On your shelf – An Edith Cavell treasure?

Edith Cavell.

Nurse Cavell was shot in Brussels in October 1915 for helping 200 allied soldiers out of German-occupied Belgium to neutral Holland.

Maltese composer Paolino Vassallo (1856-1923) wrote a three act opera on Norfolk nurse Edith Cavell which was performed in 1927.

Christina Gauci in Malta is researching Vassallo’s work and has sought our help in finding this opera’s score.

The Norfolk Record Office has leather- bound original manuscripts for the first two acts, pictured below. These were acquired in an auction in 1941 but no further details on their provenance are available.

Image showing Showing bindings and frontispiece NRO, MS 21153
Showing bindings and frontispiece of ‘Melodrama’ by Paolino Vassallo. NRO, MS 21153

Where is the third manuscript – the all-important act 3?

Is it on your library shelves, unopened for many a year? Contact the Record Office via norfrec@norfolk.gov.uk if you can help us unravel this mystery.

Nick Miller, Keeper of the Cavell memorabilia for St Mary’s Church Swardeston

Image showing NRO, MS 21153 example of score from vol 1
Example score from vol 1. NRO, MS 21153