Opera Scotland

Puritan's Daughter The Puritan's Daughter

Tours by decade

1880s - 1 tour

1889 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1920s - 1 tour

1920 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

Tours by location


Michael William Balfe (born Dublin, 15 May 1808; died Rowney Abbey, Herts., 20 October 1870)


J V Bridgeman





First performance: London (Covent Garden), 30 November 1861.

First performance in Scotland: To be confirmed.

Scottish Opera premiere: N/A.



The Puritan's Daughter came near the end of Balfe's career, being launched at Covent Garden in 1861 by the company run by Louisa Pyne and William Harrison that had brought out a series of works by Balfe, Wallace, Benedict and others. Like the earlier Bohemian Girl it had much spoken dialogue and was considered to be a ballad opera, though its comparative lack of popularity was put down in part to the shortage of such ballads in the score. The 1889 Carl Rosa tour gave it (and Wallace's Lurline) its first airing for many years.


Main Characters

King Charles II (baritone)

John Willmot, Earl of Rochester (tenor)

Colonel Wolfe, a Puritan (baritone)

Mary Wolfe, his daughter (soprano)

Clifford, a cavalier (baritone)

Ralph, a peasant (bass)


Plot Summary

As the title suggests, the work is set during the aftermath of the Civil War. Puritans continue to conspire against the new king. Charles himself, and his friend Rochester (a rather milder character than the historical rake), provide an element of comic relief. The romantic interest inevitably occurs between two leading characters from the opposing sides.

The Cast

 a young Cavalier, in love with Mary Wolfe
Colonel Wolfe
 a Puritan
Ephraim Fleetwood
Hezekiah Briggs
Jessie Spigot
John Wilmot
 Earl of Rochester
King Charles II
Mary Wolfe
 the Colonel's daughter
 a servant
 a Buccaneer
 an innkeeper

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