Gallantry (opera)

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Gallantry is a one act opera by composer Douglas Moore. The work is a parody of soap opera, complete with sung commercial interruptions. The work uses an English language libretto by Arnold Sundgaard. The opera premiered in a double bill with Dominick Argento's The Boor on March 19, 1958, in New York City at the now-destroyed Brander Matthews Theater on 117th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. It was presented by the Columbia University School of Music with a student cast.[1] It has subsequently been staged by several other university opera theatre programs in the United States and Canada, including UCLA (1958,[2] 1974,[3] and 1994[4]), Immaculate Heart College (1968),[5] Goucher College (1969),[6] the University of Michigan (1978),[7] the University of Toronto (1988),[8] San Diego State University (1989),[9] Pepperdine University (1990),[10] Wilfrid Laurier University (1992),[11] the University of Arizona (1995),[12] George Washington University (1999),[13] and the University of Wisconsin (2003) among others.[14] The University of Southern California toured the opera to the Netherlands in 1968.[15]

The first professional opera company to stage Gallantry was the Detroit Opera, which presented the work in a double bill with Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium in January 1962.[16] Gallantry was adapted by Moore for television and was broadcast by CBS on August 30, 1962, in a program which also included a presentation of Wallingford Riegger's ballet Parallels. The production was produced by Pamela Illott, directed by Martin Carr, hosted by Jan Peerce, and featured the CBS Symphony Orchestra. It starred Laurel Hurley as the Nurse, Ron Holgate as the Surgeon, Charles Anthony as the Patient, and Martha Wright as the Announcer.[17] The opera was staged at the 1967 Florida International Music Festival in Daytona Beach with Metropolitan Opera performers Carol Courtman, Julian Patrick, and Enrico Di Giuseppe.[18] The opera was subsequently staged by the Canadian Opera Company (1977)[19] and the Lake George Opera (1986).[20] More recently the opera has been of interest to chamber opera ensembles, with productions being staged by the American Chamber Opera Company (1988),[21] A Small Company In America (1990),[22] the New York Chamber Ensemble (1991),[23] and Pocket Opera (2000).[24]


Role Voice type Premiere Cast,[1]
March 19, 1958
(Conductor: – Emerson Buckley)
Announcer mezzo-soprano Cecilia Ward
Lola Markham, a nurse soprano Bonnie Murray
Donald Hopewell, a patient tenor Joseph Sopher
Doctor Gregg baritone David Atkinson


  • New York Chamber Ensemble/Radcliffe Happy Endings: Comic Chamber Operas CD / Albany 173 (1995)


  1. ^ a b H. C. S. (March 20, 1958). "Moore's Opera, 'Gallantry,' in Premiere". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ "UCLA Gives Evening of Musical Americana". Los Angeles Times. November 21, 1958. 
  3. ^ Daniel Cariaga (May 28, 1974). "Music Review:UCLA Operatic Marathon". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ "Classical Beat". Los Angeles Times. December 2, 1994. 
  5. ^ "Music News". Los Angeles Times. April 28, 1968. 
  6. ^ "Music Notes". The Baltimore Sun. May 23, 1969. 
  7. ^ "Happenings..." The Michigan Daily. April 12, 1978. 
  8. ^ "A Major Move for Top Director". The Toronto Star. June 11, 1988. 
  9. ^ "San Diego's Operatic Voice Is Still Strong". Los Angeles Times. April 14, 1989. 
  10. ^ "Operatic Tragedy, Comedy Presented". Oxnard Press-Courier. March 31, 1990. 
  11. ^ "Pocket-sized operas pleasingly polished in WLU production". Waterloo Region Record. February 29, 1992. 
  12. ^ "UA Opera Theatre". The Arizona Daily Star. November 3, 1995. 
  13. ^ "GWU Performance Corrects Operatic Misconceptions". The Washington Post. February 18, 1999. 
  14. ^ "UW-SP to hold one-act operas". Stevens Point Journal. April 7, 2003. 
  15. ^ "USC Acting Troupe to Play in Holland". Los Angeles Times. June 14, 1968. 
  16. ^ Ross Parmenter (November 19, 1961). "The World of Music" (PDF). The New York Times. 
  17. ^ John Patrick Shanley (August 31, 1962). "TV: Soap-Opera Satire on Channel 2; Martha Wright Excels in Work by Moore". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ Allen Hughes (July 15, 1967). "Music: Previn Conducts". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ "Prop-maker's Design Wins". The Calgary Herald. February 10, 1978. 
  20. ^ "Music Nights Set Tuesdays At Lakehouse". Schenectady Gazette. July 5, 1986. 
  21. ^ Bernard Holland (January 31, 1988). "Opera: Bernstein's 'Trouble in Tahiti'". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Leah D. Frank (October 14, 1990). "THEATER REVIEW; An Ambitious Troupe With Talent on Hand". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ Bernard Holland (May 13, 1991). "Review/Opera; 5 Ways With Music and Drama That Share the Bond of Brevity". The New York Times. 
  24. ^ "San Antonio Express-News: Pocket Opera to sing new tune". San Antonio Express. January 16, 2000.