Matteo Falcone, or The Brigand and Son

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Matteo Falcone, or The Brigand and Son is a one act melodrama by William Henry Oxberry (1802-1852)[1]

Also found simply as Matteo Falcone

The original text

Based on a popular short story ("Mateo Falcone", 1829) by Prosper Mérimée (1803 – 1870)[2], the story of a Corsican man who kills his son in the name of justice. The story first appeared in the May issue of Revue de Paris in 1829.

The English play was adapted as a one act melodrama by W.H. Oxberry and first produced at the Theatre Royal, Lyceum, June 6th, 1836. This performance text was printed, along with The Middy Ashore, by John Dicks, 313 Strand, London 313 and by Samuel French as a single text.

Translations and adaptations

The story has been made into a short opera of the same name by the Russian composer César Cui (1906-1907) and has been filmed a number of times.

Performance history in South Africa

1850: Performed as Matteo Falcone in the Hope Street Theatre on 17 December by the New English Theatrical Company of W.F.H. Parker; with Woman's the Devil (Stirling) as afterpiece. Apparently they did not use the English stage adaptation by Oxberry, for a translator named "Wilson" is listed by Bosman (1928, p.419) - unless this was an error made by Parker, or by the journalist cited by Bosman.


Full texts of The Middy Ashore and Matteo Falcone, Internet Archive[3]

F.C.L. Bosman. 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [4]: pp. 419

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