Classical Songs
for Young Voices
"Oh false one"

Classical songs for young voices can be difficult to find, especially boy/girl duets.  

"Oh false one" by Gilbert & Sullivan is a winner!

  • Free duet vocal sheet music, and 
  • also the piano accompaniment, below.
Pirates of Penzance video

This is yet another great song from my favorite Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, The Pirates of Penzance.  It's funny and dramatic all at the same time.

Possibly you are trying to build an appreciation in  your voice students for opera music - and not just for the music, but also for the long-winded performances that can make us modern audiences impatient!

Musicals, or "operettas," such as Gilbert and Sullivan produced, are stepping stones along the way to full-blown opera attendance, in my opinion.

"Oh False One!" is a great song from my favorite Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, The Pirates of Penzance.  It's funny and dramatic all at the same time.

Angela Lansbury and Rex Smith sing the duet:

"Oh false one" is a very fun male-female vocal duet by Gilbert and Sullivan.  

This tenor and mezzo-soprano (or even alto) duet is an argument between young, handsome Frederic and his middle-aged nurse Ruth, who had supposed that when he was free from his indenture with the pirate band, he would marry her and take her away with him.  

The vocal lines

Classical songs for young voices by Gilbert and Sullivan FREE!  O False One, the vocal line.

Frederic, with no memory of any other woman but Ruth, had supposed that she was "fair as gold".

However, Frederic has just caught sight of a party of beautiful maidens out picnicking on the beach.  

Now he realizes that Ruth has been playing upon his innocence; she has not been truthful with him about her own attractiveness, especially when compared with other women.

It begins like a recitative...

Gilbert and Sullivan opera classical songs for young voices

You can see that the soprano part is set low; even a young singer who imagines that she is an alto could handle these notes:

Gilbert and Sullivan operetta songs
Gilbert and Sullivan opera songs for young voices

Please scroll down the page for the FREE vocal lines link.

An error in the lyrics?

When you listen to the video performances, you may notice that Ruth sings, "Master, Master, do not leave me; hear me ere you go!"  whereas my sheet music for the duet says "...hear me ere I go!"  

"I" is correct, according to the very old "Authorized Copyright Edition" (1880) I used to make my new edition.  But the other way makes more sense, perhaps! 

Below is the piano accompaniment, with vocal parts.  This version is FOR SALE, for $5.00, with my permission to make unlimited copies (for your students & accompanists only).  

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The piano accompaniment is fun

The accompanist's part is great fun to play, in fairly easy keys (from G minor to G major, and back again), and not as difficult as may appear at first glance.  

No great leaps, no impossible stretches... just some fast descending octave work on page 4 (and again at the ending).  Very dramatic.

The first four pages, of seven total

"Oh false one!" boy and girl duet from Pirates of Penzance
"Oh false one!" boy and girl duet from Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan
Boy and girl duet from Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan
Sheet music for duet from Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan

This vocal duet with piano accompaniment is FOR SALE for $5.00, unlimited copies!  A deal!  Get it delivered instantly, by using PayPal!

"O false one," $5.00:

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My graphic program, unfortunately, cannot show the beauty of these pages!  So if you have questions or doubts about the quality of the file, please visit other pages on my site where music is free to download.  

  • So why should you buy "Oh false one!" from me, aside from the fact that music stores charge more for just one copy (not counting postage or sales tax!), while I am only charging $5.00 for the right to print unlimited copies for your students & accompanists? (In fact, GOOD LUCK finding a decent copy of this music...)
  • It is available immediately as a digital download onto your computer.
  • You don't have to download any new software into your computer in order to download this PDF. I don't know about you, but I hate clogging up my computer with yet another program I didn't know I needed. You just need a version of Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader, which all computers come with. If you DON'T have Adobe Acrobat or a similar program, then you couldn't download any of my other PDFs either.
  • The notes and lyrics are a little bigger than the copies currently available in music stores, making reading easier!
  • Speaking of reading the music, you can print this music on any kind of paper you want, and thus avoid the glare of shiny pages (so irritating for accompanists!).
  • Write and make notes all over these copies, in red and other colors, without feeling you are spoiling your music for posterity. I dislike messing up my music books, but learning the piece is always the first priority. These printouts will make great working copies.
  • Do you need a letter of permission in order to use this music at a competition? Write me through the Contact Me form, and I will email you a personal letter.
  • I give you permission to make up to three copies legally. Do I speak tongue-in-cheek? Not at all -- as music teachers, as music students, you know there are times when you need music RIGHT NOW and your only recourse is to make a copy of copyrighted music...or do without. (People do what they have to do, but there are consequences... Cheating...just a hard on one's character. I believe this is one of the keys of political corruption, one little compromise after another. Not only that, but music teachers teach by example. What are your students learning from you about the value of the work of composers, arrangers, and publishers? Of the value of musicians in general?)
  • Paypal, the payment system I use, is a secure and recognized payment system. You can pay by credit or debit card, or your bank account. E-Junkie delivers the PDF document, working as a partner with PayPal...your purchase is guaranteed.

Tip for Printing

Once you've got the PDF file for "Oh false one!" sheet music, feed just one page at a time, unless you know you have high-quality paper which won't grab extra sheets when being pulled through the feeder.

"Oh false one," $5.00:

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Here is the conversation leading up to the song - with some very fine acting and singing.  

From Knoxville Opera's 2010 production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, Marc Schreiner plays Frederic, and Corinne Stevens is Ruth:

"Young voices??!!" I hear you saying.  

Yes, this classical song is certainly do-able for high schoolers.  A couple of my students sang this Pirates of Penzance duet recently, very nicely indeed.  I'm still hoping for a decent video to emerge!

The vocal link to the printable PDF:

Download Gilbert & Sullivan's classical songs for young voices, "Oh false one!" 

Anthology of Italian Opera vocal music book

Thank you! THANK YOU!!!  For keeping the beautiful art of Opera alive!

I stumbled upon this site and I'm so happy I did! 

Pirates of Penzance full score

Thank you for your wonderful website. I also teach piano, voice and guitar - spooky! My absolute passion is opera, and have opened many a singing student's ear to the beautiful melodies and voices in the repertoire.

Thank you for the wonderful warm-ups which I have downloaded, and will be using at the earliest opportunity - I will let you know how they go! Looking forward to more warm up ideas, too.

Pirates of Penzance music

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of, and a newer site,

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.