard and Seven Dials, while the south contains the central square with its street performers and most of the historical buildings and entertainment facilities, including the London Transport Museum and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The area was settled in the 7th century when it became the heart of the Anglo-Saxon trading town of Lundenwic, abandoned at the end of the 9th century. By 1200, part of it had been walled off by Westminster Abbey for use as arable land and orchards. Referred to as "the garden of the Abbey and Convent", "the Covent Garden", it was seized by Henry VIII and granted to the Earls of Bedford in 1552.
The 4th Earl commissioned Inigo Jones to build some fine houses to attract wealthy tenants. Jones designed the Italianate arcaded square along with the church of St Paul's; the design of the square was new to London and had a significant influence on modern town planning, acting as the prototype for new estates as London grew. By 1654 a small open-air fruit-and-vegetable market had developed on the south side of the fashionable square. Both the market and the surrounding area fell into disrepute, as taverns, coffee-houses and brothels opened up. By the 18th century it had become a well-known red-light district. An Act of Parliament was drawn up to control the area, Charles Fowler's neo-classical building was erected in 1830 to cover and help organise the market; the market grew and further buildings were added: the Floral Hall, Charter Market, in 1904 the Jubilee Market. By the end of the 1960s traffic congestion was causing problems, in 1974 the market relocated to the New Covent Garden Market about three miles south-west at Nine Elms.
The central building re-opened as a shopping centre in 1980 and is now a tourist location containing cafes, small shops, a craft market called the Apple Market, along with another market held in the Jubilee Hall. Covent Garden falls within the London boroughs of Westminster and Camden and the parliamentary constituencies of Cities of London and Westminster and Holborn and St Pancras; the area has been served by the Piccadilly line at Covent Garden Underground station since 1907. What would become the Strand on the southern boundary of the future Covent Garden was used during the Roman period as part of a route to Silchester, known as Iter VII on the Antonine Itinerary. Excavations in 2006 at St Martin-in-the-Fields revealed a late Roman grave, suggesting the locale had been a sacred site; the area to the north of the Strand was long thought to have remained as unsettled fields until the 16th century, but theories by Alan Vince and Martin Biddle that there had been an Anglo-Saxon settlement to the west of the old Roman town of Londinium were borne out by excavations in 1985 and 2005.
These revealed Covent Garden as the centre of a trading town called Lundenwic, developed around 600 AD, which stretched from Trafalgar Square to Aldwych. Alfred the Great shifted the settlement into the old Roman town of Londinium from around 886 AD onwards, leaving no mark of the old town, the site returned to fields. A document from 1200 AD mentions a walled garden owned by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St Peter, Westminster. A document, dated between 1250 and 1283, refers to "the garden of the Abbot and Convent of Westminster". By the 13th century this had become a 40-acre quadrangle of mixed orchard, meadow and arable land, lying between modern-day St Martin's Lane and Drury Lane, Floral Street and Maiden Lane; the use of the name "Covent"—an Anglo-French term for a religious community, equivalent to "monastery" or "convent"—appears in a document in 1515, when the Abbey, letting out parcels of land along the north side of the Strand for inns and market gardens, granted a lease of the walled garden, referring to it as "a garden called Covent Garden".
This is how it was recorded from on. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, Henry VIII took the land belonging to Westminster Abbey for himself, his son, Edward VI, granted it to the John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, in 1552. The Russell family, who in 1694 were advanced in their peerage from Earl to Duke of Bedford, held the land until 1918. Russell built Bedford House and garden on part of the land, with an entrance on the Strand, the large garden stretching back along the south side of the old walled-off convent garden. In 1630, 4th Earl of Bedford, Francis Russell commissioned Inigo Jones to design and build a church and three terraces of fine houses around a large square or piazza; this had been prompted by Charles I taking offence at the condition of the road and houses along Long Acre, which were the responsibility of Russell and Henry Carey, 2nd Earl of Monmouth. Russell and Carey complained that under the 1625 Proclamation concerning Buildings, which restricted building in and around London, they could not build new houses.
For a fee of £2,000, the King granted Russell a licence to build as many new houses on his land as he "shall thinke fitt and convenient". The houses attracted the wealthy, though they moved out when a market developed on the south side of the square around 1654, coffee houses and prostitutes moved in; the Bedford Estate was expanded in 1669 to include Bloomsbury, when L
Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part One. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859, with influential sets designed by Charles-Antoine Cambon and Joseph Thierry, Jean Émile Daran, Édouard Desplechin, Philippe Chaperon; the original version of Faust employed spoken dialogue, it was in this form that the work was first performed. The manager of the Théâtre Lyrique, Léon Carvalho cast his wife Marie Miolan-Carvalho as Marguerite and there were various changes during production, including the removal and contraction of several numbers; the tenor Hector Gruyer was cast as Faust but was found to be inadequate during rehearsals, being replaced by a principal of the Opéra-Comique, Joseph-Théodore-Désiré Barbot, shortly before the opening night. After a successful initial run at the Théâtre Lyrique the publisher Antoine Choudens, who purchased the copyright for 10,000 francs, took the work on tour through Germany, Belgium and England, with Marie Miolan-Carvalho repeating her role.
Performances in Germany followed, with Dresden Semperoper in 1861 being the first to bill the work as Margarethe rather than Faust. For many years this custom - or alternatively, staging the opera as Gretchen - continued in Germany; some sources claim this was out of respect for Part I of Goethe's poetic drama, which the opera follows closely. Others claim the opposite: that the retitling was done to emphasise Gounod's opera's reliance on Goethe's characters, to differentiate it from Spohr's Faust, which had held the stage for many years in Germany and had appeared in a three-act revision, it is possible that the 1861 Dresden title change was out of respect for Spohr's close and long association with the city. The opera was given for the first time in Italy at La Scala in 1862 and in England at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London in 1863. In 1864, when the opera was given at the same venue in English, Gounod took a theme from the prelude to the opera and wrote a new aria for the star baritone Charles Santley in the role of Valentin,'Even bravest heart may swell'.
This number was translated into French for subsequent productions as ‘Avant de quitter ces lieux’ and has become one of the most familiar pieces from the opera. In 1869 a ballet had to be inserted before the work could be played at the Opéra: it became the most performed opera at that house. With the change from spoken dialogue to sung recitatives, plus the musical and balletic additions, the opera was thus transformed into a work following the conventions of grand opera. Although the opera is still performed, it no longer sits in the "top twenty" performed worldwide, it was Faust with which the Metropolitan Opera in New York City opened for the first time on 22 October 1883. It is the eighth most performed opera there, with 753 performances through the 2012-2013 season, it was not until the period between 1965 and 1977 that the full version was performed, all performances in that production included the Walpurgisnacht ballet. Place: Germany Time: 16th century Faust's cabinet Faust, an aging scholar, determines that his studies have come to nothing and have only caused him to miss out on life and love.
He stops each time when he hears a choir. He curses science and faith, asks for infernal guidance. Méphistophélès appears and, with a tempting image of Marguerite at her spinning wheel, persuades Faust to buy Méphistophélès's services on earth in exchange for Faust's in Hell. Faust's goblet of poison is magically transformed into an elixir of youth, making the aged doctor a handsome young gentleman. At the city gates A chorus of students and villagers sings a drinking song. Valentin, leaving for war with his friend Wagner, entrusts the care of his sister Marguerite to his youthful friend Siébel. Méphistophélès appears, provides the crowd with wine, sings a rousing, irreverent song about the Golden Calf. Méphistophélès maligns Marguerite, Valentin tries to strike him with his sword, which shatters in the air. Valentin and friends use the cross-shaped hilts of their swords to fend off what they now know is an infernal power. Méphistophélès is joined by the villagers in a waltz. Marguerite appears and Faust declares his admiration, but she refuses Faust's arm out of modesty, a quality that makes him love her more.
Marguerite's garden The lovesick boy Siébel leaves a bouquet for Marguerite. Faust sends Méphistophélès in search of a gift for Marguerite and sings a cavatina idealizing Marguerite as a pure child of nature. Méphistophélès brings in a decorated box containing exquisite jewelry and a hand mirror and leaves it on Marguerite's doorstep, next to Siébel's flowers. Marguerite enters, pondering her encounter with Faust at the city gates, sings a melancholy ballad about the King of Thule. Marthe, Marguerite's neighbour, says it must be from an admirer. Marguerite tries on the jewels and is captivated by how they enhance her beauty, as she sings in the famous aria, the Jewel Song. Méphistophélès and Faust join the