THE DRAGON OF WANTLEY
by JOHN FREDERICK LAMPE (1703–1751)
MARGERY OF ROTHERAM GREEN:
SUSANNA FAIRBAIRN Soprano
MOORE OF MOORE HALL: GWILYM BOWEN tenor
CHAD KELLY and LEO DUARTE directors
ANN ALLEN stage director
A tale of deadly deeds and comic escapades in which
Moore of Moore Hall vanquishes a dragon and claims the hand of Margery of Rotheram Green. Like the venerable GF Handel, John Frederick Lampe was born in Germany but moved to England at an early age, attracted by the cosmopolitan and entrepreneurial thrill of London. He played the bassoon in many of the opera houses, often under the baton of Handel himself. His dabbling with serious opera writing had little success, until his luck changed with The Dragon of Wantley, a comic parodying of the excesses of Italian opera seen on the stages of London at the time. It ran for 69 nights straight, surpassing even the ever popular Beggar’s Opera and remained in fashion for many years, being performed all around the country.
Ars Eloquentiae is fast establishing a reputation as a versatile and vibrant ensemble specialising in period performance. Ann Allen is a specialist player of early wood wind instruments and also works as an opera director and has created a new style of atmospherically presented concerts.