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Jonathan Dove is best known as a composer of operas and choral music. His airport-comedy Flight ("one of the few successful comic operas of recent musical history" The Sunday Times) was premièred by Glyndebourne Touring Opera Company in 1998 and then performed at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1999. Since then it has toured internationally, meeting with an enthusiastic response from both audiences and music critics everywhere.

Dove has written a dozen operas, including Siren Song and L'Augellino Belverde.

Dove's choral music includes a song cycle, The Passing of the Year; the Bach-inspired Köthener Messe, and several anthems and carols, among them The Three Kings, commissioned by King's College Cambridge.

O balow, balow la lay, O balow, balow la lay,

The first king was very young,

With doleful ballads on his tongue.

He came bearing a branch of myrrh

Than which no gall is bitterer,

Gifts for a baby King, O.

O balow, balow la lay.

The second king was a man in prime,

The solemn priest of a solemn time,

With eyes downcast and rev'rent feet

He brought his incense sad and sweet,

Gifts for a baby King, O.

O balow, balow la lay.

The third king was very old,

Both his hands were full of gold.

Many a gaud and a glittering toy

Baubles brave for a baby boy.

O balow, balow la lay, O balow, balow la lay,

Gifts for a baby King, O.