The Poisoned Kiss or The Empress and the Necromancer. A Romantic Extravaganza written by Evelyn Sharp
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, Ralph
Oxford Oxford University Press.
Two volumes 4to; original paper covers. The vocal score and the chorus score, together with the programme for the World Premiere of 'The Poisoned Kiss' at the Arts Theatre of Cambridge, Tuesday, May 12th, 1936. The chorus score is annotated heavily in pencil, indicating the cuts the composer introduced immediately before the performance. Vaughan Williams had significant concerns about the dramatic structure of the piece as the background story is narrated twice and he was also worried that the explanatory passages about poisons were too long. Accordingly, he cut about twenty minutes of music and a good deal of dialogue. This volume is also heavily annotated with notes on the text to the inside front cover and the last page. The inside of the rear cover has the score and text of the Blue Larkspur written out in pencil. The programme is signed on the title-page by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Cyril Rootham (Conductor) and Camille Prior (Producer). Gwen Raverat (Designer) has signed on the inside front cover and the cast has signed on the back and inside cover, including the leading cast Margaret Field-Hyde, Meriel St. Clair, Trefor Jones, Mabel Ritchie, Geoffrey Dunn and Frederick Woodhouse. Also included is a black and white photograph of a scene from the performance. All formerly the property of Jean Aikman a member of the chorus at the premier, she has signed her name in pencil to the front covers of the programme and chorus score. Good, covers worn and creased, consistent with use. Foxing to the cover of the chorus score and Vaughan Williams commemorative postage stamp stuck to inside cover of the programme.