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The setting of Yeomen is laid in the Tower of London in Shakespearean times. The plot concerns Colonel Fairfax, a gentleman, soldier and scientist, who has been sentenced to be beheaded in an hour on a false charge of sorcery. To avoid leaving his estate to his accuser (a cousin), and with the help of the Lieutenant of the Tower, Fairfax secretly marries Elsie Maynard, a strolling singer. The bride agrees to be blindfolded during the ceremony and expects to be a well-paid widow in an hour. With the help of the Meryll family, Fairfax escapes, throwing the Tower into confusion and the astonished Elsie (and her mentor, the jester Jack Point, who loves her) into despair. But Fairfax, disguised as Leonard Meryll, woos Elsie, and after a number of plot complications are worked out, she falls in love with Fairfax and leaves Jack Point broken-hearted.
Savoynet Discussion Transcript of a discussion of The Yeomen of the Guard by members of the SavoyNet distribution list (May 1997). This extensive discussion provides substantial background information on this opera, and is a must for anyone wanting to understand it better, produce it, or perform in it.
Page modified 3 August 2012