|Ib and little Christina
First produced at the Savoy Theatre 14th November 1901 and ran until 29th November, a total of 16 performances. Although generally considered to be a full length piece in 3 acts, it is actually in 3 very short scenes, the whole play being no longer and probably marginally shorter than its companion piece, The Willow Pattern.
Libretto published by Chappells, copy in British Library at 11778.f.23(4) . Copy of score in collection of Ian Bond.
15 years elapse between Acts 1 & 2, and a further 7 between Acts 2 & 3Act 1: Ib and his father are very poor and live alone, but their neighbours are Old Henrik and his granddaughter Christina. The two children are in love, and Ib is willing to sacrifice everything for her. An old gypsy woman gives him three wishing nuts.
Act 2: Ib's father is dead. The children are now grown up. Christina has fallen in love with a richer man. Broken-hearted but faithful, Ib gives her up.
Act 3: Marriage has brought no happiness to Christina who is now dead. The gypsy woman (most improbably) brings Christina's daughter (also called Christina) to Ib and they live happily together. Very twee, but quite moving.
Revived at Daly's Theatre from 11th to 13th January 1904, then transferred to Lyric Theatre from 19th January to 27th February or 5th March 1904, a total of 23 matinee performances. This production is not strictly within the scope of Savoy history, but the appearance in the cast of several singers associated with Gilbert and Sullivan, makes it of interest.
The production of Ib and Little Christina at the Prince of Wales's Theatre from 15th May to 13th July 1900 (60 performances) had music by Arthur Bruhns. It was revived at Terry's Theatre from 19th January 1903. Revivals at Terry's on 27th January 1904 and the Adelphi on 21st September 1908 were probably with Bruhns's music, though this is unconfirmed.
23 August, 2011