Opera Scotland

Waterman The Waterman; or, The First of August

Music

Charles Dibdin (Born Southampton, bapt 4 March 1745; died London, 25 July 1814).

Text

The Composer.

Source

Original.

 

Premières

First Performance: London (), 8 August 1774.

First Performance in Scotland: to be confirmed.

Scottish Opera première: N/A.

 

Background

Dibdin was largely self-taught, perhaps through copying, playing and singing compositions by more established hands. His successful works are generally brief - songs or musical dialogues without much musical development. Even his comic operas, of which The Ephesian Matron is perhaps the most notable, have small casts and last far less than an hour. The Waterman is unusual for a number of reasons, the first being that it survived in performance for fully a century, with the leading role of Tom Tug staying in the repertoire of noted performers such as Charles Santley. Secondly, the music is largely composed by Dibdin himself, rather than featuring the work of others. Finally, he assembled the piece around his own original libretto, using a number of songs he had composed earlier for Ranelagh Gardens.

The Cast

Anne
 
Betty
 
Jane
 
Mr Bundle
 
Mrs Bundle
 
Robin
 
Tom Tug
 the Waterman
Wilhelmina
 Miss Bundle

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