The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Opera for this term is ‘Sir John in Love’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams it is an opera in four acts based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’. In the preface to the score Vaughan Williams stated his ‘chief object’ was ‘to fit this wonderful comedy with, I trust, not unpleasant music’.
The opera premiered at the Royal College of Music in London in their ‘Parry Opera Theatre’ in 1929. The first professional performance was at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in Islington, London in 1946. It has also been performed in 1978 and 1988 at the Bronx Opera in New York City.
It’s been a treat seeing the Opera and Master’s students rehearse and to be part of the ensemble. I’ve listened to ‘When Daisies Pied’ hundreds of times in music festivals but didn’t realise it was from this opera. ‘Greensleeves’ a traditional English folk song and tune also features in the musical score. Often people remark on the use of folk songs a genre of music that you know I love.