Amasis - an Egyptian Princess

A comic opera in two acts by Frederick Fenn. Music by Philip Michael Faraday. Music by Philip Michael Faraday; Lyrics by Frederick Fenn

New Theatre, London - 9 August, 1906. Transferred to the Criterion Theatre 31 December, 1906. Closed 6 February, 1906 (total 300 perfs)


The play was based on the ancient Egyptian worship of the cat.

Prince Anhotep has come to Egypt to marry the Princess Amasis. Disturbed in the small hours in his writing of a love poem, by the caterwauling of a feline, he drops a brick on the wretched animal's head only to find that the punishment for such an action is death.

Cheiro, a poor scribe who is in love with the princess from afar, attempts to save his beloved's bridegroom by confessing to the `crime' himself, but he is saved from execution by Amasis who has read in an old book of lore that a condemned man may be saved by the petition of a maiden. The jealous chief embalmer, Ptolemy, who has striven to bring about Anhotep's death so that he may inherit his wealth, is mummified in his own patent embalming machine and the wedding goes ahead as planned with Cheiro sadly inscribing the tale on his obelisk as the play closes in merrymaking.

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture
  2. Opening Chorus - "Ring, oh, ring a wedding peal; Pharaoh's daughter comes to wed..."
  3. Duet - Natis & Sebak - "I started in life as a poor little maid, to wait on the lovely Amasis..."
  4. Solo - Ptolemy - "My name is Ptolemy Allakama, I practice a trade hum-drummy..." (four verses and dance)
  5. Solo - Cheiro - "I pray'd for life, a little life, and now come death! ..."
  6. Solo - Princess Amasis - "Last night the moon beamed on me and cried Little Princess, look up! ..."
  7. Duet - Princess Amasis & Anhotep - "Tell me you hate all other men, I'll ask no love of you..."
  8. Solo - Anhotep - "It was early in the morning as I wrote a joyous sonnet..."
  9. Entrance & Chorus - "We are King Pharaoh's Guard, custodians of his Cats..."
  10. Song - Pharaoh & Chorus - "Once Egypt was a dreary land, ruled by a dreary King..."
  11. Septette - "Seven poor ladies of Memphis are we, condemned to this grave indignity..."
  12. Duet - Anhotep & Pharaoh - "Your Majesty! your Majesty! I come to wed your daughter..."
  13. Chorus - "Sign the contract! Seal the compact! Now the entr'acte 'ere the wedding..."
  14. Song - Sebak & Chorus - "I'm adviser to this Royal pair..."
  15. Finale Act I (spoken recit. - Nebenchari) - "(Dogs and scum and roystering vermin...)"
  16. Finale Act I (continued) - "Has anybody seen our cat? Pussy, pussy, puss, puss, purr! ..."
  17. Opening Chorus - Nebenchari & Priests - "Arma virumque cano, quod erat demonstrandum..."
  18. Song - Nebenchari & Chorus - "These cats plague my life out infernally; I wish they were banished eternally..."
  19. Solo - Amasis - "The morning's heartless sun will gild the roofs of this proud city..."
  20. Solo - Cheiro - "The veriest gambler I, of all who cast the die..."
  21. Dance
  22. Song - Pharaoh & Ladies - "A lovely woman is a joy to ev'ry man with eyes..."
  23. Trio - Ptolemy, Sebak & Anhotep - "This outbreak was wholly unlook'd for..."
  24. Duet - Anhotep & Amasis - "Oh! this world has one oasis, sweet Amasis! and it's by your side that place is..."
  25. Solo - Natis - "I'm a lonely little maid, oh, a very lonely maid, comdemned to marry ugly Ptolemy..."
  26. Quartette - Pharaoh, Nebenchari, Ptolemy & Sebak - "Death! Death! Death! Death! ..."
  27. Song - Pharaoh & Chorus - "That a man should have ambition will be readily admitted..."
  28. Solo - Amasis - "Long, long ago in far off times, a law was made, a law was made..."
  29. Finale Act II - "Ring, oh ring a wedding peal-- Pharaoh's daughter now is wed..."


Mummy, Guards and Priests

Scenes and Settings