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or Cheviot's Choice

Based on the play by W.S. Gilbert; Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan Adapted by George Rowell and Kenneth Mobbs. (See below for 1925 American production)

Performing version: This version was first performed by the Bristol Opera School 27 March, 1962. First professional production of this version at Theatre Royal, Windsor - 6 November. 1962

The Story

(Edwardian England) (Rowell & Mobbs adaptation)

This high spirited and fast moving romp, with its many unexpected twists and turns, is enhanced by the music and lyrics of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Belinda, travelling to Scotland to escape marrying Major Muggeridge, is accompanied by Belvawney. On the same train travel Cheviot Hill and his uncle Symperson. Unfortunately for them the train is wrecked by Angus MacAlister, who makes a habit of this, in order that Mrs MacFarlane and her beautiful daughter, Maggie, may cash extra money by putting the passengers up in their cottage.

Because of the delay caused by the crash, Major Muggeridge catches up with Belinda, and in order to save her, Cheviot announces he is her husband, and she says she is his wife. Neither realise that, in Scottish law, just the statement of this constitutes a true marriage. Months later Belinda, still looking for the man she 'married' in Scotland, arrives at the house of Symperson's daughter, Minnie, on the day of her wedding to Cheviot.

Matters are further complicated by the arrival of Maggie to whom the incorrigible Cheviot has also proposed. The problems appear insurmountable, and yet all ends happily with Angus MacAlister marrying Maggie, and a double wedding for Cheviot and Belinda, and Minnie and Belvawney.


Minnie Symperson (Soprano)
Maggie MacFarlane (Soprano)
Belinda Treherne (Mezzo Soprano)
Mrs Macfarlane - (Contralto)
Cora - Chief Bridesmaid - (Soprano)
Dora - (Soprano); Flora (Contralto or Mezzo Soprano); Nora (Contralto or Mezzo Soprano) - Bridesmaids
Cheviot Hill - (Baritone)
Belvawney - (Bass-Baritone)
Angus MacAlister - (Tenor)
Symperson -(Bass or Baritone)
Major Muggeridge of the Peterborough Sokes - (Bass)

CHORUS of Lowland Lassies, Train Travellers, Officers of the Peterborough Sokes and Wedding Guests

Principal Musical Numbers

Some Look For Love (Cheviot)
If Maggie Were Married To Me (Cheviot, Angus, Maggie, Mrs MacFarlane)
It's My Opinion (Minnie, Belinda)
As O'er Our Penny-Roll We Sing (Minnie, Cheviot)
Little Maid Of Arcadee (Belvawney, Chorus)
Our Life On Earth Is Full Of Care (Symperson, Cheviot)

COMPLETE LIST OF MUSICAL NUMBERS. The Source is shown in Italics


  1. SPINNING CHORUS The Rose of Persia (Sullivan) - Lowland Lassies
  2. TRAIN CRASH - "Our homes and hearts" - The Rose of Persia (Sullivan) - (Lowland Lassies and Travellers
  3. SONG - "Poor me" - The Rose of Persia (Sullivan) - Belinda, with Belvawney
  4. SONG - "Some look for love" - The Rose of Persia (Sullivan) - Cheviot
  5. SONG - "If you value a peaceable life" - Haste to the Wedding (Gilbert) - Symperson, with Cheviot
  6. TRIO - "Hand and heart" - Haddon Hall (Sullivan) - Maggie, Angus and Cheviot
  7. QUARTET - "If Maggie were married to me" - The Chieftain (Sullivan) - Cheviot, Mrs MacFarlane, Angus and Maggie
  8. FINALE ACT 1 - The Emerald Isle (Sullivan) - Ensemble


  1. a) WEDDING CHORUS - "Won't it be a pretty wedding" - The Grand Duke (G. & S.)
    b) MADRIGAL - "When love and beauty" - The Sapphire Necklace (Sullivan) - Guests
  2. SONG - "My wedded life" His Excellency (Gilbert) - Minnie, with Symperson
  3. DUET - "It's my opinion" - The Mountebanks (Gilbert) - Minnie and Belinda
  4. a) ENSEMBLE AND SONG - "I once gave an evening party" - The Grand Duke (G. & S.)
    b) DANCE - Overture 'Di Ballo' (Sullivan) - Cheviot, Cora and Guests
  5. DUET - "As o'er our penny-roll we sing" - The Grand Duke (G. & S.) - Minnie and Cheviot
  6. BELVAWNEY'S CURSE - The Sorcerer (Sullivan), lolanthe (Sullivan)- Belvawney and Cheviot
  7. LAUNDRY-LIST SEXTET - Overture 'Di Ballo' (Sullivan) - Cheviot, Maggie, Mrs MacFarlane, Angus, Minnie and Symperson
  8. FINALE ACT 2 - Haste to the Wedding (Gilbert); The Rose of Persia (Sullivan); Overture 'Di Ballo' (Sullivan) - Ensemble


  1. 17 INTRODUCTION - The Rose of Persia (Sullivan)
  2. SONG - "Little maid of Arcadee" - Thespis (G. & S.) - Belvawney with Guests
  3. TRIO - "Bold-faced ranger" - Utopia Limited. (G. & S.) - Belinda, Minnie, Belvawney and Guests
  4. DUET - "Our life on earth is full of care" - The Rose of Persia (Sullivan) - Symperson and Cheviot
  5. MOCK-FUNERAL - "I'm mourning for a son-in-law" - Utopia Limited. (Sullivan) - Symperson and Male Guests
  6. FINALE ACT 3 - The Rose of Persia (Sullivan); The Grand Duke (G. & S.) - Ensemble

Scenes and Settings

TIME: 1877

ACT 1: Exterior of a cottage near Gretna Green
ACT 2: Drawing-room of Symperson's London home
ACT 3: The same

INSTRUMENTATION (Total number of books =13)

2 Violins I
1 Violin II
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Double Bass
1 Flutes I/II (Flute II doubling Picc)
1 Oboe
1 Clarinets I/II
1 Bassoon
1 Horns I/II
1 Percussion1 Conductor Score -annotated vocal score


A Burlesque in 3 Acts. Play by W. S. Gilbert. Music found by Brian Hooker. The music is taken from songs by Arthur Sullivan, James Lyman Molloy, Joseph Leopold Röckel, Ciro Pinsuti and others of the period. A few numbers were composed for this production in the Victorian manner by Porter Steele. In some cases the original lyrics were used; others were written by Brian Hooker.

Scenes & Settings

Time: 1877.

Musical Numbers


  1. Braes o' Ballachloe - Maggie Macfarlane, Angus Macfarlane
  2. Love Is Enough (Ballad) - Belinda Treherre, Belvawney
  3. Love, I Will Love You Ever - Cheviot Hill
  4. All for Love (Trio) - Maggie Macfarlane, Angus Macfarlane, Cheviot Hill
  5. What is This I See? (Finale Act 1) - Belinda Treherre, Maggie Macfarlane, Mrs. Macfarlane, Cheviot Hill, Belvawney, Angus Macfarlane, Major McGillicuddy


  1. I'm Going to Be Married Today - Minnie, Parker, Mr Symperson
  2. Unrequited - Belinda Treherre
  3. A Little Kiss (Duet) - Parker, Cheviot Hill
  4. Prince Charming - Minnie, Cheviot Hill
  5. The Story of a Sheep - Belvawney, Cheviot Hill
  6. A Joyful Wedding Day (Finale Act 2) - Minnie, Belinda Treherre, Maggie Macfarlane, Mrs. Macfarlane, Parker, Cheviot Hill, Mr Symperson, Angus Macfarlane


  1. Sometimes (Trio) - Minnie, Belinda Treherre, Belvawney
  2. Dear, Dear Sisters (Duet) - Belinda Treherre, Minnie
  3. A Jury of His Peers (Quartet) - Minnie, Belinda Treherre, Cheviot Hill, Mr Symperson
  4. Liberty - Belvawney, Cheviot Hill
  5. Finale Act 3 - Belinda Treherre, Minnie, Maggie Macfarlane, Mrs. Macfarlane, Parker, Cheviot Hill, Belvawney, Mr Symperson, Angus Macfarlane

Original Cast (in order of appearance):