LORNA DOONE Light opera in 3 acts by Les Emmons & Pat Mugridge loosely based on the novel by R.D. Blackmore Premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe. Lorna Doone was written in 1982 for the Derby College’s Music Society, a group specialising mostly in the Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. For this reason it was written for performance by a typical G. & S. group but designed with self-contained scenes that could be rehearsed in a college situation where not all performers could be available at the same time.While originally intended for a company of around 30 performers, this design has proved useful as it makes possible performance by a very small company with some of the performers taking more that one part. (For example, Derby Opera Workshop performed it very well with 14 performers). SYNOPSIS Wild and windswept Exmoor is home to the infamous outlaws, the Doones. A young girl, Lorna is kidnapped and forced to join the group. Young local farmer John Ridd has been secretly meeting Lorna Doone, an action that can only bring trouble to all concerned, as she is being forced to marry Carver, the leader of the Doone's. The Ridd family is preparing for New Year. Uncle Ben has not arrived for the celebrations and his granddaughter Ruth is very worried. John agrees to go and look for him. Ruth is secretly in love with John and expresses her unrequited love. Cousin Tom Faggus, a highwayman, arrives with local farmers and their families for the New Year celebrations at the Ridd Farm. John returns, bringing in a very dishevelled Ben who has been waylaid by the Doones. He demands that action be taken against these bandits, but the Doones are much feared by the local people and no one is willing to do anything about them. A few days later a stranger arrives at the Ridd farm. He is Jeremy Stickles, a messenger fromThe Lord Chief Justice in London. Ben has made an official complaint and John is required to go to London to testify against the Doones. John realises that if the King’s men come to Exmoor to round up the Doones his beloved Lorna will be at risk. He is desperate to see her and give her a warning, but has no chance. He longs to hold her once more in his arms. At the start of Act Two, John arrives at court in London and finds himself among a very disreputable bunch of criminals awaiting trial. He is brought before the dreaded Judge Jeffreys who soon sees that John is just a simple honest farmer. He sends John home with a warning to keep well clear of the Doones. Back at Doone Valley, Lorna dreams of the great lover who will come to save her from her villainous family. John has sneaked into Doone Valley and warns her that the King’s men will soon be there. He tells her of his plan to snatch her away to safety, and they declare their undying love for each other. The Doones are enjoying a feast, but their revelry is interrupted by the sound of gunfire. They grab arms and rush off to defend their valley. John appears, and unseen, carries Lorna away. Carver Doone returns to find his "queen” gone. He swears a terrible revenge on John. Act Three opens at harvest time on Ridd Farm. Lorna is now accepted into the family and joins in the harvest celebrations. Tom has abandoned his role as a highwayman. He wants to marry Annie and settle down to an honest life. John and Lorna are happy together and, together with Tom and Annie are looking forward to marriage. On their wedding day at Oare Parish Church, Lorna approaches the altar, but Carver appears and shoots her down and she falls, apparently dead, at John’s feet. John is shocked and distraught for a moment, but then chases off in a great rage after Carver, returning soon to say that Carver is dead. He is beside himself with joy when he learns that Lorna is not seriously hurt. He gently takes her in his arms as the choir take up the anthem.