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English Eccentrics

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.

Act I

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.

Act II

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.

Principal Characters


(Total number of books = 8)