chapter  8
13 Pages

Attwood's St David's Day

Music, Wales, and War in 1800

In 2003 the Wales Tourist Board (WTB) launched an advertising campaign with the aim of countering the perception, emanating from focus groups, that the Welsh were not welcoming to English visitors. A 'comic opera', St David's Day, by Thomas Attwood, was premiered at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. Written to celebrate the feast day of the patron saint of Wales, it was conceived as an 'afterpiece' and enjoyed a successful run at one of the most fashionable theatres of Georgian London. The work was dedicated, by permission, to George, Prince of Wales and published in a sumptuous piano/vocal edition by Goulding, Phipps and D'Almaine, 'music sellers' to the prince. Attwood is, of course, chiefly remembered as Mozart's English pupil, a founding member of the Philharmonic Society, and Organist of St Paul's Cathedral. Rather less appreciated, however, are his links with the royal family, and especially with the Prince of Wales's circle.