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Henry Louis Reginald De Koven

Victorian operettist

Born April 3, 1859, Middletown, Connecticut
Died January 16, 1920, Chicago, Illinois
About Reginald De Koven

Reginald De Koven was a prolific writer of operettas in the Gilbert and Sullivan style around the turn of the century; his best known work, Robin Hood, was performed around the country, and its best known song, "O Promise Me" (actually a later interpolation into Robin Hood's score) remained a wedding standard until fairly recently. DeKoven also tried his hand at two more traditional operas, both written in a comic-opera style and both with libretti by well-known poet and dramatist Percy MacKaye.

  • The Canterbury Pilgrims, opera in four acts
    Libretto by Percy Mackaye after The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
    March 8, 1917, Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York
  • Rip Van Winkle
    Libretto by Percy MacKaye.
    January 2, 1920, Chicago, Illinois

Other Selected Works
  • Robin Hood, comic opera in three acts
    Libretto by Harry B. Smith.
    June 9, 1890, Chicago Opera House, Chicago, Illinois

Download music

Robin Hood (1890)

Piano-Vocal Score

A new edition of the piano-vocal score, prepared by usopera.com

1. Overture: Finale | PDF

2. Tis the morning of the fair: Finale | PDF

8. When a peer makes love to a damsel fair: Finale | PDF

12. And it's will ye quaff with me (Song of Brown October Ale): Finale | PDF

13. Oh promise me: Finale | PDF

19. Let hammer on anvil ring: Finale | PDF

23. When life seems made of pains and pangs: Finale | PDF

The Canterbury Pilgrims (1917)

Piano-vocal score

Scanned pages from the original 1916 public domain score

1. Overture and Act One: PDF

Discography Search for recordings of the music of Reginald De Koven at Amazon.com

Reginald De Koven

Excerpts from Robin Hood

CD / Aei (1911, 1919)

"Oh Promise Me" from Robin Hood


Jan Peerce

The Bluebird of Happiness

CD / Pearl 9297 (1997)

"Oh Promise Me" from Robin Hood


John McCormack

Count John McCormack: The Final Recordings

2 CD / Pearl/Koch 9188 (1995)

"Oh Promise Me" from Robin Hood


John McCormack

Music of the Night

CD / Pearl/Koch 9243 (1997)

"Oh Promise Me" from Robin Hood


Lauritz Melchior

Complete MGM Recordings

CD / Romophone 82019 (2001)

"Oh Promise Me" from Robin Hood


Robert Merrill

Robert Merrill on Radio: Unpublished Broadcasts from 1940 to 1946

CD / Enterprise/Radio Years 14 (1995)

Reginald De Koven

Robin Hood

Ohio Light Opera

2 CD / Albany (2004)

Last update: January 1, 2009