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Love At the Inn

Cover to Qulter Song Album

Music by Roger Quilter : Lyrics by Rodney Bennett : Libretto by Jeffrey Lambourne

The Story

(The Blue Boar Inn/Longton Hall; 1785)

George Morland is an artist, specialising in portrait painting, who has an intense dislike of the aristocracy. However, this does not prevent him from accepting their commissions and it was one of these occasions that he met and fell in love with Jenny. Although the affair ended when George's love for her dwindled, Jenny has now come searching for her former lover at the Inn where Robert falls in love with her at first sight.

George's attentions have been captured by Anne Ward, on a visit to the Inn with her friend Sophie Longton. Anne knows of George's work through her brother who is his engraver, and is anxious to make his acquaintance. However, hearing of his dislike of the gentry, she pretends to be a farmer's daughter. Her ploy works but when a message arrives from Sir William Longton commissioning George to paint the portraits of his family and household in fancy dress, she is forced to continue with the deception.

At first she dresses up as a dairy maid to further the impression of a farmer's daughter but once the sketches of the household are over, the time comes for the main portrait of the evening, and she and Sophie appear clad in gorgeous array. Unfortunately, instead of being captivated by Anne's beauty, George is furious at her deceit and refuses to continue with the painting. Turning his back on Anne, George returns to Jenny. They are preparing to return to London when James Ward, George's engraver, unexpectedly arrives. He has been summoned in desperation by Anne and does not realise that the root of her troubles is his friend. Similarly, George is unaware that James is Anne's brother. James intercedes with George on her behalf and succeeds in reconciling the two of them. Jenny, meanwhile, realising that George does not love her, decides to marry Robert, and events are brought to a happy conclusion.


Principal Characters

(plus Chorus)

George Morland (the Artist)
Anne Ward (Sister of James Ward, the Engraver)
Emma (Hostess of the Inn)
Jenny (a Parlour maid)
Robert (Head Footman at Longton Hall)
Sir William Longton (Squire of Longton Hall)
Sophie Longton (his Daughter)
James Ward (the Engraver, Brother of Anne) 

Principal Musical Numbers

When Love Is Ended (Jenny, Morland)
Love Calls Through The Summer Night (Anne, Morland)
Emma, Oh Emma! (Emma)
Laugh At Love (Morland)
What's A Kiss? (Jenny, Robert)
Little Moth
If Love should pass me by