Posted: 19 August 2010
Alan and Nancy Bush's first one-act operetta for children, The Press Gang, was performed in its German version (with two songs also in Italian) by school children in the 6th form of Waldorfschule in Graz, Austria on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd March 2010.
The opera takes place in the sea-port of Falmouth in the 18th century. The story is about William, a shoemaker's apprentice, who has a sweetheart, Lucy. One evening, William is captured by the Press Gang and forced to join the Navy. The leader of the Press Gang is Captain Rapscallion. After a few hours before the ship sets sail, William escapes and returns to the shoemaker's house, where he is hidden by Lucy in the cellar. Captain Rapscallian and the Press Gang return to the house to search for William but unable to find him return to their ship empty handed. William and Lucy sing of his escape and of their future happiness together.
Clementine Fuchs was the musical director of the operetta and the costumes and scenery were the work of Karola Schiantarelli. The children gave four performances of the work, which were given by two groups of children from the 6th form on different days. The production was a great success.
Clementine Fuchs wrote: The production "went very well and the children were as happy as the audience".