Born: Ap­ril 8, 1836, Burnt­is­land, Fife, Scot­land.

Died: Sep­tem­ber 21, 1889.


Farnie was a li­bret­tist, adapt­er of French op­er­et­tas and au­thor. Some of his Eng­lish lang­uage ver­sions of op­er­et­tas be­came re­cord set­ting hits on the Lond­on stage of the 1870s and 1880s, strong­ly com­pet­ing with the Gil­bert and Sull­i­van op­er­as be­ing played at the same time.

After at­tend­ing Cam­bridge Un­i­ver­si­ty, Far­nie re­turned to his na­tive Scot­land, where he was ap­point­ed ed­it­or of the Cu­par Ga­zette.


In 1857, he wrote The Golf­er’s Man­u­al, the first book on golf in­struct­ion. In 1860, he wrote books on the flo­ra of St. An­drews and on The Ci­ty of St. Rule.

His jour­nal­ism ca­reer brought him to Lon­don in 1863 as ed­it­or of a new mu­sic­al jour­nal, The Or­ches­tra. He be­gan to write the ly­rics to po­pu­lar songs, and, in 1867, he be­gan writ­ing plays.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Far­nie turned out trans­la­tions and adap­ta­tions of do­zens of French op­er­as and op­er­et­tas. Ma­ny of the lat­ter had long and suc­cess­ful runs.

Among his few en­dur­ing lyr­ics is the Gen­darmes’ Du­et, adapt­ed from Of­fen­bach’s Ge­ne­vi­ève de Bra­bant.



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