The Zoo by Arthur Sullivan


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Song No. 4

LAETITIA'S SONG

MIDI Icon MIDI File 23K, 2 min. 28 seconds.

The music of this song, orchestrated, is included in Sullivan's autograph score with the instruction "Second verse a little faster". The first of the page has been marked "Out". The original words, however, are apparently lost, appearing in neither the autograph score nor the printed libretto. The Era, reviewing the first performance, reported that "A song of a more sentimental character was introduced and cleverly sung by Miss Ashton", Gertrude Ashton being the original Laetitia.

Some words for this song appeared in Issue 26 (March 1990) of Precious Nonsense, the newsletter of the Midwestern Gilbert & Sullivan Society. That article stated that "Member Arthur Robinson [has] a clue about possible words to Laetitia's wordless solo in The Zoo. In a copy of the vocal score he purchased recently, he found some lyrics, dated between 4 July and 23 August 1975, stuck in the book." These words are almost certainly not the original words for this song, but are given here.

(Enter Laetitia.)

Laetitia:

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.



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