[Vaughan Williams, Ralph. (1872-1958)]
"The Pilgrim's Progress" - 1951 Opening Night Program
Original program from the April 26, 1951 premiere at the Royal Opera House of Ralph Vaughan Williams' opera The Pilgrim Progress, based on John Bunyan's Christian allegory. Conducted by Leonard Hancock and produced by Nevill Coghill, the opera starred Inia Te Wiata and Arnold Matters. Some light toning; overall in fine condition. 8.5 x 11.25 inches (21.6 x 28.5 cm).
Vaughan Williams himself prepared the libretto for The Pilgrim's Progress, (which he described as a "Morality" rather than an opera) with interpolations from the Bible and also text from his second wife, Ursula Wood. His changes to the story included altering the name of the central character from 'Christian' to 'Pilgrim', so as to universalize the spiritual message. Herbert Murrill has characterised the opera as "summarizing in three hours virtually the whole creative output of a great composer". The opera contains 41 individual singing roles.