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Music Text

Text by Percy French and Brendan Stewart (E)


2S,3M,A,T,4Bar,BBar,6speaking roles; chorus pipes-harp-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.



JACK FREENY, a Highwayman Baritone
CAPTAIN ANSTRUTHER of the Royal Highlanders Tenor
SIR HENRY LEFANU, an impecunious gentleman Baritone
SERGEANT SMITH of the Royal Highlanders Bass Baritone
CORPORAL MCKIMMON of the Royal Highlanders Baritone
RODDY FLYNN, an Irish peasant boy Baritone
TIMOTHY FEGAN, landlord of the O'Hara Arms Speaking Role
MARY FEGAN, his daughter Mezzo Soprano
MISS LETITIA O'DOWD, an elderly lady, aunt to Kathleen Contralto
KATHLEEN O'HARA, an heiress Soprano
MOLLY O'HARA, sister to Kathleen Soprano
DOLLY O'HARA, sister to Kathleen Mezzo Soprano
MAD PEG, in love with Freeny Mezzo Soprano
SIR GEORGE DESMOND, Master of the Hunt Speaking role
HARRY DESMOND, his son Speaking role
WHELAHAN, a peasant Speaking role
CASSIDY, a peasant Speaking role
DEMPSEY, a peasant Speaking role
Time and Place

Ireland, in the aftermath of the rebellion of 1798.


A regiment of Scottish Highlanders has arrived in the vicinity of the village of Boneenbeg in pursuit of the highwayman Jack Freeny, who goes about disguised and in the company of Mad Peg, who is in love with him. With the support of the locals he manages to evade capture until Captain Anstruther and his men come upon him gallantly dancing with Kathleen O'Hara, having just held up the coach in which she and her companions were travelling to the Tenants' Ball at Castle Desmond. His pardon – previously arranged by Kathleen, because Freeny had earlier saved her life – meanwhile languishes in the coat pockets of Sir Henry Lefanu, who is determined to marry her himself and is jealous of her interest in the dashing gentleman of the road. Eventually the papers come to light at the Ball itself, enabling Freeny and Peg to seek a new life together overseas, while Kathleen – to Sir Henry's discomfiture – gives her hand to Anstruther.



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