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date: 16 November 2019

Chaplet, Thelocked

  • Ian Bartlett

Extract

Musical entertainment in two parts by William Boyce to a libretto by Moses Mendez; London, Drury Lane, 2 December 1749.

The libretto of The Chaplet is based on a conventional pastoral plot in which stock Arcadian characters pursue their amorous inclinations. An ‘eternal triangle’ involving the shepherd Damon (tenor) and two shepherdesses, Laura (soprano) and Pastora (mezzo-soprano), is eventually resolved. The scene is a grove. The young and innocent Laura loves Damon but is distressed by his inconstancy. The more worldly-wise Pastora is abandoned by her youthful lover Palaemon (treble). Though Pastora sees Damon as an attractive proposition, she thwarts his advances by insisting on marriage. In Part 2 Laura and Pastora in turn lament their apparent failure to capture Damon. He resolves first to tease Pastora, whom he knows to have compromised her avowed principles with Palaemon, and then to offer his hand to Laura. The happy couple finally rejoice in the prospect of their future life together....

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