The School for Scandal

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A Comic Opera in Two Acts

Music by Robert Nelson

Libretto by Buck Ross

based on the play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

  This sharply witty comedy swiftly skewers the pretentious and exposes the frauds. 

No one is spared the rapier tongues of the gossips. Based on the 18th century classic comedy 

but rendered anew in rhymed verse and song, this School will teach you

 that everything is not always as it seems to be on the surface. 

The School for Scandal Production information

Ideal for All Opera Companies


In addition to professional productions, 

the opera is ideal for young artist programs 

and university opera programs. 

The Cast


An ensemble cast  with roles for three sopranos, one mezzo soprano, three tenors, three baritones and one bass-baritone.
There is a small chorus of three men
plus comprimario parts.
Some doubling is possible.
Two of the tenors are character tenors.

Complete cast list

The Orchestration


A chamber sized orchestra could have as few as 14 players.  The strings can be augmented for larger venues.  

2 Flutes (picc) 

1 oboe 

2 Clarinets 

1 bassoon 

1 horn 

1 percussion 



The Scenery


There are four simple sets:
Lady Sneerwell's Salon.
The home of Sir Peter and Lady Teazle.
The home of Charles Surface.
The library of Joseph Surface.
Most of what is needed is furniture.
It could be done in concert halls,
in the round or in thrust theatres
as well as on a traditional
proscenium stage. 

The Costumes


Can be done with a total of 19 costumes with one costume per character.
Other changes could be added if desired. 

The Libretto


A witty libretto in rhymed English verse captures the spirit of the original play. 

Complete Video


For a complete video of the premiere at the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston click here. 

Complete video




Score Samples


Free baritone aria for Sir Peter in English suitable for auditions

Free aria

Perusal Materials


Need a perusal score?


The Composer and Librettist


Meet composer Robert Nelson 

and Librettist Buck Ross


Running Time


The opera is in two acts.  Each act is approximately 65 minutes.  There is one intermission.