First produced at the Royal Gallery of Illustration, Lower Regent Street, London, under the management of Mr. Thomas German-Reed, on 29th March 1869 where it shared the bill with Sullivan's Cox and Box. The initial run of No Cards lasted through 21st November 1869.
Although further performances seem to have been mounted at St. George's Hall in 1873 (a programme exists for this venue dated March 29th), the only major revival appears to have taken place at St. George's Hall, London, during March 1902.
Libretto, provided to the Archive by Ian Bond.
Of the music of No Cards, Dr. Jane W. Stedman writes:
Gilbert's acknowledgement of permission gives [German] Reed as the composer, as do both a playbill in the Enthoven Theatre Collection and an undated leaflet-handbill quoting reviews of No Cards in The REginald Allen Collection. The later Joseph Williams version of the lIbretto credits the score to L. Elliott, identified as Lionel Elliot on a programme for St. George's Hall, March 29 [1873?]. It is faintly possible that this person was really J. W. Elliot, who did arrangements for the Gallery of Illustration, including that for Planché's King Christmas. J. W. Elliot was also pianist and chorus master for German Reed's English opera venture at St. George's Hall. It seems likely that L. Elliot's score is a new setting for a revival. Clearly Reed had composed his wife's numbers, whoever put together the rest of the original score. [Stedman, Jane W., Gilbert Before Sullivan, (The University of Chicago Press, 1967)]
Elswhere in the same book she notes that Gilbert's song "Thady O'Flinn" with music by Molloy was interpolated and suggests that many of the songs were set to popular tunes of the day which may simply have been arranged by German Reed.
The review from The Times, March 30th, 1869 also credits the original score to German Reed.
You can download a copy of the L. Elliot score [PDF, 1,5Mb], which was provided courtesy of Cornell University Library. The British Libary copy of this score is dated 1901 in their catalogue.
Review of the original production from The Times, March 30th, 1869.
13 July 2013
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