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.
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.
Patricia Rutledge and Rex Smith sing the duet in this Central Park production:
"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. 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.
Now he realizes that Ruth has been playing upon his innocence; she has not been truthful with him about her own attractiveness, especially compared with other women.
It begins like a recitative:
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:
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).
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.
You can see the first four pages (out of seven pages) below:
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:
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. My graphic program, unfortunately, cannot show the beauty of these pages!
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.
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 doable 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!