The Zoo by Arthur Sullivan


You are here: Archive Home > Arthur Sullivan > Major Works > The Zoo > Lost Song

Lost Song from "The Zoo"

by Sarah A. Cole

NOTE: This article is derived from two articles which appeared in 1990 and 1991 in Precious Nonsense, the newsletter of The Midwestern Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

One thing that The Zoo libretto in the Archive lacks is a reference to a soprano solo that the heroine was supposed to have upon her entrance. According to those who have put on The Zoo, a tune appears in the score, but no words. S-A Cole has heard one sung twice (at the West Chester/Basingstoke conference of 1989, and at the Chicago G&S Society's production). Where the producers got the words is something of a mystery, though the Chicago group is said to have written them especially for their production.

R. Clyde, Music Publisher (6 Whitelands Ave., Choreleywood, Rickmansworth, Herts. WD3 5RD England [Tel. Chorleywood (0923) 283600] now handles the vocal score for The Zoo, and has included the soprano solo (the flyer says, ". . .re-examination of Sullivan's manuscript has revealed additional notes for the melodic line of the song No. 4 for the principal soprano, written faintly in pencil. The number can now be seen to be entirely regular in shape and in the form of two similar verses. The complete original melody of the song is printed for the first time in this new edition of the vocal score. As there are no words for it in the manuscript or in the original printed libretto, new words have been specially written for this edition — and the song can once more take its place in performances for the first time for more than 100 years." The paper-bound score costs £7.50, and the cloth-bound one is £25.00. You might want to contact the publisher for a US$ quotation.

Arthur Robinson purchased a vocal score of The Zoo, and found the following lyrics, dated between July 4 and August 23, 1975, stuck in the book:

  Alone and broken-hearted I go my way.
The cries of these wild beasts my weary soul affright not.
      By my darling?
Who knows?
    He believes me dead, or worse — he —
Thinks I drank that potion.
Fates, oh tell me is my lover lost? Oh, say.
  Could he have wandered to this place, this place of dread?
Its terrors I have braved all with the hope that I might find him.
      If I do not?
What then?
    Then my hope of love is fled — all —
Joy in life has vanished.
Fates, oh tell me is my lover lost? oh, say.
      Oh heartless Fates, Ah Oh, say.