Ruddigore (Murray orchestration) - or The Witch's Curse


  • Gilbert/Sullivan
comic opera in two acts
Music by Arthur Sullivan (orchestrated by Peter Murray). Lyrics and Libretto by W.S Gilbert
1110 - 1110 - timp - perc(1) - (pno) - 3 vln I.3 vln II.2 vla.2 vlc.1 db
First Performance
22.1.1887, Savoy Theatre, London, UK
Published by Warner/Chappell.  Administered for rental and amateur stage rights by Faber Music Ltd worldwide (excluding North America)
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The Story
(The Village of Rederring in Cornwall; early in the 19th century)
To avoid inheriting the family curse, whereby the baronet of Ruddigore has to commit a daily crime or else die an agonising death, Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd has fled the ancestral home and, disguised as Robin Oakapple, settled Rederring.  Here he has fallen in love with Rose Maybud but, being too shy to develop the relationship himself, he calls upon Richard Dauntless to court Rose for him.  Overcome by Rose’s beauty, Richard sets about capturing her for himself and nearly succeeds in doing so until Robin finally declares his love for her and wins her back.  However, when it is revealed that Robin is none other than the true baronet of Ruddigore, and as such the rightful inheritor of the curse, Robin finds that wickedness does not come naturally to him.  Sir Roderic, Robin’s immediate predecessor who died for refusing to commit the daily crime, suggests that he mend his ways by carrying off a lady from the village.  Robin’s initial reluctance is quickly overcome when the ghosts give him a taste of the torments
to come if he refuses, and Dame Hannah is duly abducted.  She is furious at her treatment and becomes so violent towards Robin that he has to call upon Sir Roderic for protection.  Answering his call for help, Sir Roderic is amazed to come face to face with the woman to whom he had once been engaged.  In a flash of inspiration, an idea occurs to Robin; a baronet of Ruddigore who refuses to commit the daily must die and, therefore, to make such a refusal is tantamount to suicide; this is a crime in itself.  Consequently, Sir Roderic should never have died and the curse should not have been handed on.  Sir Roderic is now free to marry Dame Hannah and Robin can reclaim Rose.
Principal Characters (plus Chorus)
Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd  (disguised as Robin Oakapple, A Young Farmer)
Richard Dauntless (his Foster-Brother – a Man O’Wars- Man)
Sir Roderic Murgatroyd (the twenty first Baronet) 
Sir Despard Murgatroyd (of Ruddigore – a Wicked Baronet)
Old Adam Goodheart (Robin’s Faithful Servant)
Rose Maybud (a village Maiden) 
Dame Hannah (Rose’s Aunt)
Mad Margaret  
Principal Musical Numbers 
I Know A Youth (Rose, Robin)
From The Briny Sea (Richard)
When The Night Wind Howls (Sir Roderic, Chorus)
My Eyes Are Fully Open (Margaret, Sir Ruthven, Despard)
There Grew A Little Flower (Hannah, Sir Roderic)


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