The Jolly Roger – Music & Comedy

The Jolly Roger

An opera for radio by
David Owen Norris

The musical extracts are taken from the premiere performance in Turner Sims, Southampton, on Monday 24th November 2008. The singers are Amanda Pitt, Mark Wilde & Thomas Guthrie, with the composer at the piano.

Persons of the action

A cowardly Pirate Captain tenor
Steans, an elderly Pirate the same tenor
The Cabin-Boy soprano
Mr. Thomas, rated Able-Bodied baritone
The Master-at-Arms busy down below
The Narrator tutti
Parrot
Chorus of Seagulls, Mermaids & Leviathan
Corps de Ballet of Sharks

Accompanied by piano
Duration about 50 minutes

Prologue:         It is a curious story

Scene 1:           The Tavern

Samba: Are we enough, dear boy?
Recitative: The old man there can keep a look-out

Scene 2:           The Island

March: Pirates on a Treasure Hunt (with parrot obbligato)

Scene 3:           The Remote Bermudas

Hymn: Where the remote Bermudas lie [Marvell]
A Sea Interlude

Scene 4:           The Ship

Hornpipe: Anchor’s aweigh
Party-Piece: A-rovin’ [with contributions from Byron]
Party-Piece: The Pirate Joke (duet for one tenor)
Party-Piece: Shenandoah [with contributions from Macbeth]

Scene 5:           The Plank

Recitative: Hands in the air!
Aria eroica: Spare my life, I beg
Trio minacciato: Shiver me timbers
Recitative: Where’s Steans?
Trio in stilo tedesco: Expend your lusts on me
Soliloquy in the form of a Three-Part Invention:
I could prance with glee [with contributions from Feste]

Stage Direction: The boy begins to walk towards his death
Boy, Seagulls, Mermaids & Leviathan: Hold on there, Captain
Waltz-Song on the Plank: Try, try again
Recitative: O Dead-Eye Dick?
Epilogue:         Auden. W.H. Auden

Finale:             Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest

 

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