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The King’s New Clothes

Comic Opera in 1 Act. (1990)
Libretto by the composer.

The court complain that the King is constantly raising taxes to pay for new clothes.  The Captain of the Guard sympathises, for he loves the Princess, and the King has spent all her dowry on new clothes so they are too poor to get married.  The courtiers tactfully leave the young couple alone.  They are caught kissing by the King and Queen, who, incensed by such behaviour, send the Princess to be locked in her room. The Lord Chamberlain reconvenes the court to announce a ball to be held in honour of the Princess’s birthday.  The King wants a new suit of clothes for the occasion.  A strange couple offer to make him a magic suit, which to a wise man will appear wonderful beyond compare, but to a fool will be invisible.  The King agrees and offers them as much gold as they want, though the Queen has misgivings.  In an ante-room the swindlers, for such they are, set up an empty loom and pretend to work.  The Lord Chamberlain is sent to see their progress.  Horrified that he cannot see anything, but not wishing to appear a fool, he asks the swindlers to describe the pattern, which he carefully repeats to the King and Queen.  When the King appears at the ball, none will admit that they cannot see the magic cloth, and all praise the King’s new clothes.  The King notices that the Princess is absent and the Queen remembers that she is still locked in her room.  She is sent for at once.  Having heard nothing of the new clothes, of course, she immediately asks why the King is naked.  The truth finally dawns on the whole court, and the Captain rushes to apprehend the swindlers, complete with the stolen gold.  As a reward for his prompt action, the King gives him the Princess’s hand in marriage.  The King realizes he has been taught a lesson, so the swindlers are pardoned.  However, having given up one expensive hobby, the King proposes taking up another, and there is general dismay as the curtain falls.



(Note: This work can easily be played in one setting throughout.)

At the present time this work is available with piano accompaniment only.
The Throne Room
An ante room
The Ball Room
Scene 1:
Scene 2:
Scene 3:
Courtiers, Ladies-in-waiting, soldiers, etc.       (SATB)      45%
1st Lady-in-waiting  (mezzo)
2nd Lady-in-waiting  (soprano)
1st Courtier  (tenor)
2nd Courtier  (baritone)
Lesser Roles
The Queen  (contralto)
The Princess  (soprano)
2nd Swindler  (soprano)
The King  (baritone)
The Captain  (tenor)
1st Swindler  (tenor)
Lord Chamberlain (bass)
Major Roles