Charlatan, The: Waltzes

From Wind Repertory Project
John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa (ed. R Mark Rogers)

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Subtitle: Waltzes from the Comic Opera in Three Acts

General Info

Year: 1899 /1995
Duration: c. 6:55
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $55.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Sousa is not usually linked with musical theater, even though he wrote at least 10 complete comic operas (many more remain unfinished) between 1879 and 1915, which had varying degrees of success and influence on and off Broadway. In fact, some musical theater historians position Sousa as one of the four most influential composers of American operetta between 1880 and 1920.

Of Sousa’s comic operas, El Capitan (libretto by Charles Klein) stands out as his most popular in its own time, and is still performed sporadically today (its libretto and score is still widely available). The Charlatan was written as a follow-up to El Capitan, and was intended to be a star vehicle for comedian DeWolf Hopper (El Capitan star). Sousa again collaborated with Charles Klein; however, in a departure from El Capitan, Klein only provided the book for The Charlatan, and Sousa wrote the lyrics as well as the music.

The Charlatan debuted at the Academy of Music, Montreal, on August 29, 1898, and at the Knickerbocker Theatre in New York City on September 5, 1898. The initial press was far from complimentary. The New York Morning Telegraph ran a story following its New York opening the headline read, “De Wolf Hopper in Sousa’s Worst.” The press did not improve in spite of the continuous changes made to the work by Sousa, Hopper, and others; nor did it fare any better when Hopper took the show on an American tour. The show was again revamped and taken to London, where it was re-titled The Mystical Miss due to copyright issues, and opened at the Comedy Theater in the West End on December 13, 1899. Overall, The Mystical Miss was extremely well received in London; the Daily Mail commented: “It is just a roaring farce set to music. The Mystical Miss is really well worth seeing. It prevents one thinking.” After The Charlatan’s successful London run, the DeWolf Hopper Opera Company continued to perform the work in New York City and on tour to much better reviews. making the work almost as popular as El Capitan. Due to their new-found popularity, the three waltzes, along with an introductory march, were extracted from the musical and arranged in 1899 for wind band, as well as for orchestra, and for solo piano.

- Program note by Santa Barbara City College Concert Band concert program, 12 May 2013

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville) Wind Ensemble (Elliott Tackitt, conductor) - 14 October 2023
  • Los Alamos (N.M.) Community Winds (T. Edward Vives, conductor) – 21 October 2017
  • Santa Barbara City College Concert Band (Eric C. Heidner, conductor) - 12 May 2013
  • Heart of Texas Concert Band (Mark Rogers, conductor) - 2012

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Sousa, J.; Rogers, R. (1995). The Charlatan : Waltzes from the Comic Opera in Three Acts [score]. Southern Music: San Antonio, Tex.