William Shield's Rosina

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William Shield
(1748–1829)

Rosina, A Comic Opera

London: Printed for William Napier, [1783?]

James Fuld Music Collection, 2008

Item description: 

When Shield's comic opera Rosina was first performed at Covent Garden in 1782, Scottish song enthusiasts may have recognized a snippet of melody played by oboe and bassoon, in imitation of bagpipes, toward the end of the overture. It was reminiscent of "The Miller's Wedding," a popular Scottish country dance tune that foreshadowed the melody we now call "Auld Lang Syne." Shield included several such folk references in the opera, and this one led to repeated claims—entirely erroneous—that he had composed the now-famous air. (The relevant passage begins at the section marked Allegro.)