Steven Storace: How Mistaken is the Lover from "The Doctor & the Apothecary"

>> Wednesday, June 24, 2009


When Stephen Storace and his sister, Nancy returned to England from Vienna in early 1787, he set to work on a comic piece in the order of the German Singspieler, (what eventually developed into the operetta, and then into what we now know as the musical), entitled the "The Doctor & the Apothecary". Stephen went on to become the father of the English operetta, (Nancy always being the star of his pieces), and was the primary influence for the great English team of Gilbert & Sullivan.

This delightful little aria, composed for Nancy, is one of the few pieces that still survive from him.

How mistaken is the lover,
Who on words builds hopes of bliss!
And fondly thinks we love discover,
If perchance we answer "Yes".
Off the tongue, the heart belying,
Dares not venture on denying;
But, in spite of discontent,
Gives the semblance of consent.

Ah! how vain is art's profession,
Though the faltering tongue comply!
What avails the cold confession,
If the averted eyes deny!
Happier far, the experienced swain
Knows he triumph must attain,
When in vain successless trial,
Language gives the faint denial;
While the eyes betray the fiction
In delightful contradiction;
And the cheeks with blushes glow.
And the tongue still falters "No".



2 comments:

Derrick June 24, 2009 at 7:27 AM  

Hi Lynette,

There must be a lesson in here somewhere!

Glad you liked the Llamas.

You can send any spare heat over here!

W. A. Mozart June 25, 2009 at 2:58 AM  

A fine composer and an attentive pupil, Storace had two strong points where I was concerned: he never irritated me like that ass, Süßmayer, and he always took me to the tavern after his lesson, refusing to allow me to pay.

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