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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Backcloth design by Robin Linklater
for Opera Restor'd's production of The Ephesian Matron
Track(s) taken from CDA66608
Recording details: April 1992
St Paul's Church, New Southgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: November 1992
Total duration: 16 minutes 13 seconds

'Three delightful pocket operas' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'An hour of unmitigated pleasure. Another splendid addition to Hyperion's English Orpheus series' (Classic CD)

'Absolutely enchanting' (Early Music)

The Brickdust Man
composer
1772; A Musical Dialogue; orchestrated by Roger Fiske and Peter Holman
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Brickdust Man and The Grenadier belong to a group of short 'musical dialogues' written by Dibdin in the 1770s for Sadler's Wells, then a summer resort outside London. Spoken plays were also forbidden at Sadler's Wells which specialised at the time in popular variety shows with dancing, conjuring, songs and aquatic displays designed to appeal to a middle-class audience. So they have recitative rather than dialogue, and in them the world of the commedia dell'arte is transformed into contemporary London. The scene of The Brickdust Man is a street in the West End of London, then a fashionable residential area. There are references to St Giles's Church (near the present Tottenham Court Road tube station) and Tyburn Road (now Oxford Street). It concerns John, a street trader who sells powdered brick (used as a scourer, for making rouge, and for several other purposes) and Molly, a milkmaid. They believe each other to have been unfaithful, and after Molly has sung a rage aria (another parody of the opera seria type), they are reconciled in a gentle and melodious duet.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1992

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