Yeomen of the Guard, The (Murray orchestration) - or The Merryman and His Maid


  • 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
3.10.1888, Savoy Theatre, London, UK
Published by Warner/Chappell.  Administered for rental and amateur stage rights by Faber Music Ltd worldwide (excluding North America)
For more information on The Yeomen of the Guard, and to see our full catalogue of stage musicals for hire, visit
The Story
(Tower Green; 16th Century)
Colonel Fairfax is awaiting execution at the Tower for sorcery.  When his hoped-for reprieve fails to arrive, Sergeant Meryll and his daughter Phoebe, who is secretly fond of the Colonel, plots his escape.  They plan to disguise him as Leonard Meryll who is shortly to join the Yeomen but whom no-one has yet seen.  Unaware of their plan, Fairfax’s last request is to die a married man, for without a wife his estate will fall into the hands of the kinsman who brought the charge of sorcery against him.  A willing candidate is found in Elsie Maynard.  Although her companion, Jack Point, is initially worried at the proposal, his doubts are soon dispelled by the promised dowry of 100 crowns and the assurance that she will be a widow within the hour. They are, therefore horrified when they hear that Fairfax has escaped.  Jack and Wilfred subsequently conspire to pretend that Wilfred has shot Fairfax and seen him drown thereby releasing Elsie from the marriage contract.  Fairfax, meanwhile, has discovered that Elsie is his wife (neither knew of the other’s identity at the ceremony) and is about to reveal this to her when the shot is heard and Jack and Wilfred spin their tale.  Elsie is distraught at the news of her husband’s apparent death but is comforted by “Leonard”, alias Fairfax, who subsequently proposes to her.  This enrages Phoebe who, in a jealous temper, confesses her feelings for “Leonard” to Wilfred, realising too late that she is thereby claiming to be in love with her brother!  Wilfred quickly deduces the true identity of “Leonard” and in order to silence him, Phoebe consents to marriage.  When her real brother brings new of Fairfax’s reprieve, Elsie is initially distressed at the thought of leaving “Leonard” but overjoyed at the revelation that “Leonard” and Fairfax are one and the same.  In vain, Jack appeals to Elsie to consider his feelings for her before falling broken hearted at her feet. 
Principal Characters (plus Chorus)
Sir Richard Cholmondeley (Lieutenant of the Tower)
Colonel Fairfax (under sentence of death) 
Sergeant Meryll (of the Yeomen of the Guard)
Leonard (his Son) 
Jack Point (a strolling Jester)
Wilfred Shadbolt (Head Jailor and Assistant Tormentor)
Elsie Maynard (a Strolling Singer)
Phoebe Meryll (Sergeant Meryll’s daughter)
Dame Carruthers (Housekeeper to the Tower) 
Principal Musical Numbers 
When Maiden Loves She Sits And Sighs (Phoebe)
Is Life A Boon? (Fairfax)
I Have A Song To Sing, O (Elsie, Point)
Oh! A Private Buffoon Is A Light-hearted Loon (Point)
A Man Who Would Woo A Fair Maid (Elsie, Phoebe, Fairfax)


Licensing Information

Site Search

Newsletter sign-up

Submit your email address here to receive the latest news and special offers from Faber Music

Score Availability

It is possible in certain circumstances to purchase some scores direct from the Hire Library, even if advertised as available only for hire.

Please Contact the Hire Library:
Tel: +44 (0)1279 828907 / 8

Take a look

George Benjamin

‘Each of Benjamin’s orchestral works… is a miraculously crafted masterpiece, often the result...

read more