The most successful American-born composer of operetta at the end of the nineteenth century was Reginald de Koven. The work reprinted in this volume, The Highwayman, is arguably his best work, although he is better known for the earlier Robin Hoodwixh its evergreen wedding ballad "Oh Promise Me." (Robin Hood is available as a reprint in the 1990 volume American Opera and Music for the Stage, in the G.K. Hall series Three Centuries of American Music.) The editor of this volume, Orly Leah Krasner, is a leading scholar of de Koven’s music. She teaches at the City University of New York, and her Ph.D. dissertation, "Reginald de Koven (1859-1920) and American Comic Opera at the Turn of the Century," is also from that university. Her introduction places the work in the tenor of contemporary critical reaction, and lists the sources available for further study. The Highwayman is one of the few complete operettas of its era for which we are fortunate enough to have original performing materials in the composer’s own hand. As the penultimate volume (number 15) in this series, de Koven’s work of 1897 contrasts with two works of the previous year, Walter Damrosch’s opera The Scarlet Letter (volume 16) and John Philip Sousa’s operetta El Capitan (volume 14).
Table of Contents
About this Volume, Introduction to this Volume, Sources, Bibliography, Index of Musical Numbers, Characters (Original Voice Types)—Revival Cast, Costume Plot, The Highwayman, Libretto 1, Piano-Vocal Score.
Orly Leah Krasner, City University of New York