Reference Entry

Clay, Frederic Emes (opera)

Christopher Knowles

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print December 1992 |
Published online January 2002 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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(b Paris, Aug 3, 1838; d Great Marlow, Nov 29, 1889). English composer . His father, James Clay, was MP for Hull and a published amateur composer, while his grandmother, Miss Mortellari (later Signora Woolrych), achieved distinction as an opera singer. Frederic was educated largely at home, before studying harmony and counterpoint with Molique in London. A promising career in the Treasury Department supported his early compositions and also a brief period of further study with Hauptmann in Leipzig in 1863. In 1862 he made his public début at Covent Garden with Court and Cottage and it was during the rehearsals of his first real success, Ages Ago (1869), that Clay introduced his librettist, W. S. Gilbert, to his close friend Arthur Sullivan. In 1873, a comfortable legacy from his father enabled him to devote his attention completely to composition and in 1877 he tried his fortune in the USA, achieving only moderate success. On his return to England in ...

Reference Entry.  720 words. 

Subjects: Opera

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