The Tigers
Burlesque opera in prologue and three acts, 1917-29

Composed 1917-19, orchestrated 1921-22 (six orchestral movements - see also Derived works below) and 1928-29.
New orchestration of prologue 1969 - unfinished
Originally known as The grotesques

Vocal score published 1932.
Full score lost;  rediscovered 1977, following publicity and offer of reward by the Havergal Brian Society (see here).

 

Prologue and Act I
Columbine (soprano)
Toy seller (soprano)
Lady 1 (soprano)
Lady 2 (soprano)
Costerwoman (mezzo)
Sweetmeat seller (alto)

Dude 1 (alto)
Dude 2 (alto)
Old clothes seller (tenor)
Pantalon (tenor)
Clergyman 1 (tenor)
Clergyman 2 (tenor)
Man on elephant (tenor)
Artist (tenor)
Billposterer (baritone)
Coster 1 (baritone)
Coster 3 (baritone)

Policeman 1 (baritone)
Policeman 2 (baritone)
Policeman 3 (baritone)
Policeman 4 (baritone)
Policeman 5 (baritone)
Clergyman 3 (baritone)
Clergyman 4 (baritone)
Elephant keeper (baritone)
Crier (baritone)

Gentleman 1 (baritone)
Gentleman 2 (baritone)
Fruitseller (bass)
Coster 2 (Henry) (bass)
Clergyman 5 (bass)
Clergyman 6 (bass)
Colonel Sir John Stout (bass)
Regimental sergeant major (bass)
Acts II and III
Lady Stout (soprano)
Mrs Pamela Freebody (soprano)

Mrs Curzon (mezzo)
Bishop (tenor)
Police sergeant (tenor)
Cook 1 (tenor)
Cook 2 (tenor)

Man in plusfours (tenor)
Red Indian (baritone)
Napoleon (baritone)

Alexander the Great (bass)
Colonel Sir John Stout (bass)
Police sergeant (bass)
Regimental sergeant major (bass)
The Tigers (TTBB chorus)
Crowds etc (SATB choruses)
3 flutes (2 also piccolos), 3 oboes (1 also cor anglais), 3 clarinets (1 also Eb clar, 1 also bass clar), 3 bassoons (1 also contra), 6 horns, 4 trumpets, bugle in C, 4 trombones, 5 tubas, euphonium, timpani (3 players), cymbal, bass drum, side drum, long drum, triangle, tambourine, tamtam, thunder machine, whip, sleigh bells, town crier's bell, police bell, ship's siren, telephone bell, police whistle, motor horn, fire bells, tubular bells in Bb, C, D, Eb, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, harmonica, 2 vibraphones, tubaphone, 2 harps, organ, strings
offstage (Act III, sc2):  2 or more piccolos, 4 or more flutes, 3 or more side drums, bass drum

Orchestration by scene

c180 minutes

Text:  the composer


Prologue
Scene 1:  Hampstead Heath
[502 bars] (19:02)
Scene 2:  as before at night (leading to Pantalon and Columbine)
[425 bars] (16:58)

Act I  [328 bars] (12:57)
Scene 1:  'Drop curtain suggesting row of houses in a street'
Scene 2:  'Approach to a large railway station'


Act II
Scene 1:  Midnight 
[367 bars] (14:59)
Scene 2:  Military parade ground 
[155 bars] (8:11)
Scene 3:  Woodland scenery;  time - noon-sunshine
  [407 bars] (13:51)
Scene 4:  Promenade and dance
  [209 bars] (11:09)
Scene 5:  Military parade ground
  [125 bars] (5:59)

Act III
Ballet (on a cathedral tower):  1  Gargoyles 
[152 bars] (9:38)
2  Lacryma (Tears of sorrow) 
[249 bars] (10:10)
Scene 1:  Night;  interior of a police station 
[197 bars] (5:40)
Scene 2:  Approach to a stone river bridge 
[483 bars] (19:35)
Scene 3:  Mont Duresco in background 
[134 bars] (4:42)
- leading to
Finale:  Scene as before;  time - midnight.  'The design of this finale is an approach from dead silence to mad tumult'
  [214 bars] (8:15)

Total [3947 bars] (161:14)

Durations from 1983 performance

United Music Publishers Limited

 

Derived works
Timings from Forlane CD - see below

Symphonic variations on Has anybody here seen Kelly?  for orchestra - from Prologue, sc 1  [311 bars] (Forlane - 12:12; Toccata - 12:11))
3 flutes (1 also piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons (1 also  contra), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, side drum, cymbal, triangle, tambourine, tam-tam, sleigh bells, xylophone, glockenspiel, harp, celesta, strings

Symphonic dance:  Wild horsemen  for orchestra - from Prologue, sc 2 [241 bars] (8:47)
3 flutes (1 also piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons (1 also  contra), 6 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, euphonium, timpani (2 players), bass drum, side drum, cymbal, triangle, tambourine, tam-tam, glockenspiel, harp, strings

Symphonic dance:  Green pastures for orchestra - from Act II, sc 4  [209 bars] (9:52, 17 bars cut)
3 flutes (1 also piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, bugle [optional], 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbal, triangle, tambourine, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, harp, strings, SATB choir [optional]

Symphonic dance:  Gargoyles for orchestra - from Act III, ballet 1 [152 bars] (9:46)
3 flutes (1 also piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons (1 also  contra), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani (2 players), bass drum, side drum, cymbal, triangle, tambourine, tam-tam, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, harp, strings

Symphonic dance:  Lacryma for orchestra - from Act III, ballet 2  [249 bars] (9:33)
3 flutes (1 also piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons (1 also  contra), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbal, tambourine, xylophone, glockenspiel, harp, strings

Shadow dance for orchestra - from prelude to Act III, sc 3  [134 bars]  (4:50)
2 flutes, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons (1 also  contra), 3 horns, strings

Six orchestral pieces (as above) (55:00)
3 flutes (1 also piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, bugle [optional], 6 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, euphonium, timpani (2 players), bass drum, side drum, cymbal, triangle, tam-tam, tambourine, sleigh bells, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, harp, strings, SATB choir [optional]

These six items (c55) are all slightly reworked from the opera, and were arranged 1921-22 before the rest of the work was orchestrated

Symphonic variations on Has anybody here seen Kelly?  (from Prologue, sc 1) [arr piano by Ronald Stevenson]

Fanfare from The grotesques for brass and perc - lost - piano score only (1921) [pub Fanfare 1(5), p91, 1921]
[Version for brass and percussion realised by Malcolm MacDonald (1977)] (0:30)


Articles

Opera with attitude - Kevin Mandry
'first thoughts'
Investigating The Tigers (2)   Costers : Prologue, scene 1 (1) - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (3)  Coppers : Prologue, scene 1 (2) - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (4)  Gentry : Prologue, scene 1 (3) - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (5)  Masks : Prologue, scene 2 - Adrian Ure
Investigating
The Tigers (6)  The seeds of chaos : Act 1, scene 1 - Adrian Ure
Investigating
The Tigers (7)  The dogs of war : Act 1, scene 2 - Adrian Ure

Investigating The Tigers (8)  Uneasy slumbers : Act 2, scene 1 - Adrian Ure

Investigating The Tigers (9)  On parade : Act 2, scene 2 - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (10)  Garden party : Act 2, scene 3 (1) - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (11)   Haymaking : Act 2, scenes 3 (2) and 4 (1) - Adrian Ure

Investigating The Tigers (12)  Called to account : Act 2, scenes 4 (2) and 5 - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (13)  Gothic echoes : Act 3, Gargoyles and Lacryma - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (14)  Chinese whispers : Act 3, scenes 1 and 2 (1) - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (15)  Trysting : Act 3, scene 2 (2) - Adrian Ure
Investigating The Tigers (16)  Chimes at midnight : Act 3, scene 3 and Finale - Adrian Ure
Major musical and dramatic analysis in 18 parts, revised for this website, and being completed in the HBS Newsletter
Let the roar of the Tigers be heard in the land - Malcolm MacDonald
Breaking the mirror... - Larry Alexander
Larry consdiers The Tigers' structure, or lack thereof

New maps for The Tigers - Penny Scantlebury
opens up a fascinating avenue considering the contemporary relevance of The Tigers

The rediscovery of The Tigers - David J Brown
Reward for rediscovery of Brian's lost scores - press coverage
Fanfare from The grotesques - Malcolm MacDonald
MM's realisation for brass and percussion

 

Further reading

Havergal Brian and The Tigers - Granville Bantock
Brian's impatient Tigers - Martyn Becker

... these articles appear in HB: Aspects of Havergal Brian - see bibliography

 

Performances

Complete opera

3-8 January 1983 (recording) / 3 May 1983 (broadcast BBC Radio 3)
Teresa Cahill (soprano)  Mrs Freebody/Lady 1
Alison Hargan (soprano)  Columbine/Female in car/Lady Stout
Marilyn Hill-Smith (soprano)  Lady 2/Toy seller
Ameral Gunson (mezzo soprano)  Lady 3
Ann Marie Owens (alto)  Costerwoman/Sweetmeat seller
Paul Crook (tenor)  Artist/Bishop/Clergyman 2/Cook 2
Harry Nicoll (tenor)  Constable 1/Pantalon
John Winfield (tenor)  Coster/Clergyman 1/Cook 1/Old clothes seller
Kenneth Wollam (tenor)  Man on elephant/Man in tweeds
Ian Caddy (baritone)  Coster 1/Gentleman 1/Policeman 1
Malcolm Donnelly (baritone)  Colonel Sir John Stout
Henry Herford (baritone)  Gentleman 2
Alan Opie (baritone)  Clergyman 5/Napoleon/Young man
Alan Watt (baritone)  Coster 3/Clergyman 3/Fruitseller/Policeman 2
Norman Welsby (baritone)  Billposterer/Clergyman 4/Elephant keeper/Man's voice/Police sergeant
Richard Angas (bass-baritone)  Alexander the Great/Crier/Constable 2/Guard/Policeman 3
Eric Shilling (bass-baritone)  Officer/Regimental sergeant major/Voices
Denis Wicks (bass)  Coster 2/Clergyman 6/Red Indian
BBC Singers  The Tigers/Crowds

BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor Lionel Friend
producer Elaine Padmore

Derived works

Symphonic variations
28 February 1924 [first performance]. Winter Gardens, Bournemouth
Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, conductor Sir Dan Godfrey

4 May 1924 . Winter Gardens, Bournemouth (Bournemouth Music Festival)
Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, conductor
Sir Dan Godfrey

5 December 1976 [arr piano] . Victoria Theatre, Stoke on Trent
Ronald Stevenson

29 April 1977 [arr piano] . Mitchell Hall, Aberdeen University
Ronald Stevenson

14 October 1977 [arr piano] . Mitchell Hall, Aberdeen
Iain Maxwell 

Wild horsemen
1 March 1934  [first performance] . live BBC broadcast
(BBC Thames Wharf Studio)
BBC Orchestra, conductor Granville Bantock

13 February 1944 . live BBC broadcast (BBC wartime studio, Bedford)
BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor Sir Adrian Boult


Green pastures

first performance:  the commercial recording (1981) - see Discography


Gargoyles
2 December 1927. BBC New Music Rehearsal

Conductor John Ansell

1 March 1934  [first performance] . BBC broadcast (BBC Thames Wharf Studio)
BBC Orchestra, conductor Granville Bantock

13 February 1944 . live BBC broadcast (BBC wartime studio, Bedford)
BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor Sir Adrian Boult

30 November 1977 [arr piano] . Aberdeen

Lacryma
first performance:  the commercial recording (1981) - see Discography

30 November 1977 [arr piano] . Aberdeen

Shadow dance
29 January 1976 [first performance]

Kensington Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leslie Head

Fanfare from The grotesques
8 March 1978 [rescored Harris for full windband] . Danum Grammar School, Doncaster
Doncaster Schools' Wind Band, conductor Anthony Harris

18 November 1980 [realised MacDonald] . St John's Smith Square
Kensington Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leslie Head

 

Commercial recordings

Symphonic variations, Wild horsemen, Green pastures, Gargoyles, Lacryma, Shadow dance
July, September 1981 . Concert Hall, Villa Louvigny, Luxembourg / Forlane
Luxembourg Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leopold Hager

 

Symphonic variations - 'Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?'
25/26 June 2009, City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland / Toccata Classics
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conductor
Garry Walker

Toccata Classics TOCC 0113


see also Discography


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