The Perfect Fool

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The Perfect Fool is an opera in one act with music written by the English composer Gustav Holst. Holst wrote the work over the time period from 1918 to 1922. The opera was first played at the Covent Garden Theatre, London on May 14, 1923. At the beginning, Holst had asked Clifford Bax to write the libretto, but Bax did not want to do so.[1]

In the musical score, Holst made fun of the musical works of Verdi, Wagner's work Parsifal[2] and Debussy. In the opera, the Fool's part is only one word long. One popular way of thinking of the opera's meaning is that the Princess symbolises the world of opera and the Fool is the British people.[3]

The opera did not do well, and audiences thought that the opera did not make any sense.[4] Although the opera was given a live BBC broadcast a year after it was first played,[5] it is not often played today.

References[change | change source]

  1. Bax, Clifford (January 1939). "Recollections of Gustav Holst". Music & Letters. 20 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1093/ml/XX.1.1. JSTOR 728520.
  2. Head, Raymond (July 1999). "The Hymn of Jesus: Holst's Gnostic Exploration of Time and Space". Tempo (New Series). 209: 7–13. JSTOR 957953.
  3. Ottaway, Hugh (June 1974). "Holst as an opera composer". The Musical Times. 115 (1576): 473–474. doi:10.2307/957953. JSTOR 957953.
  4. Paul Holmes, Holst. Omnibus Press (ISBN 978-0711965256, 1998),p. 90.
  5. Ibid., p. 94.

Other websites[change | change source]