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John Frederick Lampe: The Dragon of Wantley

Release date July 2022

Mary Bevan (soprano)
Catherine Carby (mezzo-soprano)
Mark Wilde (tenor)
John Savournin (bass-baritone)
The Brook Street Band
John Andrews (conductor)


1  I. Overture
2  II. First and Second Tune
3  Act I: III. Fly, Neighbours, fly, The Dragon’s nigh
4   Act I: IV. The Dragon’s March crossing the stage
5  Act I: V. What wretched Havock does this Dragon make!
6  Act I: VI. Poor Children three Devoured he
7  Act I: VII. Houses and Churches, To Him are Geese and Turkies
8  Act I: VIII. O Father!
9  Act I: IX. But to hear the Children mutter
10  Act I: X. This Dragon very modish
11  Act I: XI. He’s a Man ev’ry Inch, I assure you
12  Act I: XII. Let’s go to his Dwelling
13  Act I: XIII. Symphony
14  Act I: XIV. Come, Friends, let’s circulate the cheerful Glass
15  Act I: XV. Zeno, Plato, Aristotle
16  Act I: XVI. O save us all! Moore of Moore Hall!
17  Act I: XVII. Gentle Knight! all Knights exceeding
18  Act I: XVIII. Her looks shoot thro’ my Soul
19   Act I: XIX. If that’s all you ask
20  Act I: XX. A forward Lady! 
21  Act I: XXI. Let my Dearest be near me 
22  Act I: XXII. O Villain! Monster! Devil!
23 Act I: XXIII. No Place shall conceal ‘em
24  Act I: XXIV. By Jove! I’m blown
25  Act I: XXV. By the Beer, as brown as Berry
26  Act I: XXVI. But do you really love me
27  Act I: XXVII. Pigs shall not be So fond as we 
28  Act II: XXVIII. Sure my Stays will burst with sobbing
29  Act II: XXIX. My Madge! My HoneySuckle, in the Dumps!
30  Act II: XXX. Insulting Gipsey, You’re surely tipsy
31  Act II: XXXI. Lauk! what a monstrous Tail our Cat has got
32   Act II: XXXII. O give me not up 
33   Act II: XXXIII. Come, come, forgive her!
34   Act II: XXXIV. Oh how easy is a woman
35   Act II: XXXV. Now, now, or never save us, valiant Moore! 
36   Act II: XXXVI. Fill the mighty flagon
37   Act III: XXXVII. One Buss, dear Margery
38   Act III: XXXVIII. Dragon! thus I dare thee – It is not Strength that always wins 
39   Act III: XXXIX. Symphony – What nasty Dog has got into the Well
40  Act III: XL. Oh ho! Master Moore, You Son of a Whore
41   Act III: XLI. Battle Piece
42   Act III: XLII. Oh! The Devil take your Toe
43   Act III: XLIII. Oh, my Champion! how d’ye do
44  Act III: XLIV. My sweet Honeysuckle
45  Act III: XLV. Most mighty Moore
46  Act III: XLVI. Sing, sing, and rorio, An Oratorio

John Frederick Lampe: The Dragon of Wantley

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John Frederick Lampe: The Dragon of Wantley


A rapacious dragon has been terrorising a Yorkshire village. Gubbins and his daughter Margery, together with Mauxalinda, decide to seek the help of Moore of Moore Hall. Moore needs persuading away from his beer but succumbs to Margery’s pleading, and her promises of love. Unfortunately, he had already promised to marry Mauxalinda, and so the love triangle has to be resolved in dramatic fashion before Moore heads out and defeats the dragon, restoring harmony and prosperity to the village.

Following the BBC Music Magazine Opera Award for his recording of Malcolm Arnold’s The Dancing Master, conductor John Andrews returns with the world premiere professional recording of John Frederick Lampe’s operatic comedy The Dragon of Wantley. With librettist Henry Carey, Lampe combines a first-rate score with a quintessentially English plot, told in a tone of earthy satire, pastiching opera’s conventions with skill and affection, but also a razor wit.

John Frederick Lampe: The Dragon of Wantley


“It’s full of lively dances and arias and a few noisy, lip-smacking kisses…it fills a gap for students of the 18th-century English stage, but the commitment of these performers creates its own, wider pleasure.”
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

“Performed with zest and just the right blend of seriousness and farcical humour.”
BBC Radio 3 Record Review

“This uproarious send-up of Handelian operatic conventions (transposed to a Yorkshire village and complete with earthy local colloquialisms) works so well because both composer and cast demonstrate are so fully in command of the style that’s being satirised; Bevan and Carby have a riot with the coloratura cat-fight ‘Insulting gypsy, you’re surely tipsy’, whilst Wilde delivers the cod-heroics of ‘Dragon, to atoms I’ll tear thee’ (shades of Acis’s ‘Love sounds the alarm’ here) with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek braggadocio.”
Presto Music Editor’s Choice

“The cast are all excellent, singing the music with wonderfully po-faced glee and plenty of Handelian style. There is no hint of send-up, and of course that is what makes it so much fun. The singers, instrumentalists and conductor are all able to well hold their own in genuine opera seria, and this stylistic confidence shines through here.”
Planet Hugill 4.5 stars

“In this premiere recording, conductor John Andrews shrewdly reserves buffoonery for Carey and Lampe’s antic scenes, heightening the galant elements of duets and ensembles, and giving performers space for arresting explorations of Lampe’s lyricism. In the showpiece ‘Gentle Knight’, soprano Mary Bevan gently wraps stunning ascending embellishments around the oboe’s melody. In the big lament aria, cellist Tatty Theo enriches the subtle articulation and rich timbres of mezzo-soprano Catherine Carby with her own. By contrast, tenor Mark Wilde as the knight and bass-baritone John Savournin as a squire and the dragon have great fun with the work’s excesses, Wilde prefacing his runs with vulgar gulps and Savournin growling absurdly.”
BBC Music Magazine, Opera and Editor’s Choice, 5 *s

“What a surprise! This comic opera, popular in its day, has been languishing as a passing reference in the history books. Now it has been brought to life in this excellent performance by The Brook Street Band under John Andrews.”
Gramophone Magazine, Editor’s Choice

“With sunny support from the brilliant Brook Street Band and John Andrews’s insouciant direction, this is a Dragon’s dish to savour”
Opera Magazine

John Frederick Lampe: The Dragon of Wantley
John Frederick Lampe: The Dragon of Wantley