Gilbert and Sullivan Archive

THE VICAR OF BRAY

NOTES ON THE LIBRETTO

by Cliff Coles

The text of The Vicar of Bray reproduced here has two major sources, the vocal score and the libretto, both published by Joseph Williams in 1892.
Chorus of Huntsmen
Most of the lyrics are taken directly from the vocal score. All of the dialogue is from the libretto. The vocal score includes one extra verse each for three numbers: Sandford's "When I was a Sunday-school scholar" (no. 5), the Vicar's "Your Sandford and Merton you've read, I suppose?" (no. 7), and Tommy's "Jolly, jolly huntsmen, huntsmen we!" (no. 13). The second act finales in the libretto and the vocal score are different; both versions are included here. There are other minor variations between the libretto and the vocal score; punctuation has been standardized using the libretto.

The vocal score also includes several short numbers serving as entrance or exit music. Three of these (nos. 17a, 24a, and 24b) consist of music of less that 20 measures.

A note in the vocal score dedicates Nelly Bly's entrance dance (no. 15) to Misses Maggie and Kate Saville Clarke.

The vocal score of The Vicar of Bray is available in the microforms collection British Drama of the 19th Century on both microfiche and micro-opaque cards. The opera itself is listed under author Sydney Grundy. The collection is not widely available, but some institutions do lend the cards. Contact the Inter-Library Loan office at your library.



Page created 11 Nov 1996