'...I have an idea for an opera written to real words, with a certain amount of real English music and also a real English subject might just hit the nail right on the head...and the whole thing might be folk-sony-y in character, with a certain amount of real ballad stuff thrown in...an opera on more or less accepted lines and preferably a comedy, to be full of tunes, and lively, and one tune that will really come off.'
From a letter to Harold Child (librettist), 1910