Eldorado single work   musical theatre   opera  
Issue Details: First known date: 1895 1895
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The story begins in a vineyard setting in Germany where the love of Harold for Dora is made known. Her father, Carl, forges Harold's signature on some loan documents. Old Max, Carl's neighbour, and from whom the loan has been made, insists on marrying Dora should the money owed not be repaid within a year. Dora's father has no means by which to do this and so the only way to save him, and hence be allowed to marry Dora, is for Harold to attempt to seek his fortune in the Australian goldfields and return within a year before the loan is called. Harold sails to Australia, and as luck would have it, strikes gold. He returns to the Rhineland Vineyard in time to release old Carl from debt and to marry his daughter.

Songs and other musical numbers known to have been written for the opera are: 'Come Vintagers' (chorus); a Bavarian or 'Landler' style dance; 'On this Bright Morning' (chorus); a wedding chorus 'Let the Glad Air Ring Again;' 'Oh Holy Mother' (sung by Dora) and 'Hark, 'Tis Thy Wedding Morning' (Anna).

Notes

  • 'Possibly encouraged by the success of Signor Lardelli in the production of his comic opera, Katherine, Herr Hugo Alpen has now completed a romantic three-act piece entitled Eldorado,' wrote the The Sydney Morning Herald columnist in the 19 October issue. The opera was indeed afforded a production, held at the Guild Hall, during celebrations for the forthcoming marriage of the daughter of the composer. The same paper records that 'it was rather a daring idea to present Eldorado on the operatic stage instead of in concert form, because it is not possible to drill a large chorus in the necessary gesture, and concert-room soloists seldom appear to advantage when suddenly called upon not only to 'create' characters, but to fill-in all the little details which give life and body to theatrical impersonations' ('Amusements,' 6). In reference to the cast it is apparent that much responsibility fell on the shoulders of the much experienced actor/basso Thomas H. Rainford, who played the double roles of Carl and Jack.
  • Concerning the narrative aspects of the opera, the Herald's theatre critic notes that the composer 'has had to contend with the difficulty which besets musicians all over the world, that of securing a suitable libretto. There is no doubt a good deal of intelligent work in Mr C. W. Chiplin's book, but as a whole it lacks action and the sustained interest which leads to success' (ibid, 6).

Production Details

  • 1895: Guild Hall, Castlereagh Street, Sydney; 28 October

    • Conductor/Music Director Hugo Alpen; Orchestra Leader Albert Wentzel.
    • Cast incl. Milly Wynn (Dora), J. Thompson Brown (Harold), Thomas H. Rainford (Carl/Jack the Digger), Mr Clancy (Henri), Mrs Riley (Anna), Mr Nesbett (Ludwig).

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Amusements : Herr Alpen's New Opera 1895 single work
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29 October 1895; (p. 6)

— Review of Eldorado C. W. Chiplin 1895 single work musical theatre

Review of the 1895 premiere of the Chiplein and Alpen opera, Eldorado (Guild hall, Sydney; 28 October).

Music and Drama : Herr Hugo Alpen's Opera 1895 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser , 2 November 1895; (p. 897)

— Review of Eldorado C. W. Chiplin 1895 single work musical theatre

Review of the 1895 premiere of the Chiplein and Alpen opera, Eldorado (Guild hall, Sydney; 28 October).

Stage Song and Show : A New Opera 1895 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Star , 29 October 1895; (p. 2)

— Review of Eldorado C. W. Chiplin 1895 single work musical theatre

Review of the 1895 premiere of the Chiplein and Alpen opera, Eldorado (Guild hall, Sydney; 28 October).

Musical and Dramatic Notes 1895 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 19 October 1895; (p. 4)
Amusements : Herr Alpen's New Opera 1895 single work
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29 October 1895; (p. 6)

— Review of Eldorado C. W. Chiplin 1895 single work musical theatre

Review of the 1895 premiere of the Chiplein and Alpen opera, Eldorado (Guild hall, Sydney; 28 October).

Music and Drama : Herr Hugo Alpen's Opera 1895 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser , 2 November 1895; (p. 897)

— Review of Eldorado C. W. Chiplin 1895 single work musical theatre

Review of the 1895 premiere of the Chiplein and Alpen opera, Eldorado (Guild hall, Sydney; 28 October).

Stage Song and Show : A New Opera 1895 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Star , 29 October 1895; (p. 2)

— Review of Eldorado C. W. Chiplin 1895 single work musical theatre

Review of the 1895 premiere of the Chiplein and Alpen opera, Eldorado (Guild hall, Sydney; 28 October).

Musical and Dramatic Notes 1895 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 19 October 1895; (p. 4)
Last amended 15 Sep 2016 08:11:05
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