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Clay, Frederic (Emes)

london composing librettist career

Clay, Frederic (Emes),English composer; b. Paris (of English parents), Aug. 3, 1838; d. Great Mar-low, near London, Nov. 24, 1889. He was a student of Molique in Paris and of Hauptmann in Leipzig. He began his career as a British civil servant. After composing incidental music to Tom Taylor’s play Court and Cottage (London, 1862), he devoted himself mainly to composing for the theater. His collaboration with the librettist W.S. Gilbert on Ages Ago (London, Nov. 22, 1869) proved a fine success. Clay collaborated with others in composing Babil and Bijou (London, Aug. 29, 1872), for which he wrote the successful song Nobody Knows as I Know . With Gilbert again as librettist, he wrote Princess Toto (Nottingham, June 26, 1872), which was successfully heard abroad. With George Sims as librettist, he composed his most celebrated score in The Merry Duchess (London, April 23, 1883), which was also mounted successfully abroad. Their final collaboration, The Golden Ring (London, Dec. 3, 1883), likewise was received well. Soon after its premiere, Clay suffered a stroke, which ended his career.

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