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Frederic Clay (Composer)

Born: 3rd August 1838, Paris, France

Died: 24th November 1889, Marlow, England

Nationality: French

Frederic Emes Clay was an English composer known principally for songs and his music written for the stage. Although from a musical family, for 16 years Clay made his living as a civil servant in HM Treasury, composing in his spare time, until a legacy in 1873 enabled him to become a full-time composer. He had his first big stage success with Ages Ago (1869), a short comic opera with a libretto by W. S. Gilbert, for the small Gallery of Illustration; it ran well and was repeatedly revived. Clay, a great friend of his fellow composer Arthur Sullivan, introduced the latter to Gilbert, leading to the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership.

In addition to Gilbert, Clay's librettists during his 24-year career included B. C. Stephenson, Tom Taylor, T. W. Robertson, Robert Reece and G. R. Sims.

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