You are here: The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive > American Musical Theatre > Brian Boru

Logo   Brian Boru

First performed at the Broadway Theatre, New York, 19 October 1896.

Cast of Characters

Irish Characters

BRIAN BORU   (Ireland's Champion) Max Eugene
O'DONOVAN   (his Foster Brother) Samuel I. Slade
O'CONNOR   (his Standard Bearer) Bruce Paget
ERINA   (O'Connor's Sister) Grace Golden
O'REILLY   (an Irish Chieftain) Fred M. Marston
JOHNNY DUGAN   (O'Hara's Rival) John C. Slavin
BABY MALONE   (the Child of a Giant) Amelia Summerville
MONA   (O'Connor's Betrothed) Helen Brackett
FAIRY QUEEN   (the Spirit of Ireland) Louise Margot
BANSHEE Annie Cameron
PAT O'HARA   (Brian's Henchman) Richard F. Carroll

English Characters

ELFRIDA   (an English Princess) Amanda Fabris
LORD EDWARD   (Commander of the English Forces) George O'Donnell
FITZ-STEPHEN   (a Knight) Tom Ricketts
EGBERT   (Edward's Envoy) Andrew J. Lynam
OSWALD   (an English Monk) Fred Summerfield
HERALD   (Standard Bearer) John Hendrick
ATHELSTONE   (a Messenger) Ole L. Norman

MIDI Files

ACT I   -   Wicklow Hills.

  • No. 1 - Introduction and Chorus of Fairies - "The world is dreaming, the stars are gleaming, the moonlight streaming, the birds are still.  The dew is weeping..."
  • No. 2 - Song - Baby Malone - "Now if I wuz to tell ye the tinder age of me, you wudn't cease to wondher thot a child so large cud be;  no infant had such tresses..."
  • No. 3 - Song - O'Connor - "'Twas a glorious day and the fight was done, when a soldier fell on the field he'd won;  he fell where he fought, his sword in his hand..."
  • No. 4a - March and Chorus - "We are the guardians of beauty. To watch o'er Elfrida's our duty, though loyal to our land, the Princess doth command our homage..."
  • No. 4b - Song - Elfrida and Chorus - "No gold can buy, nor jewels rare one tender sigh of maiden fair.  No crown of King's, no treasure trove such joy e'er brings..."
  • No. 5 - Song - Erina - "There's a lad that I know and I know that he speaks softly to me, the cushla machree. He's as straight as a rush and as bright as a stream,"
  • No. 6 - Duet - O'Donovan and Erina - "There's a picture in my heart, that naught shall e'er displace;  there's a picture in my heart of a young and lovely face..."
  • No. 7 - Chorus - "We're simple Irish colleens, though fond of war-like joys, for our husbands an' our sweethearts are Ireland's sojer bhoys,  Ah!  Ah! ..."
  • No. 8 - Song - O'Hara - "Oh, me name is Pat O'Hara, an' Oi'm bothered wid me legs.  'Tis me lift one gives me thruble, an that's worse than twinty plagues..."
  • No. 9 - Jig
  • No. 10 - Finale - "Strike the harp, raise the voice, sing the song of great Brian, and oft the rapt bard the glad theme shall renew.  In peace mild and bounteous..."

ACT II - The Great Hall of Dublin Castle - (the English Headquarters).

ACT III - Scene 1 - Irish Camp outside of Dublin.   (Afternoon of the same day)

  • No. 20 - Chorus - "Clink!  Clank!  Clink!  Clank!  Merrily sing the anvil's lay.  Clink!  Clank!  Clink!  Clank!  Eagerly hearts desire the fray.  Rivet and bolt..."
  • No. 21 - Melodrama - "Wirra, weh!  Wirra, weh!  Wirra, wirra, wirra, weh!"
  • No. 22 - Solo - O'Connor, with Chorus - "Where is thy heart, oh, Brian the brave?  How couldst thou thy duty forget?  Lost to thy country; to love a weak slave..."
  • No. 23 - Melodrama - (after spoken dialogue:) "Strike the harp, raise the voice, sing the song of great Brian, in the hearts of his people lives Brian Boru."
  • No. 24 - Solo - Brian and Chorus - "For Ireland! ... For Ireland! ... Unsheathe each trusty sword!  Old Ireland! ... Dear Ireland! ... Shall know no foreign lord..."
  • No. 25 - Solo - Erina - "All hope has flown,  I am alone, held in captive chains.  My heart doth sigh, for Brian cry;  nothing now remains but thoughts of him..."

ACT III - Scene 2 - Old Dublin Street, with St. Patrick's Church and View of Dublin Bay.

MIDI Files copyright © 2011 Colin Johnson   All Rights Reserved.

External Links
Vocal Score at ISMLP
Julian Edwards at Wikipedia

American Musical Theatre

   Page created 10 October 2016 Copyright © 2016 Paul Howarth All Rights Reserved