Thomas and Sally (also known as The Sailor's Return) is a dramatic pastoral opera in two acts by the composer Thomas Arne with an English libretto by Isaac Bickerstaff. The opera was meant to be performed as an "after piece", which is a short musical work to be performed after a spoken play.
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.
Thomas Augustine Arne was an English composer. He is best known for his patriotic song Rule Britannia, a version of God Save the King, which became the British national anthem, and the song A-Hunting We Will Go. Arne was a leading British theatre composer of the 18th century, working at Drury Lane and Covent Garden.
The opera was initially scheduled to premiere in October 1760 but was postponed due to the death of King George II. The opera eventually premiered on 28 November 1760 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and enjoyed a successful run. Thomas and Sally is one of only a few works by Arne that was not destroyed in the disastrous fire at Covent Garden in 1808 and has occasionally been revived during the past century.
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 (O.S.) until his death in 1760.
The opera made its Broadway debut at the Little Theatre on 4 January 1938 by the Intimate Opera Company with Geoffrey Dunn as Thomas, Winifred Radford as Sally, and Frederick Woodhouse as the Squire.Thomas and Sally also has the distinction of being one of the first operas recreated for television. The BBC made a television production of the opera in 1937 with Joan Collier as Sally, Vivienne Chatterton as Dorcas, Henry Wendon as Thomas, and Dennis Noble as the Squire.
Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
The Intimate Opera Company was an English opera company based in London which specialized in performances of chamber operas. Founded in 1930 by British baritone and impresario Frederick Woodhouse, the company was established with the professed aim of reviving forgotten chamber operas of the past. Most of the company's productions were produced on a smaller scale, using only piano accompaniment, costumes, minimal sets, and no props.
Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.
Thomas and Sally is about fifty minutes in length and is notable in that it is the first English comic opera to be sung throughout. The orchestration is also unusual for a lighter opera of this period, as Arne included clarinets in the score which were usually only used in tragic pieces. The nautical themes in the libretto led Arne to compose a sturdy score that includes a boisterous hunting song for the Squire. Sally's songs are written in an opera buffo style.
Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra. Also called "instrumentation", orchestration is the selection of different instruments to play the different parts of a musical work. For example, a work for solo piano could be adapted and orchestrated so that an orchestra could perform the piece, or a concert band piece could be orchestrated for a symphony orchestra.
The clarinet is a musical-instrument family belonging to the group known as the woodwind instruments. It has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist.
|Cast||Voice type||Premiere, 28 November 1760 |
(Conductor: - Thomas Arne )
|Sally, a milkmaid||soprano||Charlotte Brent|
|Thomas, a sailor||baritone|
|A Squire, infatuated with Sally||tenor||William Mattocks|
|Dorcas, a matron||mezzo-soprano||Vernon|
Sally is distraught over the impending loss of Thomas who is about to embark on a sea voyage which will separate them for a long time. The lovers tearfully say goodbye to one another. Meanwhile, the squire is infatuated with Sally but has not pursued her because of Thomas. Now that Thomas is gone, the squire decides to try to woo Sally under the encouragement of Dorcas. Sally spurns the squire. Seeing that he has failed, Dorcas tries to help him out by advising Sally to celebrate her youth. Sally, however, remains firm in her devotion to Thomas.
The squire and Dorcas continue to plot together in the attempt to woo Sally. Just as it seems like Sally may give in, Thomas returns to rescue Sally and the two declare that they will marry.
Michael Arne was an English composer, harpsichordist, organist, singer, and actor. He was the son of the composer Thomas Arne and the soprano Cecilia Young, a member of the famous Young family of musicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Like his father, Arne worked primarily as a composer of stage music and vocal art song, contributing little to other genres of music. He wrote several songs for London's pleasure gardens, the most famous of which is Lass with the Delicate Air (1762). A moderately prolific composer, Arne wrote nine operas and collaborated on at least 15 others. His most successful opera, Cymon (1767), enjoyed several revivals during his lifetime and into the early nineteenth century.
Isaac Bickerstaffe or Bickerstaff was an Irish playwright and Librettist.
Arthur Goring Thomas was an English composer.
Acis and Galatea is a musical work by George Frideric Handel with an English text by John Gay. The work has been variously described as a serenata, a masque, a pastoral or pastoral opera, a "little opera", an entertainment and by the New Grove Dictionary of Music as an oratorio. The work was originally devised as a one-act masque which premiered in 1718.
Tom Jones is a comic opera in three acts by Edward German founded upon Henry Fielding's 1749 novel, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, with a libretto by Robert Courtneidge and Alexander M. Thompson and lyrics by Charles H. Taylor.
A Princess of Kensington is an English comic opera in two acts by Edward German to a libretto by Basil Hood, produced by William Greet. The first performance was at the Savoy Theatre, London, on 22 January 1903 and ran for 115 performances.
The Judgement of Paris is an operatic libretto written by William Congreve. It was set by four British Baroque composers - John Weldon, John Eccles, Daniel Purcell and Gottfried Finger - as part of a music competition held in 1700-1701. Thomas Arne later composed a score to the libretto in 1742.
The Duenna is a three-act comic opera, mostly composed by Thomas Linley the elder and his son, Thomas Linley the younger, to an English-language libretto by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. At the time, it was considered one of the most successful operas ever staged in England, and its admirers included Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt and Lord George Byron.
William Reeve was an English theatre composer and organist.
Cecilia Young was one of the greatest English sopranos of the eighteenth century, the wife of composer Thomas Arne, and the mother of composer Michael Arne. According to music historian Charles Burney, she had "a good natural voice and a fine shake [and] had been so well taught, that her style of singing was infinitely superior to that of any other English woman of her time". She was part of a well-known English family of musicians that included several professional singers and organists. Young enjoyed a large amount of success through her close association with George Frideric Handel. She appeared in several of his oratorios and operas including the premieres of Ariodante (1735), Alcina (1735), Alexander's Feast (1736) and Saul (1739).
Thomas Lowe was an English tenor and actor. He appeared at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and at Covent Garden, and frequently performed in London's pleasure gardens. He was particularly associated with the works of Thomas Arne and George Frideric Handel.
Polly Young was an English soprano, composer and keyboard player. She was part of a well-known English family of musicians that included several professional singers and organists during the 17th and 18th centuries. Her husband, François-Hippolyte Barthélémon, was a composer and violinist, and their daughter, Cecilia Maria Barthélemon, was also a composer and opera singer.
Love in a Village is a ballad opera in three acts that was composed and arranged by Thomas Arne. A pastiche, the work contains 42 musical numbers of which only five were newly composed works by Arne. The other music is made up of 13 pieces borrowed from Arne's earlier stage works, a new overture was by C. F. Abel, and 23 songs by other composers, including Bishop, Boyce, Geminiani, Giordani, and Galuppi, albeit with new texts. The English libretto, by Isaac Bickerstaffe, is based on Charles Johnson’s 1729 play The Village Opera. The opera premiered at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in London on 8 December 1762. One of its best known songs is the Miller of Dee.
The Desert Flower is an opera in three acts composed by William Vincent Wallace. The libretto was an English translation and adaptation by A. Harris and Thomas J. Williams of the libretto by Henri Saint-Georges and Adolphe de Leuven for Halévy's Jaguarita l'Indienne. The Desert Flower premiered on 12 October 1863 in London at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden in a performance by the Pyne and Harrison English Opera Company with Louisa Pyne in the title role.
Lurline is a grand romantic opera in three acts composed by William Vincent Wallace to an English libretto by Edward Fitzball. It was first performed on 23 February 1860 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden by the Pyne and Harrison English Opera Company with Louisa Pyne in the title role. The libretto is based on the legend of the Lorelei.
Artaxerxes is an opera in three acts composed by Thomas Arne set to an English adaptation of Metastasio's 1729 libretto Artaserse. The first English opera seria, Artaxerxes premiered on 2 February 1762 at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and continued to be regularly performed until the late 1830s. Its plot is loosely based on the historical figure, Artaxerxes I of Persia who succeeded his father Xerxes I after his assassination by Artabanus.
Judith is an oratorio composed by Thomas Arne with words by the librettist, Isaac Bickerstaffe. It was first performed on 27 February 1761 at Drury Lane Theatre. It depicts the story of Judith, taken from the Book of Judith of the Old Testament. It was first published in 1761 and republished with edits in 1764. The piece is divided into three acts, with a total of 28 movements including nine choruses, two duets, an overture, and 16 arias.
Julian Edwards was an Anglo-American composer of light operatic music who composed many successful Broadway shows in the Progressive Era. He attempted to introduce new levels of musical sophistication to the genre. Some of his songs achieved popularity at the time.
Margaret Kennedy was a contralto singer and actress. She was best known for her performances in male roles, especially in the operas of Thomas Arne.