MacFarren, G: Robin Hood

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MacFarren, G: Robin Hood



Catalogue No:




Release date:

26th Sept 2011




2 hours 38 minutes


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MacFarren, G: Robin Hood

Nicky Spence, Kay Jordan, Magdalen Ashman, George Hulbert, Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks, John Molloy, Louis Hurst & Alex Knox

Victorian Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Ronald Corp

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George Macfarren was considered by many of his contemporaries as the greatest British dramatic opera composer since Purcell. Described by Edward J Dent as ‘very full of good fun and on the way to Sullivan’, Robin Hood is Macfarren’s masterpiece, one of an impressive roster of now neglected mid-nineteenth century British operas, notable for its fine ensemble scenes, witty motifs, and deft, imaginative orchestration. Victorian Opera’s recording of Wallace’s Lurline (8660293-94) was widely admired: ‘the opera and the performance are both a delight.’ (American Record Guide)

George Macfarren: Robin Hood


Act I: Introduction: Clang! Clang! It is a merry (Chorus)

Act I: Ballad: The hunters wake (Alice, Chorus)

Act I: Duet: When lovers are parted (Robin, Marian)

Act I: Trio: A dark and troublous time (Robin, Marian, Sheriff)

Act I: Ballad: True love (Marian)

Act I: Scena and Song: The monk within his cell (Sompnour)

Act I: Scena and Song: Be not severe (Allan, Robin, Chorus)

Act I: Ballad: Englishmen by birth (Robin)

Act I: Finale: May the saints protect

Act II Scene 1: Entr'acte

Act II Scene 1: Part Song: The wood, the wood (Outlaws)

Act II Scene 1: Robbery Scene: A good fat deer (Robin, Much, John, Sompnour)

Act II Scene 1: Ballad: The grasping Normans (Robin, Greenwood men)

Act II Scene 2: Scena: Hail happy morn (Marian)

Act II Scene 2: Ballad: From childhood's dawn (Sheriff)

Act II Scene 2: Duet: To the fair (Marian, Alice)

Act II Scene 3: Chorus: How bright is the day (Allan, Alice, Robin, Marian)

Act II Scene 3: Dances: Round dance and Tilting at the Quintain

Act II Scece 3: Scena: Hoodman blind (Villagers)

Act II Scene 3: Song: My own, my guiding star (Robin)

Act II Scene 3: Ensemble: Merry laughter (Sheriff, Marian, Alice, Allan, Company)

Act II Scene 3: Quintet: My heart from its terror (Marian, Alice, Robin, Allan, Sheriff)

Act II Scene 3: Finale: My children thus your lives (Sheriff, Company)

Act III Scene 1: Entr'acte

Act III Scene 1: Duet: Greatest plague on earth (Allan, Alice)

Act III Scene 1: Scena: My child has fled (Sheriff)

Act III Scene 1: Duet: To King Richard at once (Sheriff, Sompnour)

Act III Scene 2: Part Song: Now the sun has mounted (Citizens)

Act III Scene 2: Song: Sons of the greenwood (Marian, Greenwood men)

Act III Scene 3: Scena: Vain was the proud ambition (Robin, Marian, Chorus)

Act III Scene 4: Finale: Hark, to that doleful bell (Full company)

Act III Scene 4: Finale ultimo: We've made a slight mistake (Full company)

BBC Music Magazine

December 2011


“Though intensely conservative [Macfarren] was nevertheless more than a mere pedant. His music recalls Mendlessohn and Weber, but with a four-square Englishness very like his younger contemporary Arthur Sullivan...[Robin's] swashbuckling is mostly vocal; Nicky Spence carries it off with cheerful style, if not quite enough heft...Under Ronald Corp, the orchestra reveals a bright, attractive piece.”

Gramophone Magazine

January 2012

“Nicky Spence is splendid as Robin Hood: vigorous in the ballad 'Englishmen by birth', he is eloquent in the beautiful 'My own, my guiding star', his manner recalling Richard Lewis...Ronald Corp clearly loves this music; and if there's a touch of am-dram about the chorus, well, it's all part of the fun.”

International Record Review

November 2011

“Hulbert is a firm-voiced Sheriff of Nottingham, covering the vocal range successfully as a character less wicked than the one usually seen in films or in television productions of the story...This is a case of the whole being better than the parts, with that greatly owing to Macfarren's music...I am glad that I have heard it.”

The Times

22nd October 2011


“Macfarren’s Romantic English opera Robin Hood has waited 150 years for a first recording, and though Ronald Corp’s Victorian Opera forces sometimes sound stretched, they capture its genial Merrie England swashbuckle...Connoisseurs of ripe Victoriana will adore it.”

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