- Inkle and Yarico
Inkle and Yarico is a
comic operafirst staged in London, Englandin August 1787, with music by Samuel Arnold and a librettoby George Colman the Younger.
The opera was highly successful, performed 98 times at the
Haymarket Theatre, and a total of 164 performances on London stages by 1800. There were also performances in Dublin (1787), Jamaica (1788), New York (1789), Philadelphia (1790), Calcutta (1791), and Boston (1794).
Inkle, an English trader, is shipwrecked in the
West Indies, and survives with the help of Yarico, a Negro maiden. They fall in love, but when Inkle returns to his civilization, he plans to sell Yarico into slavery to recover his financial losses while he marries a woman, Narcissa, who will give him the social standing he wants. In the end, Inkle repents and marries the faithful Yarico.
The supposedly true story first appeared in
Richard Ligon's book "A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes" ( 1657).
Richard Steele's "
Spectator" printed another version in March 1711, in which Yarico is a Native American, sold into slavery while bearing Inkle's child.
* [http://www.uwec.edu/mwood/colman/troost.html excerpt] from Linda V. Troost's "The Rise of the Comic Opera"
* [http://tabula.rutgers.edu/spectator/text/march1711/no11.html Original 1711 Spectator text]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.