Music by Malcolm Williamson
Libretto by Geoffrey Dunn based on the book by Edith Sitwell
This opera in two acts consists of seven scenes each of which depicts a form of eccentricity.
Scene I - Goose-Weather
Here we are introduced to a snuffbox collector; a lady with an obsession for long feathers in her hat; a man who has been married 17 times; another who spends his life in the bath; a woman who does not wash, and a man who has a desire to be buried head downwards in the ground, etc.
Scene 2 - An Amateur of Fashion
An interpretation of Romeo and Juliet.
Scene 3 - The God of this World
The story of Sarah Whitehead whose brother is hanged for forgery.
Scene I - Quacks and a Beau
Various doctors proffer unusual wares and services while Lady Jersey and the Duchess of Devonshire engage Beau Brummell in conversation.
Scene 2 - An Ornamental Hermit
Captain Philip Thicknesse writes his memoirs.
Scene 3 - A Traveller
A maid from Devonshire tricks people into believing that she is a stranger from a mysterious, distant land.
Scene 4 - The Beau Again
Beau Brummell in old age and senile.
- There is a multitude of characters requiring the following voices:
- 1 soprano
- 1 mezzo
- 2 tenors
- 1 baritone
- 1 bass
- SATB chorus (alternatively a vocal quartet can be used)
(Total number of books = 8)
- 1 Clarinet (B flat doubling E flat)
- 1 Bassoon
- 1 Trumpet
- 1 Percussion
- 1 Piano (preferably with a celeste or jangle-box attachment)
- 1 Violin
- 1 Cello
- 1 Full Score