Andrew Martin Lamb (born 23 September 1942) is an English writer, music historian, lecturer and broadcaster, known for his expertise in light music and musical theatre. In addition to his musical work, Lamb maintained a full-time career as an actuary and investment manager.
Lamb was born in Oldham, Lancashire, the son of Harry Lamb, a schoolmaster, and his wife Winifred, née Emmott.He was educated at Werneth Council School, Oldham, Manchester Grammar School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He graduated in mathematics in 1963, gaining a master's degree in 1967 and a Doctorate of Letters in 2006. In addition to his musical work, he maintained a full-time career as an actuary and investment manager with major financial institutions in the UK, having qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1972. He married in 1970 and has two daughters and a son. He has been a member of Lancashire County Cricket Club since 1954.
In 1980, Lamb was a member of the Arts Council of Great Britain Light Opera Enquiry, and in 1988 he was a member of the jury of the Offenbach International Singing Competition in Paris. He was a member of the Advisory Board of The New Grove Dictionary of Opera , and from 1987 to 1996 he assisted Antonio de Almeida on the latter's ultimately unpublished Offenbach thematic catalogue. In 1995 he performed in Dan Crawford's production of Noël Coward's Cavalcade , appearing as the Stage Manager at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, and the Major Domo at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. In 2008 he wrote the programme article for the production of Amadeo Vives's La Generala at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, and in 2009 he was a speaker at the Ruperto Chapí Centenary Congress in Valencia, Spain. He has also given talks for English National Opera at the Coliseum Theatre, London, and at the Buxton Festival.He is a member of the Honorary Board of the Centro Studi Eric Sams.
Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians describes Lamb as "a noted authority on the lighter forms of music theatre" and notes the lucidity of his extensive writings on a wide range of musical topics, including zarzuela, operetta, American and British musical theatre, Arthur Sullivan, the Strauss family, Jacques Offenbach, Jerome Kern and the Waldteufels.In 2012, Lamb instituted a project to honour the composer Edward James Loder that resulted in musical events in Bath in 2015, CD recordings of Loder's piano music and his opera Raymond and Agnes , and a book commemorating the Loder family, edited by Nicholas Temperley, to which Lamb contributed a biographical chapter.
Lamb's books and biographies, relating mostly to musical theatre, include the following:
He has written extensively for periodicals including Gramophone , The Musical Times , Opera , Music and Letters , The Listener , and Wisden Cricket Monthly .He is a contributor and advisory editor to The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and wrote more than 150 articles in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , including biographies of George M. Cohan, Noël Coward, Jerome Kern, Charles Lecocq, Franz Lehár, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lionel Monckton and Jacques Offenbach, and articles on revue, musical comedy, music hall, parlour song and operetta. He was a member of the Advisory Board of The New Grove Dictionary of Opera . Online examples of his writing include articles on Gershwin's Cuban vacation, two 1890s English comic opera tours of South America, and the zarzuelas La generala and El maestro Campanone.
He has also compiled albums of songs by Lehár for Glocken Verlag (ISMN M-57006-019-1, ISMN M-57006-109-9, ISMN M-57006-111-2 and ISMN 979-0-57006-115-0) and of operetta numbers by Offenbach for Choudens ( ISBN 978-1-84938-035-5).
Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.
Operetta is a form of theatre and a genre of light opera. It includes spoken dialogue, songs, and dances. It is lighter than opera in terms of its music, orchestral size, length of the work, and at face value, subject matter. Apart from its shorter length, the operetta usually features a light and amusing character while making very controversial political commentaries in response to the oppressive governments and militaries that were present.
Jacques Offenbach was a German-born French composer, cellist and impresario of the Romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s to the 1870s, and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss Jr. and Arthur Sullivan. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st. The Tales of Hoffmann remains part of the standard opera repertory.
Comic opera is a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending and often including spoken dialogue.
Die schöne Galathée is an operetta in two acts by Franz von Suppé to a German libretto by the composer and 'Poly Henrion'.
Achille Edmond Audran was a French composer best known for several internationally successful comic operas, including Les noces d'Olivette (1879), La mascotte (1880), Gillette de Narbonne (1882), La cigale et la fourmi (1886), Miss Helyett (1890), and La poupée (1896).
Ba-ta-clan is a "chinoiserie musicale" in one act with music by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Ludovic Halévy. It was first performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens, Paris, on 29 December 1855. The operetta uses set numbers and spoken dialogue and runs for under an hour.
Alexandre Charles Lecocq was a French composer, known for his opérettes and opéras comiques. He became the most prominent successor to Jacques Offenbach in this sphere, and enjoyed considerable success in the 1870s and early 1880s, before the changing musical fashions of the late 19th century made his style of composition less popular. His few serious works include the opera Plutus (1886), which was not a success, and the ballet Le cygne (1899). His only piece to survive in the regular modern operatic repertory is his 1872 opéra comique La fille de Madame Angot. Others of his more than forty stage works receive occasional revivals.
Robinson Crusoé is an opéra comique with music by Jacques Offenbach and words by Eugène Cormon and Hector-Jonathan Crémieux. It premiered in Paris on 23 November 1867.
La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein is an opéra bouffe, in three acts and four tableaux by Jacques Offenbach to an original French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The story is a satirical critique of unthinking militarism and concerns a spoiled and tyrannical young Grand Duchess who learns that she cannot always get her way.
La vie parisienne is an opéra bouffe, or operetta, composed by Jacques Offenbach, with a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.
Les deux aveugles is an 1855 one-act French bouffonerie musicale (operetta) by Jacques Offenbach. The libretto was written by Jules Moinaux and was a condensation of his 3-act Les musiciens ambulants.
The Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens is a Parisian theatre founded in 1855 by the composer Jacques Offenbach for the performance of opéra bouffe and operetta. The current theatre is located in the 2nd arrondissement at 4 rue Monsigny with an entrance at the back at 65 Passage Choiseul. In the 19th century the theatre was often referred to as the Salle Choiseul. With the decline in popularity of operetta after 1870, the theatre expanded its repertory to include comedies.
Edward James Loder was an English composer and conductor. His best remembered work is perhaps the 1855 opera Raymond and Agnes, though his most successful opera during his lifetime was The Night Dancers.
La belle Hélène, is an opéra bouffe in three acts, with music by Jacques Offenbach and words by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. The piece parodies the story of Helen's elopement with Paris, which set off the Trojan War.
In 1862 during Haussmann's modernization of Paris the Théâtre de la Gaîté of the boulevard du Temple was relocated to the rue Papin across from the Square des Arts et Métiers. The new theatre, built in an Italian style to designs of the architects Jacques-Ignace Hittorff and Alphonse Cusin, opened on 3 September.
The Théâtre des Folies-Marigny, a former Parisian theatre with a capacity of only 300 spectators, was built in 1848 by the City of Paris for a magician named Lacaze and was originally known as the Salle Lacaze. It was located at the east end of the Carré Marigny of the Champs-Élysées, close to the Avenue Marigny, but faced west toward the Cirque National on the other side of the square.
Fatinitza was the first full-length, three-act operetta by Franz von Suppé. The libretto by F. Zell and Richard Genée was based on the libretto to La circassienne by Eugène Scribe, but with the lead role of Wladimir, a young Russian lieutenant who has to disguise himself as a woman, changed to a trousers role; in other words, a woman played the part of the man who pretended to be a woman.
Development of musical theatre refers to the historical development of theatrical performance combined with music that culminated in the integrated form of modern musical theatre that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre developed from several lines of antecedents that evolved over several centuries through the 18th century when the Ballad Opera and pantomime emerged in England and its colonies as the most popular forms of musical entertainment.