The Dragon of Wantley

by John Frederick Lampe
October 27 & 29
Studebaker Theater

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With its beautifully appealing music and charmingly absurd libretto, John Frederick Lampe’s cheeky send-up of Italian opera The Dragon of Wantley ran for a record 69 performances in its first season in 1737 and would run for another 45 years at Covent Garden. You now have a rare chance to enjoy Lampe's unduly neglected masterpiece and pièce de résistance which premiered at the Haymarket Theater in London one year before Handel’s Serse.

We all know of the Mozart and Salieri connection, but what about Handel and Lampe? Like Handel, John Frederick Lampe was a German composer who settled in London and performed as a bassoonist in Handel’s Opera orchestra. As a composer he partnered with poets seeking to develop a viable alternative to the Italian opera seria (such as Serse, Alcina, and Ariodante), but would later find his true métier was musical satire such as The Dragon of Wantley.

The story: The Dragon of Wantley has been terrorizing the countryside of Yorkshire, eating its children like bonbons. The country people appeal to the local hero, Moore of Moore Hall, to do battle with it. In return, Moore demands the hand of Margery, a fair maid of sixteen, arousing the jealousy of Mauxalinda, his cast-off mistress. Despite these romantic distractions and his proclivity for multiple pints of ale, will Moore ambush the Dragon or will the wrath of Mauxalinda be his end?

Sunday, October 27 at 5:30pm
Tuesday, October 29 at 7:30pm

Studebaker Theater
410 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

Tickets: $30 - $95

*Student Tickets will be available at the door for $10.

*Please note that the balcony seating is not handicap accessible


Sung in English with English Supertitles
Run time is 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission
All run times are approximate and subject to change.


Kimberly McCord as Margery
Lindsay Metzger as Mauxalinda
Michael St. Peter as Moore of Moore Hall
David Govertsen as Gaffer Gubbins

Production Team

Sarah Edgar, Stage Director
Craig Trompeter, Music Director
Zuleyka Benitez, Set Design
Meriem Bahri, Costume Design
Lindsey Lyddan, Lighting Design