Opera Scotland

Maid Marian

Music

Colin Macleod Campbell (born Argyll 1890; died London 1953)

Text

Nancy Campbell

 

Premieres

First Performance: Dundee (Gaumont Theatre), 12 March 1956.

 

Background

Colin Macleod Campbell had a successful career as conductor, lecturer and composer. His first opera, in one act, Thais and Talmaae was premiered by Carl Rosa in 1921. After opening in Manchester it toured widely, including a performance at Covent Garden, and was regarded as generally successful. Revivals followed in 1928 and 1937, when it was broadcast.

Maid Marian was composed much later, to a libretto by his wife, and was in rehearsal for its planned premiere in 1938, when the Munich crisis put paid to any hopes of performance. Only a 'run-through' took place, in the ballroom of the Park Lane Hotel. The ballet music did briefly have independent success, being broadcast..

It seems the veteran stage director T C Fairbairn was a friend of the composer and his family. After directing Aïda in Dundee in 1955 he persuaded the company to take on this new work as one of their productions the following year. The composer's widow and daughter attended the premiere and were said to be delighted.

The Courier, the source of much of the above data, in a generally enthusiastic review, described the orchestral score as melodious, with hints of Wagner, Verdi, Elgar and even Edward German - the ballet music included Morris and Maypole dances, which may have been reminiscent of Merrie England.

 

Main characters

Robin Hood (tenor)

Prince John (high tenor)

King Richard (bass)

Friar Tuck (baritone)

Little John (bass)

Abbot (bass)

Maid Marian (soprano)

Alice Gamwell (contralto)

The Cast

Abbot
 
Alice Gamwell
 
Baron
 
Friar Tuck
 
King Richard
 
Little John
 
Maid Marian
 
Prince John
 King Richard's brother
Robin Hood
 

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