Stuart looks at Ruddigore, first staged in 1887, within that volume and informs us that it was originally entitled Ruddygore, “The title was a major problem. “Ruddy” had become rather too close to “bloody,” and, amazingly, this was enough to prevent many “nice” people from attending.” (p170) So the title itself could be read as bloody gore. In many respects the opera was a parody of, or play on, melodrama – and of course the vampire had played its role in melodrama – and Stuart offers a convincing argument that it was (mostly in the second act) a direct skit of Boucicault’s The Vampire.
Probably most telling was the appearance of the character Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd – correctly pronounced in production as Riven. Of course Ruthven was the vampire from Polidori’s the Vampyre: A Tale and he had reappeared in various plays, operas and prose through the 19th century. Erik Butler also looks at the opera in his volume The Rise of the Vampire, referencing Stuart.
|Robin and Rose|
|Vincent Price as Sir Despard|
|getting a light|
|in a coffin|
|ancestors come from the paintings|
|held back by the Union Jack|