Haddon Hall
Derbyshire, England

Haddon Hall - New Libretto Edition

The Haddon Hall New Libretto Edition presents a complete and accurate libretto for the Arthur Sullivan and Sydney Grundy 1892 "Light English Opera." It addresses shortcomings in the original Chappell librettos and in the more recent libretto editions.

There are many instances where the lyrics in the vocal score do not agree with the libretto. It would appear that Sullivan changed the words as he was setting the music, and the changes were not transferred to the libretto. The New Libretto Edition interpolates these changes into the libretto, while maintaining the libretto wording; the distinctions are clearly noted.

It is well known that Sullivan inserted the Dorothy Vernon songs "Why weep and wait" followed by "Red of the rose-bud" shortly after the opera opened; thus arose the need for a second edition of both libretto and vocal score. The second-edition vocal score and libretto include these songs, but do not delete the John Manners song "The earth is fair" nor the duet "Sweetly the morn doth break." This has caused confusion ever since. The Chappell libretto, among others, leaves the original songs in place, but tells the reader to ignore those pages. Other librettos place the songs in appendices. The New Libretto Edition includes them in their logical sequence within the flow of the opera.

The second edition libretto does not contain some items removed after publication of the first edition. Four of Rupert's Puritan friends are introduced to the Chorus with one-line descriptions of each. Sullivan kept the names in the vocal score, but deleted the descriptions. But the second edition libretto deleted both descriptions and names, while the vocal score has maintained its original configuration of names only.

Sir George’s two verse song "In days of old" had three verses in the first edition libretto. The middle verse was excised at an early date, and does not appear in any vocal score.

These excisions are re-inserted in the New Libretto Edition. All first and second edition variations are clearly designated for the reader.

The format of the Haddon Hall New Libretto Edition mimics the organization, layout and grammatical conventions used by the Chappell librettos. This is applied on a page-by-page and line-by-line basis. The reader experiences the libretto as presented in the first and second Chappell editions.

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