Monday, February 18, 2019

Sportsmen of Vienna ... 1933

A fine bunch of lads. And they are all named on the back of this old photo from my father's papers. I'm curious as to which sport they were playing ... Fritz was a notable skiier, gymnast, fencer (Vienna's schools champion) and athlete.  The picture is labelled SS 1933, and what looks like 6 Sem. Well, in 1933, dad would have been 22 ... so?

Well, here are Herren Egon Schmidt, Mehl (coach?), Fohr, Kremsmayer, Höfler, Spielvogel, Amsler, Kattner, Pavlik, Meinhardt, Gottfried, Schmidseder, Heinz Schmidt, Krenn, Kopp (coach, out of photo) // Jorror, Topolansky, Probsch, Birkmayer, Schilder // Streizowsky, Blauhut, Ganzl, Wolfgang, Rauscher, Czerny ..

I see some of the names surfacing in the Vienna press of the 30s, in football and athletics ...  but ...

Anybody recognise an ancestor ...?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A splendid MAGIC FLUTE for my birthday

I made three wishes for my 73rd birthday. Three gifts I wanted. Firstly, that it would rain on our parching fields, secondly, that the proofs of the first ever book from my ‘Gerolstein Press’ would arrive, and, most of all, that our dear friend Brett would come safely through his cancer operation …

Well, it rained twice, the proofs came, and we have just had excellent news from the hospital … so, this morning, I have curled up in my study with my fourth present. From my brother. A German DVD of Die Zauberflöte. Now, I am one of those folk who, except in the line of duty, rarely go to see a show of any kind more than once. I’ve seen it? I’ve seen it. I’d rather see something different than just a repeat. And, over the years, I’ve picked my opera-going outings accordingly. Consequently, I’ve actually seen this endlessly-produced Singspiel, live on the stage, only three times. Once as a student in New Zealand. Once at Covent Garden in 1969. And once a few years back in Berlin (where it was playing at all three opera houses during my residence). And the strange thing is, that I remember very little about the physical productions of what was surely written to be a really spectacular Zauberposse, from its opening hungry Wurm to its trial by fire and water. I remember the performances of some of the singers – from O’Brien/Baillie/Warren Smith/Rogatszy, with the NZ Opera, to te Kanawa/Deutekom/Ward and a telephone box in London, to Tsallagova/Kang/Kehrer/Hutton/Pauly in Germany -- but I could mostly have had my eyes shut, just listening to that glorious score, for all that I recall of the rather simplistic story and its staging. Odd. Because I remember I called the Berlin staging ‘ideal’. Clearly the piece does benefit from an unfussy staging, which throws the singers and the music into high relief.

Which brings me to my DVD. It is a live recording from the Ludwigsburger Schlössfestspiele of 1992. 1992 was my ‘French period’ – Nice opera or none – and the peak volume time of my one-book-after-another writing career. I was no longer casting, nor travelling through Europe to see productions, which means that most of the names on this disc are unfamiliar to me. Johnny, really, I thought, why are you sending me a DVD of My First Opera (I sang the music of the Königin at 11, Papageno at 13, and blossomed as a 16 year-old Sarastro) from a seventeen-year-old German provincial festival? Well, now I know.

Firstly it is staged in a fashion which could not be more simple. There is little that could be called scenery, an inoffensive time-and-place mish-mash of costumes (the Queen and Monastatos’s team win hands down sartorially over buttoned-up Team Temple), and the direction is tidy and sensible and really makes the libretto seem almost coherent. Just one note for the director: it doesn’t matter if a singer stands still to be dramatic, but walking agitatedly across the stage in mid-aria is giggleworthy. But the main thing about this staging is that it made, for me, the characters … what can I say? -- come out differently. I have never thought of the three ladies as being ‘main characters’. Here, they are, and they are superb. I have considered the three ‘knaben’ even less. Here, they have become quite prominent, and I loved how they joined in as the little Papagenos (one, I am sure, was a Papagena). Monastatos has suddenly become someone …

I have just had a wee lie down, to consider all this. Is it I, the director, has the dramaturg been fiddling? But the ‘balance of power’ here seems not only different but apt. Tamino and Pamina are mere pawns in the history, pushed around by Crown and Church. Yet, Tamino seems to be the central character. This probably has something to do with the fact that he is played Deon van der Walt, a tall, boyishly handsome fellow in a gold-trimmed judo outfit, with an extraordinarily sweet tenor voice, which becomes steely bright under ‘emotion’. He has the difficult job of emoting-reacting through some lengthy moments and – apart from the dramatic pacing referred to above – brings it off splendidly. You even forget to think, what a daft fellow, falling in love with a picture!

As his sidekick, Thomas Mohr is a darling Papageno. He reminded me of nothing less than a feathered Zero Mostel. His business with his origami bird was charming, and his duet with the sparky Papagena (Patricia Rozario), with its ring-a-rosies with the children, was a highlight. I don’t think my life is long enough to catch a Papa-pair to equal Pauly and Hutton at the Deutsche Oper, but this was – in a different mode – a very good second.

Having said which, Tamino and Papageno really seem, here, to have picked the wrong team. If I were a betting man, I would back this Team Night to beat this Team Temple hands down. And it isn’t just the Team Captains, although Andrea Frei, an Astrafiammante equipped with all the requisite high notes, a butcher’s knife and a splendid starry super-crinoline, looks to have much more power-potential than the tall, soft-grained, light bass Sarastro of Cornelius Hauptmann, in his unattractive primrose Chinese housecoat.

No, it’s the supporting teams. Team Queen has a perfect powerhouse of deputy-queens! Never, ever have I seen and/or heard the Three Ladies played and sung with such success. They look like a mixture of the Beverley Sisters, Lily Savage and the Supremes (whitewashed), and they sing – oh joy! – wonderfully TOGETHER. Elizabeth Whitehouse, Marina Sandel, Nadia Michael … you knock Il Divo or the Three Tenors into next week! A star act. You would make mincemeat of the selection of pale, bald eunuch-looking wimps, in their drab midi-length housecoats, supporting Sarastro. 

And when the magnificent Monastatos of Kevin Conners defects from the opposition …

One question, though, ladies: the Singspiel is called the Magic Flute. Why did you give Tamino a recorder?

Which leaves the Drei Knaben (even if one isn’t). I don’t care for boy soprano voices. They seem to invariably teeter on the bottom edge of the note. Not these! Beauties! They sound like fresh young children, not the dreaded Cathedral Chorister of yore … and bang in tune! And having fun! 

Oh. I’ve forgotten Pamina. Poor Pamina. If she didn’t have the glorious ‘Ach! Ich fühl’s’, the duet with Papageno, and the thrill line of the night (‘Tamiiiiiiiino mein’) she’d be as much of a dramatic cipher as her Mamma. Shickanader clearly wasn’t much good at writing women. But Mozart made up for him. Ulrike Sonntag is Pamina here, and sings her beautiful music with the purity that is the raison d’être of the role, but the camera isn’t always kind to her, her coiffure or her saggy 1930s frock.

Well, I’ve had a great fun time with this DVD. Thank you Johnny! I shall definitely watch it again, and then send it round my friends … And now I had better get back to the business of publishing your next book (below) … and better than the printing on this. The rather tatty Arthaus Musik booklet does not credit any but the ‘main’ players (and credits 2nd lady differently on cover and in booklet), it holds no information on the singers, and is really an incompetent ‘cheap label’ waste of time. What a let down for a fine disc.

PS I see Ludwigsburg also has a Pumpkin Festival. Maybe we could join that too!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

One tenor: fifty years: four continents, umpteen countries, three wives …

I don’t know why the tenor Henry Hallam has never been biographized. Not even, would you believe it, by me. Oh, sure, I’ve written his name dozens of time in articles on other people but … well, I reckon the time has come to put his fascinating story on paper.

His career isn’t that difficult to follow, in spite of the fact that it was extremely widely geographically spread – Britain, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, both coasts of the United States of America – it just takes a bit of time and a lot of digging to gather all the fragments and jigsaw them together. Even the wives are pretty regular, the daughters ill-fated, the family … oh. Not so regular. So let’s start with the family.
Henry was born Henry Samuel Hallam Mayer, in Clerkenwell, London on 7 August 1850. His mother was 28 (?) year-old Mrs Elizabeth Mayer, née Williams, the wife of furrier Martin Mayer of 8 Greystoke Place, Fetter Lane, and she had already borne to him three children, Martin Samuel, Hector and Emma, seemingly dead in infancy, since their marriage on 11 June 1839. Strange then the 37 Upper Rosoman St, Clerkenwell, in the 1841 census houses Martin Mayer a foreign furrier, his son Martin 2, and his wife … Mary, 20. Strange, too, that in 1848 a Martin Mayer marries a Mary Donoven in Stepney, and that Elizabeth Mayer née Williams marries Henry Richard Hallam (b London 14 February 1820; d Tilehurst 26 April 1893) from Peartree Court, Clerkenwell, on Christmas Day 1854. Three years after the birth of what looks like their pre-marital son who was, nevertheless, christened as the son of Martin Mayer. And Henry Richard was … guess what, a furrier and son of a furrier. Wife-swapping in Clerkenwell? Whatever the precise answer, there were, it seems, some furry questionmarks around the birth of young Henry. Which may be why I can find none of the participants in the 1851 census. But by 1861 the Hallams are there, still in the fur trade, with Henry (10) and Victoria (8).

Over the next decade, I spy very little of young Henry. I have only one piece of ‘information’. His early singing teacher was J Robinson. If true, that would tell us something else. He was in Liverpool, or else Dublin. There practised the two known Mr Joseph Robinsons of the 1850s vocal-coaching world. Joseph Bagot Robinson (d Dublin 1 August 1876), over a decade known as a singer in the midlands, operated from Hope Street, Liverpool, Joseph Robinson was vocal teacher in Dublin. I’m inclined to go for Liverpool. I wonder what Henry was doing as a teenage Liverpudlian.

He was back in London in 1870, however, giving a ‘farewell concert’ at the Barnsbury Institute. ‘Farewell’? Yes, Henry was following the rush to the diggings of Australia. He arrived in Melbourne 18 August 1870, and a fortnight later, aged 20, made his first appearance as a singer, at Prahran (3 September), alongside Florence Calzado, on a bill topped by ‘the Australian Tom Thumb’. In the next couple of years, he became a familiar name on Victorian bills (‘a young gentleman with a very pretty, very light tenor voice, extremely smooth and pleasing to the ear’), sharing bills with such established stars of the time and place as Sophia Cutter, Amelia Bailey, Mrs Fox, Alice May, Lucy Chambers, Armes Beaumont, a selection of Carandinis, Fanny Simonsen, David Miranda and wife, Mary Ann Christian, Amy Sherwin, ‘Juan de Haga’ et al. He made a first operatic foray at Charles Lascelles’ Benefit (October 1871) singing Tonio in an act of The Daughter of the Regiment, and performed The Messiah in Melbourne at Christmas of the year.

In 1872, he joined the Simonsen opera troupe, appearing as Fritz in The Grande-Duchesse and Manuel in The Rose of Castille, sang in ‘Operatic Concerts’ in Sydney with Agatha States, then switched genre and joined up with music-hall singer Harry Rickards, purveying tenor ballads through Australia and New Zealand (‘The Pilgrim of Love’, ‘The Irish Emigrant’, ‘The Death of Nelson’, ‘Come into the Garden Maud’, ‘Margharetta’, Thou art so near’, ‘Tell me Mary, how to woo thee’, ‘The Anchor’s Weighed’. ‘Molly Bawn’, ‘Happy be thy Dreams’, ‘My Guiding Star’, ‘You’ll remember me’, ‘The Nightingale’s Call’, ‘In this old chair’) between the comicalities. Rickards also popped the occasional short musical into his programme, so Henry got to play Pygmalion and Gala-Dear, Forty Winks, The Blind Beggars and suchlike. 

After a year with Rickards, Hallam decided to branch out as a sharebroker. He lost all in weeks, and hurried back to singing teaching and then performing, in concert with Arabella Goddard and then as a member of the Alice May Opera Company. He also got married (8 November 1873). His bride was Miss Harriet Langmaid or Langmead[e], known to the stage as ‘Hattie Shepparde’, a much-liked soubrette on the Sydney stage.

The Alice May company, visited Wagga Wagga, and the Royal Victoria in Sydney with its repertoire of The Bohemian Girl, La Sonnambula, The Grande-Duchesse, The Daughter of the Regiment, Maritana and turned Geneviève de Brabant into a pantomime for Christmas before continuing with The Blind Beggars, The Lily of Killarney … each with Henry in the lead tenor role, before, in February 1874, the company (and Hattie) sailed for New Zealand. New Zealand had allegedly only once before had a whole opera company and, although much of Alice’s company was fairly average, they were welcomed for an initial five weeks in Dunedin and then around the country. Satanella, Fra Diavolo (a Hallam speciality). Der Freischütz, Cinderella, Martha, La Fille de Madame Angot, The Rose of Auvergne, The Crimson Scarf and Cox and Box (without Henry) swelled the repertoire.

Hattie had left the tour and returned home to give birth to her daughter, Hattie Cynisca Bella Shepparde Hallam in September. The mother died in childbirth and the child as an infant.

The May troupe retuned to Adelaide 6 April 1875, moved to Melbourne and on 10 August sailed for Bombay on the Almora. A fortnight out a member of the company, gave birth to a daughter, Almora Howell Hallam. Apparently the lady’s real name was Margaret Hogan, but she was known on the stage as Maggie Christie, and she had been for several years a minor principal with the company. Anyway they got married 13 January in Calcutta, while the company was playing the Corinthian Theatre. It was later said the troupe had managed to get to Shanghai, Madras and Allahabad before they crumbled. Some went back to Australia, as best they could, but the Hallams didn’t. They carried on, to Britain.

Henry was swiftly into work, touring with Charles Durand’s opera company, before joining Kate Santley, who was purveying a butchered version of Orphée aux enfers in which Henry was Pluto, and briefly, a little piece entitled Happy Hampstead which is remembered 140 years later simply because it had a scorelet by one R D’Oyly Carte. When Kate went on tour, she added Princess Toto, La Fille de Madame Angot and Trial by Jury to her repertoire. Next, Henry joined Hariel Becker’s touring company, with Rose Bell as star (John of Paris, Fra Diavolo, La Fille de Madame Angot), then visited the Park Theatre to play in Pom, during which time Maggie was delivered of a son, Henry Richard (b Islington, 27 April 1878; d Chicago 3 October 1942). 

He toured as Alain in Babiole, in October 1879 created the lead role in Stanislaus’s The Lancashire Witches, played in a production of Le Voyage en Chine, went on the road with Adelaide Newton and George Mudie (La Fille de Madame Angot, The Blind Beggars, As You Like It) and spent his time, in between, ladding it at the Urban Club. He returned to the West End in 1882 in an amateurish flop named Melita, rose to a leading role in the much happier The Merry Duchess and then to his best London role as Jan in the Alhambra’s Beggar Student. The leading man was played by Fannie Leslie in pants. He played de Lansac in François les bas-bleus, toured in Olivette with Emily Soldene, took a turn with Henry Wardroper in his variety show The Fancy Ball and then made an error. American composer Richard Stahl took the Standard Theatre to present his wife, Bertie Crawford, as a soubrette star of the Lotta species in an American-style ‘musical comedy’, Capers. They were shrieked off the stage, and the reviews were simply deadly, Stahl and wife tempested off to America… and Henry went too. His West End career was over.

He arrived in America on the Aurania on 8 December 1885, thirty-five years old, and began the third slice of his career playing Sylvio to The Enchantress of Alfa Norman (wife of the editor of the New York Dramatic Mirror). She wasn’t admired and the Clipper labelled Henry ‘weak and unsatisfactory’. They switched to The Mikado and The Bohemian Girl and by the time the company collapsed, Henry was off giving his Thaddeus in Baltimore summer season, with an almost entirely English cast. But much better was coming. Henry was picked up by the Casino Theater, to succeed to the juvenile lead, Eugene Marcel, in the musical-theatre hit of the era, Erminie. He was to stay with the Casino, America’s top comic opera management for over three years appearing as Count de Rosen in Nadgy, Fairfax in The Yeomen of the Guard, the Duke of Mantua in The Brigands, Fritz to the Grande-Duchesse of Lillian Russell, Goncalves in The Brazilian, Ange Pitou in La Fille de Madame Angot et al. The ‘golden’ period ended, however, and he went back on the road in more Erminie and Giroflé-Giroflà, to San Francisco, where he indulged an unfortunate effort in management at the Orpheum and turned up in New York as Risotto in The Mountebanks, and got married again.

Unless I have got it wrong, he married Dutch-Canadian soprano Miss Josie Schoff (recte: Josephine Davidson Schoff) (b McGillivray, Ontario 1867), known for the stage as Josephine Stanton, in Illinois 27 September 1893. Maggie got a divorce 26 July 1895.

The happy couple went on tour with Alfa Norman, still at it, played summer season at Milwaukee, and more Angot with David Henderson. Henry got mixed up with a flop piece called The Isle of Gold, trouped with A Stranger in New York, with Mathilde Cotrelly and with Milton Aborn and a group called ‘the Boston Lyric Company’ with which he played Pietro in Boccaccio, Pippo in La Mascotte, and featured opposite Josie in Fra Diavolo, The Fencing Master, Said Pasha … when their San Francsico season closed in one night, it was time for a change. Slice four was about to begin. On 10 March 1900, the Hallams left America for New Zealand, at the head of a rather motley ‘Josephine Stanton Opera Company’. The only well-known name amongst them was Carl Formes but, alas, it wasn’t the great German bass but his comprimario son.

They opened in Auckland 28 May with a repertoire of Said Pasha, Fra Diavolo, The Fencing Master, Wang and Dorcas. It appears that they were rather approximate versions. Henry sang ‘Funiculi Funicula’ and his best song from the Lancashire Witches in Said Pasha. They traipsed round smalltown New Zealand – Feilding, Wanganui, Hawera, Napier, Timaru, Oamaru – and, having exhausted their prospects there, they proceeded to Australia and opened at the Sydney Criterion. By May, the splintering company had expired in Adelaide. However, Henry and Josie were employable, even if their comoany were not, and they were promptly snapped up by George Musgrove. Over the next eighteen months Henry featured as the Emperor Hang Chow in A Chinese Honeymoon, The Lord Mayor in The Thirty Thieves, General Korboy in The Fortune Teller, Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment, and his regular role of Fra Diavolo, until the company's tour closed. On June 13 1904, they sailed for England.

The English stop-over lasted only a couple of years, during which they played sketches in the music-halls, before they sailed for Canada. On the shipping list, they admitted to 57 and 30. However, Henry, who was still looking fine, if a little beefy, would soon start chopping many years off his age.

For the next five years, I lose them. Retired? Oh no! In 1912, slice number five would begin. Henry Hallam, aged 62, but passing for a decade or more younger, made his first (silent) film short . I leave the complete list of his credits to the film historians, but over the next decade I have spotted him in seniorish roles as Uncle Tom in Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1913), in Home Run Bakers Double, The Brand, The Mystery of the Yellow Sunbonnet, The Scorpion’s Sting, Audrey, as Count Wolfenstein in a celluloid contraction of The Black Crook, The War Bride’s Secret, The Ill Thereof, A Girl Without a Soul, Bonnie Annie Lauri, as Colonel Henry Clay Riesener in Blue Jeans, Carolyn of the Corners, My Little Sister, The Lion and the Mouse, Help Help Police, Phil for Short and Tom Terriss’s 6-reel version of The Heart of Maryland.

Some months after the release of this last, Henry died. Some of the film websites still say that he was fifty-four years old at the time. He wasn’t, of course, he was 71. And he’d been more than half a century in show business.

I haven’t discovered yet what became of Josie. Or Maggie. But I’ve winkled out the children. Almora went on the stage, beginning, with her father, in A Stranger in New York. She toured America in farce-comedy, in comic opera and in vaudeville, and died in December 1918 aged 36. Henry Richard shows up in the census as a switchman on the railroads. It seems that Henry married Marjory Prudence O’Connor (Kankakee, 29 November 1910) and they had a daughter named Marjory Louise (b 27 July 1913; d 3 September 1996, Mrs Andrefsky dite Andry). Just before his death, he rewed his landlady, Mabel Belle Pappas. She shows up still in 1954 in Kankakee, Illinois … I wonder if the line of Henry Mayer dit Hallam still continues.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

SUPPÉ … some of the time …

Be careful what you wish for, says the old adage. You may get it ... and in spades!

Forty years ago, when, post-the publication of The British Musical Theatre, I was fashionable, I was asked by a Gale Writers’ Almanac how I would like to see the subject continue henceforth. I replied that I would like to see the musical theatre become a respectable area of study and scholarship, its history given the same serious attention that that of other branches of theatre were. Those careless words are reprinted every year, in each of the Almanac’s new editions, and I often rather wish I had kept my mouth shut. In recent years, endless scholarly and pseudo-scholarly theses – some interesting and worthwhile, far too many mere scissors-and-paste jobs, and gushing with the buzz-words of 21st century academia – have flooded out of the world’s Universities … nowadays, you really have to plough through the endless blatantly useless, or mark-scoring, ones to get to the flecks of gold.

I didn’t know what to think when I was presented with 427 pages of Franz von Suppè et l’opérette viennoise à l’ère du libéralisme (1860-1880) by José-Luis Munoz. A work on Suppé, yes, please! And in French! Hurrah! I’ve never been able, with my dogged German, conveniently to get through Schneidereit or Keller. But ‘the era of liberalism’? Sounds like a bit of a tidy academic ‘label’. I don’t think either of my Viennese great-grandfathers – one of whom was heavily involved in the Social Democratic party – would necessarily have agreed that those decades were notably ‘liberal’! ‘Let’s hope there is more Suppé than liberalism’, I mused as I dived in.

Great-grandfather Stojetz, the Viennese social democrat
Well, it’s nip and tuck. There’s a potted history of Vienna by way of introduction; but I’ve just finished reading Ilse Barea’s fine full-scale (left-wing) ‘biography’ of Vienna, and watching Simon Sebag Montefiore’s splendid television series on the same subject, so it was déjà lu for me … Never mind, this time it was in French, and mostly pleasantly readable, though one does trip over words/phrases like ‘socio-idéologique’ too achingly often. And the ‘fonction exo/cataphorique de l’opérette’ has me stonkered.

We don’t get to Suppé proper until page 152, by which time we have had a wisely brief, and eternally doomed, attempt at defining ‘operetta’ (the word opéra-bouffe doesn’t appear anywhere), a sketchy history of the genre, featuring the names of the endless commentators who have been apparently put to contribution for this introduction, and some occasionally rather dubious statements of ‘fact’, all of which come together in a hundred odd pages, in which the most enjoyable parts are those about the supportive Schlesinger family, and other moments when the author frees himself from Schneidereit, Keller et al, and lets himself speak.

Anyway, on page 168, Suppé starts his career in the musical theatre, which is, after all, why he and we are here. Well, I am, anyway. And here follow the most instructive and enjoyable pages of the book: the description and reviews of Jung lustig, Alter traurig, Suppé’s first piece at the Theater in der Josefstadt. I do wish the author had carried on in the same way, following our man through his engagements and works, at and for, the Theater an der Wien, the Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai, and the Carltheater, instead of going off into incidental side-alleys.

We do, however, get a bit on such examples of his works as Das Pensionat and Fatinitza (the libretti of which cannot be called ‘typically Viennese’, being, like those of Die schöne Galathé, Fledermaus and Die lustige Witwe, taken from the French), Leichte Kavallerie, Zehn Mädchen und kein Mann, and even some of the less well-known pieces. I yearn to know more about Gervinus, der Narr von Untersberg, oder eine patriotischer Wunsch! Enjoyable, too, are the tales of the Pokornys, father and son, but I would, personally, have liked more insight into the ‘man who made it all happen’, Karl Treumann.

But, alas, on page 203, it stops. There are, in fact, only thirty-five pages devoted specifically the composer and his works. Just a tenth of the whole. The remainder of the document is devoted to an ‘analyse’ of Die schöne Galathé and, more substantially, of Boccaccio. The 100 pages of this latter ‘analyse’ give every sign of being an original essay, on to which the rest of the work has been tacked, to make it up to a full-sized thesis.

The 'father of the American musical comedy' Adolph Philipp  in Boccaccio in Graz.
And then there is the obligatory thesical ‘conclusion’. A wise lady, last year, sending me her doctoral thesis for a once-over, wrote ‘ignore the introduction and conclusion, they are simple stuck-on to fit into the university’s identikit of a thesis’. She was so right. Her work was outstanding and original, the ‘add-ons’ were wholly unnecessary. But she is now Dr Annie. Is this the same here? Not entirely. New material is introduced in the conclusion, including these key lines:

“Si nous admettons les prises de position “politiques” de l’opérette, certes camouflées par un habillage antique ou renaissant faussement anachronique, employé par exemple dans les deux opérettes travesties La Belle Galathée (1865) et Boccaccio (1879), il existe en revanche un courant de penseurs qui, en se posant comme contempteurs de l’opérette viennoise, ne voient en elle qu’un dérivatif plaisant dévidé de tout contenu politique. Nous mentionnerons à ce sujet notamment Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Kraus, Egon Friedell, enfin Hermann Broch”.

Well, I’ve never thought of myself in the same boat as Nietzsche or Kraus before! Because I don’t admit ‘les prises de position politiques’ in these two Operetten. Of course, many a theatre piece does take some sort of a ‘social stance’—if you only count the easiest and oldest way: making fun of those in power – but just as many are, like these two, simply good, grubby fun. And Bumpti-ra-pa-ta to all that!

So, verdict? Loyally and pretty thoroughly researched. Readably written (give or take the buzzwords). Disappointing to me in its subject matter: I wanted more Suppé, more music, less chit-chat. What is the readership for this? The writer doesn’t seem to be sure. Probably other University folk. But he has the style and, it seems, much of the knowledge to have made it ‘the’ book on Suppé for the French-speaking world, instead of a school exercise. Shame.

PS: Thank you, Mons Munoz, for the information that one Franz Stieger has published a Suppè worklist. In 1978! I didn’t know! Twenty years later, I went to the long, drawn-out trouble of doing the same thing. I could have saved myself the time. Here’s mine. I hope we agree.

(PPS: Dr Albert Gier of Heidelberg, who has a copy of Stieger's monumental but apparently fallible work, tells me that his Suppeschen worklist includes 183 items. This one has 198. But we may each have some the other has not.
PPPS: Dr Hans-Dieter Roser has forwarded to me the deeply researched worklist from his Suppé biography, in which I find several works, notably from out-of-town, not in my list. Adding and altering accordingly!
PPPPS some of the credits in this list refer to incidental music only. Since few reviews credit individual songs, where appropriate, I have simply recorded all dramatic credits which I have found. For further details, see Dr Roser.)

1841 Jung lustig, im Alter traurig (Die Folgen der Erziehung) (C Wallis) Theater in der Josefstadt 5 March
1841 Die Wette um ein Herz (Künstlersinn und Frauenliebe) (Karl Elmar) Theater in der Josefstadt 10 March
1841 Stumm, beredt, verliebt (Franz Xaver Told) Odenburg 1 May, Theater an der Wien 15 July 1856
1841 Die Besturmung von Saida (w Carl Binder, Anton Emil Titl/Told) Arena, Baden bei Wien 3 September; Theater in der Josefstadt 10 September
1841 Der Pfeilschütz im Lerchenfeld (w Josef Lanner/Josef Kilian Schickh) Theater in der Josefstadt 27 October
1841 Der Komödiant (Eine Lektion in der Liebe) (Elmar) Theater in der Josefstadt 14 December
1842 Das grüne Band (Elmar et al) Theater in der Josefstadt 2 July
1842 Das Armband (Friedrich Kaiser) Theater in der Josefstadt 8 September
1842 Die Hammerschmiedin aus Steiermark (Folgen einer Landpartie) (Schickh) Theater in der Josefstadt 14 October
1844 Ein Morgen, ein Mittag und ein Abend in Wien (‘the author of Zauberschleier’) Theater in der Josefstadt 26 February
1844 Die schlimmen Buben (Der Teufel in allen Ecken) (w Witt/Anton von Klesheim) Theater in der Josefstadt
1844 Nella, die Zauberin (Das Maskenball auf Hochgiebel) (Elmar) Theater in der Josefstadt 11 May
1844 Marie, die Tochter des Regiments (ad Friedrich Blum) Theater in der Josefstadt 13 April
1844 Ein Sommersnachts-Traum (Shakespeare ad Emil Straube) Theater in der Josefstadt 31 August
1844 Der Mörder in Einbildung (aka Der Kramer und sein Kommis) (Kaiser) Theater in der Josefstadt 28 September
1844 Dolch und Rose (Das Donaumädchen) (Told) Theater in der Josefstadt 5 November
1844 Zum ersten Mal im Theater (Kaiser) Theater in der Josefstadt 31 December
1845 Die Champagner-Kur (Lebenshass und Reue) (Karl Gruber) Theater in der Josefstadt 20 February
1845 Die Müllerin von Burgos (Josef Kupelwieser) Theater in der Josefstadt 8 March
1845 Der Preussische Landwehrmann und die französischen Bauerin (Kaiser) 1 act Theater in der Josefstadt 22 April
1845 Die Preussen in Österreich (Landmädchen, Volontair und Trompeter) (Elmar) Theater in der Josefstadt 29 April
1845 Der Nabob (Karl Haffner) Theater in der Josefstadt 9 May
1845 Die Industrie-Ausstellung (Reise-Abenteuer in London) (Kaiser) Theater in der Josefstadt 1 August
1845 Des Wanderers Ziel (Karl Meisl) 1 act Theater an der Wien 30 August
1845 Reich an Gelt und arm an Schlaf (Der verkaufte Schlaf) (Told) Theater an der Wien 17 September
1845 Das Lustspiel in Hietzing (Blum) Theater an der Wien 26 September
1845 Sie ist verheiratet (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 7 November
1846 Die Gänsehüterin (ad Georg Ball) Theater an der Wien 11 February
1846 Der Sohn der Haide (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 15 June
1846 Dichter und Bauer (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 24 August
1847 Die Karikaturen (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 8 February
1847 Die Reise nach Grätz mit dem Landkutscher (Die Rauber auf dem Semmering) (Schickh) Theater in der Josefstadt 24 February
1847 Das Menschenherz (Lang) Theater an der Wien 15 March
1847 Liebeszauber, oder Ein Wunder in den Bergen [in der Schweiz] (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 21 April
1847 Das Vaterherz (Wilhelm Just jr) Theater in der Josefstadt 24 April
1847 Zwei Pistolen (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 8 May
1847 Ein Feenmärchen (Kupelwieser) Theater an der Wien 25 May
1847 Das Mädchen vom Lande (Elmar)Theater an der Wien 7 August
1847 Tausend und eine Nacht (w Anton Storch/Told) Theater in der Josefstadt 20 August
1847 Die Schule des Armen, oder Zwei Millionen (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 26 October
1847 Was eine Frau einmal will, oder der Friedrichsdorf (w Heinrich Proch/Heinrich Bornstein) Theater an der Wien 23 November
1847 Hier ein Schmidt, da ein Schmidt, noch ein Schmidt und wieder ein Schmidt (Elmar, Johann Heinrich Mirani) Theater an der Wien 30 December
1848 Männer-Schönheit (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 6 February
1848 Unter der Erde, oder Freiheit und Arbeit (Arbeit bringt Segen) (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 30 May
1848 Eine Petition der Burger einer kleinen Provinzstadt, oder Theolog, Jurist und Techniker (aka Bauer, Burgermeister, Gutsherr) (Josef Böhm) Theater an der Wien 12 July
1848 Wie die Reaktionäre dumm sind! (Elmar) 1 act Theater an der Wien 3 August
1848 Der Bandit (Ein Abentheuer in Spanien) ('A C Ambo') Theater an der Wien 13 August
1848 Der wirklich, überzählige, unbeseldete Wirtschafts-Practikant (Gustav Schönstein) Theater an der Wien 14 September
1848 Ein Traum -- kein Traum, oder Die letzte Rolle einer Schauspielerin (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 2 December
1848 Martl (Der Portiunculatag [or Der Tanzboden] in Schnabelhausen) (Alois Berla) Theater an der Wien 16 December
1848 Nacht und Licht (Kaiser) 1 act Theater an der Wien 31 December
1849 Des Teufels Brautfahrt, oder Böser Feind und guter Freund (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 30 January
1849 Ein Fürst (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 17 March
1849 Gervinus, der Narr vom Untersberg (Ein patriotischer Wunsch) (Berla) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus/Theater an der Wien 1 July
1849 Der Edelstein (Berla) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 17 September
1849 Ein Blatt der Weltgeschichte (Beethoven arr/Otto Prechtler) Theater an der Wien 3 October
1849 Unterthänig und unabhängig (Vor und nach einem Jahre) (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 13 October
1849 's Alraunl (Klesheim) Theater an der Wien 13 November
1850 Deborah (Mosenthal) Stadt-Theater, Leipzig 8 January
1850 Die Philister-Schule (Alles auf ein Mal und nie) (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 17 January
1850 Die Künst zu lieben (Gentil Bernhard) (w Adolf Müller/Ida Schuselka-Brünning) Theater an der Wien 26 February
1850 Liebe zum Volke (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 18 March
1850 Die Assentirung (aka Bürger und Soldat, oder Liebe zum Vaterland) (w Adolf Müller/V W Niklas ad Bohm) Theater an der Wien 26 April
1850 Die beiden Fassbinder (Reflexionen und Aufmerksamkeiten) (Leopold Feldmann) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 16 May
1850 Der Dumme hat's Glück (Er muss tolle Streiche machen) (Berla) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 29 June
1850 Der Mann an der Spitz, oder Alles aus Freundschaft (Anton Bittner) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 19 August
1850 Der Vertrauensmann, oder Wahrheit und Luge (Berla) Theater an der Wien 19 September
1851 Dame Valentin, oder Frauenräuber und Wanderburschen (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 9 January
1851 Fliegende Blätter (pasticcio comp and arr w Müller) Theater an der Wien 22 May
1851 Die Industrie Ausstellung oder Reise-Abenteuer in London (Leopold Feldmann) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 25 May
1851 Waldmärchen (Berla) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 30 July
1851 Angeplauscht (Ludwig Wysber) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 20 August
1852 Der Tannenhäuser (Heinrich von Levitschnigg) Theater an der Wien 27 February
1852 Die Jungfer Mahm von Gmunden (Kola) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 20 May
1852 Ein Filz als Prasser (Leopold Feldmann, Theodor Flamm) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 30 June
1852 Pech! (Berla) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 31 July
1852 Das Beispiel (Franz Nissl, Sigmund Schlesinger) Theater an der Wien 2 October
1852 Der Grabsteinmacher (Wysber) Theater an der Wien 6 November
1853 Die Heimkehr von der Hochzeit (Feldmann) Theater an der Wien 8 January
1853 Der Baum des Lebens, oder Österreichs Eiche (Feldmann) 1 act Theater an der Wien 13 March
1853 Die Irrfahrt um's Glück (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 24 April
1853 Die Steinbrüderln, oder der Traum von Ritterthum (w Carl Binder/Kola) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 5 June
1853 Die weiblichen Jäger (Die Jägermadchen oder Eine moderne Diana) (Feldmann) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 29 July
1854 Die Bernsteinhexe (Heinrich Laube) Theater an der Wien 6 January
1854 Durcheinander (pasticcio arr/Wilhelm Grüner) Theater an der Wien 5 February
1854 Trommel und Trompete (Elmar) Theater an der Wien1 April
1854 Der fidele Christel (Anton Bittner) Theater an der Wien 19 April
1854 Im Bauernhaus -- im Herrenhause (J L Deinhardtstein) 1 act Theater an der Wien 25 April
1854 Der Biberhof (Leopold Feldmann, Moritz Märzroth) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 25 May
1854 Wo steckt der Teufel? (Eduard Breier ad Johann Grün) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 28 June
1854 Mozart (Leonhard Wohlmuth) Theater an der Wien 23 September
1854 Nur romantisch! (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 18 November
1854 Der Jüwelier, oder Der Festmarkt von Kronburg (Franz von Holbein) 6 December
1854 Bum! Bum!, oder Zwei Schlauköpfe und ein Dummkopf (Bittner) Theater an der Wien 9 December
1855 Das Bründl [Schuster] bei Sievring (Ein Blick in die Zukunft) (Hugo Merlin) Theater an der Wien 14 April
1855 Der Teufel hol die Komödie (Merlin) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 17 May
1855 Der Hollenross (Karl Bruno) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 23 May
1855 Die G'frettbrüder (Bittner, Berla) Theater an der Wien 28 June
1855 Märchen, Bilder und Geschichten für kleine und grosse Kinder (Prinz Lilliput und das Schneiderlein) (Klesheim) Theater an der Wien 20 October
1855 Judas im Frack (Ein Judas von Anno neune) (w Müller/Langer) Theater an der Wien 20 December
1856 Die Reise nach Graz mit dem Lohnkutscher (Schick) 2 February
1856 Nur keine Verwandten (Feldmann) Theater an der Wien 12 April
1856 Ein Musikant, oder Die ersten Gedanken (Ludwig Gottsleben) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 7 June
1856 Die Wahrheit auf Reisen (Berg) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 22 June
1856 Der Schuster von Sievring (Merlin) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 16 July
1856 Die Weingeister (Alois Blank, J Bernhofer) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 10 August
1856 Eine ungarische Dorfgeschichte (Bittner, Berla) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 31 August
1856 Die schöne Leni (Julius Findeisen) Theater an der Wien 4 October
1856 Die Kreuzköpfeln (Berg, Grün) Theater an der Wien 22 October
1856 Vertrauen (Moritz Anton Grandjean) Theater an der Wien 22 November
1856 Ein gefährlicher Mensch (Der Bucher-Hausirer) (Wilhelm Tesko) Theater an der Wien 7 December
1857 Im Circus 1 act Theater an der Wien 31 January
1857 Der Faschingsteufel (Berla) Theater an der Wien 23 February
1857 Eine Schlange (Karl Gründorf) Theater an der Wien 18 April
1857 Kopf und Herz (Flamm) Theater an der Wien 9 May
1857 Der Komet vom Jahre 1857 (Feldmann, Weyl) Theater an der Wien 23 May
1857 Ein desparater Kopf (Karl) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 20 June
1857 Die Wäschermadeln (Ritter Bomsen und seine schauderliche Mordthau) (aka Die Hellseherin von Thury) (Berg) Theater an der Wien 29 June
1857 Eine Landpartie (Julius Findeisen) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 17 July
1858 Paragraph drei (Grandjean) Hofoper 8 January
1858 Die Mozart-Geige, oder Der Dorfmusikant und sein Kind (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 27 February
1858 Das tagliche Brot (Berla) Theater an der Wien 13 March
1858 Der Werkelmann und seine Familie (Langer) Theater an der Wien 17 April
1858 Die Firmgodl (Elmar) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 21 May
1858 Die Kathi von Eisen (Berla) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 15 August
1858 Nach der Stadterweiterung (Gans, Schlesinger) Theater an der Wien 11 December
1859 Ein Faschings-Gugelhupf (w Müller/Langer) Theater an der Wien 5 March
1859 Der Teufel im Herzen (Das vierte Gebot) (w Müller/Flamm, Joseph Wimmer ad) Theater an der Wien 18 March
1859 Die Husaren und der Kinderstrumpf (Friedrich Hopp) Stadt Theater, Tirnau (music normally credited to Julus Hopp)
1859 Etwas zum lachen, oder Keine Politik (Feldmann) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 9 July
1859 Eine Wienerin (Flamm) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 23 July
1859 Der Waldteufel (Berla/Tesko) Theater an der Wien
1859 Über Land und Meer (w Müller/Blank) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 21 August
1859 Eine Judenfamilie (Mirani) Theater an der Wien 22 October
1859 Die Zauberdose, oder Um zehn Jahre zu spät (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 19 December
1860 Meister Winter (Berla) Theater an der Wien 13 March
1860 Das Pensionat (C K) 1 act Theater an der Wien 24 November
1860 Mein ist die Welt (Kaiser) Theater an der Wien 16 December
1861 Ein Loch in der Hölle (Johann Schonau) Theater an der Wien 1 February
1861 Ein Faschingsdonnerstag in Venedig (J Golinelli) (pantomime divertissement) Theater an der Wien 9 March
1861 Ein Kapitalist, der einen Dienst sucht (aka Ein Ratzelhafter Freund, oder Kapitalist und Kammerdiener) (Scribe ad Carl F Stix) 1 act Theater an der Wien 26 May
1861 Der politische Schuster (Berg) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 1 June
1861 Der Höllen-Kandidat (Bernhofer, Blank) Sommer-Theater in Fünfhaus 26 July
1861 Wiener Nachtfalter (Gottsleben) Theater an der Wien 3 October
1861 Ein Schwindler (Mirani) Theater an der Wien 12 October
1861 Die Wunderkinder aus Californien (Elmar) Theater an der Wien 29 November
1862 Ein Mann dreier Weiber, oder Ein alter Tarockspieler (w Müller/Blank, J L Harisch) Theater an der Wien 22 April
1862 Die Kartenschlägerin 1 act Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai 26 April
1862 Zehn Mädchen und kein Mann (W Friedrich) 1 act Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai 25 October
1862 Baedekers Reisenhandbuch (w C F Conradin/G Belly) 1 act Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai 27 December
1862 Werners Vergnügungszügler 1 act Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai 27 December
1863 Der Herr Vetter (Berla) Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai 28 February
1863 Flotte Bursche (Josef Braun) 1 act Theater am Franz-Josefs-Kai 18 April
1863 Der Selbstmörder (w Karl Kleiber/Blank) 1 act Fursts Singspielhalle 21 June
1863 Etwas für alle Jahreszeiten (w J Hopp, Müller/ad Blank) Theater an der Wien 5 September
1863 Überall Geister (Langer) 1 act Carltheater 23 September
1863 Christkindl (Langer) 1 act Carltheater 26 December
1864 Das Corps der Rache (Harisch) 1 act Carltheater 5 March
1864 Franz Schubert (Schubert arr/Hanns Max) 1 act Carltheater 10 September
1864 Der Schwiegerpapa aus Krems (Langer) Carltheater 19 November
1865 Dinorah, oder Die Turnerfahrt nach Hütteldorf (Friedrich Hopp as ‘Julius Cäsar’) Carltheater 4 May
1865 Die schöne Galathé[e] ('Poly Henrion') 1 act Meysels Theater, Berlin 30 June
1865 Der Ehemann in der Baumwolle (ad Bittner) 1 act Carltheater 4 November
1865 Die alte Schachtel (Berg) 1 act Carltheater 2 December
1866 Leichte Kavallerie (Karl Costa) Carltheater 21 March
1866 Der letzte Gulden (Berg) Carltheater 18 August
1866 Ein patriotische Dienstbot (Berg) Carltheater 18 August
1866 Theatralische Ausverkauft Carltheater 25 August
1866 Es wird annektiert! 1 act Carltheater 20 September
1866 Die Freigeister (Costa) 2 act then 1act Carltheater 23 October
1867 Banditenstreiche (B Boutonnier) 1 act Carltheater 27 April
1868 Die Frau Meisterin (Costa) Carltheater 20 January
1868 Schlechte Mittel, gute Zwecke (Kaiser) Carltheater 5 March
1868 Tantalusqualen 1 act Carltheater 3 October
1869 Isabella (Josef Weyl) 1 act Carltheater 6 November
1870 Vineta, oder Die versunkene Stadt Theater im Gärtnerplatz, Munich 10 February
1870 [Lohengelb, oder] Die Jungfrau von Dragant (Nestroy ad [Costa], M A Grandjean) Stadttheater, Graz 23 July; Carltheater 30 November
1871 Centifolie (Langer) Carltheater 9 February
1871 Eine schöne Wirtschaft (Flamm) Carltheater 15 November
1872 Ein weibliche Dämon (Langer) Carltheater 13 April
1872 Cannebas (Josef Doppler) 1 act Carltheater 2 November
1873 Tricoche und Cacolet (Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy ad Treumann) Carltheater 3 January
1873 Wolfgang und Constanze (Mozart arr/Langer) Carltheater 3 May
1875 Fräulein Schwarz (Langer) Carltheater 11 March
1875 Die Reise um die Erde in 80 Tagen (Jules Verne, Adolphe d'Ennery ad Karl Treumann) Carltheater 28 March
1876 Fatinitza (F Zell, Richard Genée) Carltheater 5 January
1876 Zahnarzt und Magnetiseur (A Reichenbach) 1 act Carltheater 4 February
1876 Nach dem Mond und unterm Meer (Verne ad Adolphe L'Arronge, Zell) Carltheater 25 March
1876 Die Frau Baronin vom Ballet (Berg) 1 act Carltheater 2 December
1876 Die treulose Witwe (Berg) 1 act Carltheater 2 December
1877 Unsere Handwerk (Berg) 1 act Carltheater 1 April
1878 Der Teufel auf Erden (Julius Hopp, Carl Juin) Carltheater 5 January
1879 Boccaccio (Zell, Genée) Carltheater 1 February
1880 Donna Juanita (Zell, Genée) Carltheater 21 February
1880 Die Schwestern (Held) Carltheater 19 October
1881 Der Gascogner (Zell, Genée) Carltheater 22 March
1882 Das Herzblättchen (Karl Tetzlaff) Carltheater 4 February
1883 Die Afrikareise (Moritz West, Genée) Theater an der Wien 17 March
1887 Bellman (West, Ludwig Held) Theater an der Wien 26 February
1887 Joseph Haydn (Haydn arr/Franz von Radler) Theater in der Josefstadt 30 April
1888 Die Jagd nach dem Glück (Genée, Bruno Zappert) Carltheater 27 October
1895 Das Modell (Victor Léon, Held) Carltheater 4 October
1898 Die Pariserin (Léon, Held) revised Die Frau Meisterin  Carltheater 26 January

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

John Gallas: THE BLOOD BOOK.

OK. I suppose everything has to be learned. This is my first time out as a Publisher and I’m doing it all alone. Well, except for the printing etc, which is in the hands of Lorene of Christchurch and Dave of Sacramento, Cal.

Their bit is all but done, soon I shall have books here at Gerolstein, and I realise that I have probably done things in quite the wrong order. I should have been touting for orders weeks ago. But I didn’t like to. Firstly, until I get the printers’ bill, I don’t know what the exact unit cost of the book is. Until I get the first paper copy, I can’t know what size padded envelope I will need and what the postage will be. Then I have to work out how people can pay … Paypal, I suppose. I don’t have it, but John does. No, I sha’n’t hand it over to Amazon: there are only 250 copies in the (first?) run, and if I keep to direct sales, I can keep the price down …

This morning, it was announced that John had won the prestigious Reuben Rose Voices of Israel Poetry Competition. Much kudos, a nice cheque and a trip to Israel, lucky lad …

'Death of a Ploughman'
... Perhaps to such people who tend it this dull land
may be laboured and loved. Rain rings on the bell.
I wait on a bench inside the porch. The doors thump open ;
the bier sways past. I quietly call his name.

Well, he was kinder than the life it made him.
The bearers carry him into the mist.
Beyond the tilled bank, they sink into the earth. I stamp
the mud from my boots. An owl sighs in the spindles ...

And inquiries and even orders for his new book started coming in! So I thought, heavens, Kurt, you are doing this all wrong! I mean how will you know how many books to keep in New Zealand, for orders from Australasia, Asia, America … and how many to export to Britain … you should have opened Nominations and Acceptances weeks ago, even with only approximate prices … so, here goes.

The book will be 404pp in a stout card cover

and 12 characteristic illustrations from the pen of the author.


The back cover holds a blurb explaining the why, wherefore and what of the book, which I'll print here, rather than the from the book's backside:

"Genealogy is the rage of the age …
As the only sons of an only son of an only childbearing son, John and I had never bothered about investigating our ancestors (‘all dead’ quoth father), until I came upon some surprising grandmotherish papers, and, a year or two ago, began delving. Well, I am happy to report we now have a complete pack of sixteen great-grand-parents, hailing from the highlands of Scotland to the puszta of Hungary … but to go back further is sometimes a tad difficult.

I noticed that many folk on the genealogical sites who haven’t succeeded in getting a full-flush of 16 ggs, or a super-slam of of 32 gggs, have shyly fabricated a fake family. So, John, taking a wee break from publishing end-to-end volumes of poetry, decided to have a bit of fun and do the same for us. This family tree doesn’t just go back to the factual Black Bull pub in C16th century Aberdeen, or the equally factual Jewish merchants of Mór, Fejer, it goes back to our maternal great-grandfather 552 times removed, and our paternal great-grandmother 552 times removed, in lands and cultures beyond time, and it follows the fates and frolicks of their descendants rudely through the millennia, as they war and couple and schnort and compete and breed … oh! How they breed! Well, have to keep the tree ablossoming …

Until it gets to John Gallas, and to his brother, Kurt Gänzl, who thought this was too goodly a historie to keep as just a family in-joke, and invented the Gerolstein Press, which, 552 generations on, proudly presents THE BLOOD BOOK!"


Well, that's whats in it. The tales of the barely levitating Weird Woman of Bab-i-ploj, the unprecedented Matter of Someone Being a Bird, the Sorcerous Seer and her lost rune-sticks, Elizabeth whose profession is to play the organ to drown the screams of the tortured ... and many more.

What ought I say next? Um. It looks as if the price will come out at something like $45NZ, which gulped me a tad till I heard that a modern-day Penguin Book is twenty quid. I'll translate it into GBP when I have the exact figures. Which should be quite soon. Then I've got to buy the little country postoffice out of padded bags, so that if there are any copies left when I leave for my Winter Palace, Wendy can take over as postmistress ...  but I suspect there won't be.

The office of Gerolstein Press is situated at The Living Room, Gerolstein, 38 Maguire's Rd, Rangiora RD7 7477, New Zealand, but orders should be made by addressing me, with postal details, at 

I know that's not how you do it, but I'm old fashioned and trusting (and ignorant of the way of the book business) so that's the way I'll do it ..

Now, ruddy libraries. How do I get on to THEM ...

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Pauline Joran: From the Savoy to Santuzza and Rossweisse

My piece on the Gianettae of the Gondoliers and its pendant comments about how, seemingly, the Cartesian casting department, in the following years, lost its soprano way until the appearance of Ruth Vincent led to a learned and amiable discussion of the Sullivan website, which made me realise that I had omitted to rescue (American) Pauline Joran from among the flock of American tweety-bird sopranos of the 1890s.
Pauline only played 50 nights at the Savoy, in the role of the dramatic Saida in The Beauty Stone. And whatever was wrong with the show (I have never, alas, heard it), and something clearly was, there was nothing wrong with the dramatic soprano. So here, by way of apologia, is my little piece about Miss Joran.

JORAN, [Clara] Pauline (b Freeport, Illinois 3 August 1870; d St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington 13 August 1954)

Augustus Harris described Pauline Joran, in the 1890s, as ‘one of the most useful and efficient artistes on the operatic stage’. And there is little doubt that he was right.

Pauline was the subject of a number of biographical pieces during her career, some reasonably accurate, others not so precise. So, I’ll just get rid of the wrong bits first. She was not born in Chicago. Her father was not a music master. Her mother was not an ‘English pianist of repute’. She was not their eldest child (of three).

Father was Louis Grund Joran (b Vienna 21 February 1830; d Chicago 22 February 1901). His life and career (up to 1872) has been minutely recorded by a certain John Gregory, civil engineer, of Milwaukee in a tome subtitled Biographies of Leading Men (of Milwaukee, that is) which he certainly was not. But he was a friend of Mr Gregory. His occupation was 'artist-painter', and I see a couple of his indifferent works survive, including a portrait of Mr Gregory. In 1877, I see him advertising for work as ‘portrait painter, paintings copied or restored …’.

Mother was Mary Elizabeth née Askew (b Milwaukee 16 March 1850; d 7 Sunderland Terrace, Paddington 23 March 1933), and the couple seem to have been wed around 1867. Their first child, Louise Marie (‘Lula’) was born 22 September 1868, Pauline came second on a date I have not found, and [Henrietta] Elise the last. The dates of the children’s births were later much talked of, because the three sisters were to become very precocious child musical stars.

They did so without father, for Mary Askew Joran divorced her useless husband in 1879, for ‘failure to provide’. He failed to provide in Sacramento, California, to where they had removed about 1877.

Lula was the first sister to appear in public (7 February 1878), as a pianist ‘aged 9’, Pauline appears as a baby violinist in 1880, a pupil of Charles Goffrie, once of London’s Réunion des Arts, and by 1883, I see Elise joining them for an amateur production of The Invisible Price, put on by Julia Melville Snyder. In March 1884, Adelina Patti visited a private home in Sacramento, and the two little pianists and the baby violinist were put on show in front of her. The event, of course, made the press.

The sisters were now becoming well known as artists and as an act. I see them playing at Gordon’s Opera House, at the Orchestral Union, the Congregational Hall and Irving Hall, with Enrico Campobello, and touring round California under the organisation of Marie C Hyde, a local music teacher and the leading light of the Occidental Mandolin Club. In 1886, they held a ‘Farewell Concert’ to raise funds to go eastwards and then to Europe. Pauline Rita and her husband flautist Radcliffe appeared in their concert, but in the end they didn’t go to Euroep. They went in quite the opposite direction. First to Honolulu, with Campobello, and then to Australia. They made their first appearance at the YMCA hall in Sydney 30 July 1886, with great success, and became the darlings of the season as they continued on to Melbourne, Ballarat, Brisbane et al for fourteen months. Alongside the piano and violin items, impresario R S Smythe supplied a vocalist or two – locals Mary Ellen Christian and Gabrielle Boema, and then Californian Ella Lark (Mme ‘Aldini’) – but, in spite of what we are told, it seems that Pauline may have started singing in private already. A certain Mrs Blake-Alverson, who had been for a while the vocalist of the troupe in California, later penned her memoirs, in which she claimed to have taught Pauline her first vocal exercises for eighteen months. So maybe she did.

The Jorans arrived back in California (via Honolulu) in November 1887, but the following year they were off again, this time to Mexico, Yucatan and Cuba. And, according to another article, it was there that Pauline began singing. Maybe. Anyway, they can be seen arriving back in America 3 April 1890. They did not stay long. I pick them up next in Berlin, in December, where Elise is studying with d’Albert and Pauline with Émile Sauret. But apparently also with Julius Hey, the singing teacher of Rosa Olitzka and a fashionable man of the moment.

There was always talk of London, but I don’t know quite when the Jorans crossed the channel. It is somewhere said that Pauline made her first appearances as a violinist at the Crystal Palace. I can find no record of that. Wilhelm Ganz tells us in his memoirs that, in his capacity of music fixer at the Meistersingers Club he listened to Pauline play the violin, and then later tried her voice and recommended her to follow a singing career. He then goes on to tell of the singing-fiddling role of Beppe (not Beppo) in Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz and how he suggested her for the part with the Carl Rosa.

It is all, doubtless, true but it is rather telescoped. And has led other folk, including Wikipedia, to get the wrong end of the stick. Giulia Ravolgi was the original British Beppe at the Italian Opera in London. Pauline played the little part with its gipsy violin solo on tour with the Rosa.

Anyhow, we are not there yet. I guess the Meistersingers episode happened pre-my first sighting, because the first singing engagement I see Pauline undertaking, is in 11 May 1892, at a do for the German Hospital. Fixer and conductor: Wilhelm Ganz. Then, on 28-29 June the Grosvenor Club put on two performances of Orfeo. Frauen Meissinger and Ghersen were the two principals, and Pauline sang the little part of Amor. Arditi, no less, conducted. And, immediately after, Pauline was announced to take part in the next Rosa tour.

The company’s tour opened five weeks later, in Dublin (15 August 1892), and Pauline made her theatrical debut as the Gipsy Queen to Alice Esty’sThe Bohemian Girl on the first night. Two nights later, she was Siebel to Esty’s Marguerite and E C Hedmondt’s Faust, the Mercedes to the Carmen of Zélie de Lussan, Lazarillo to the Maritana of Esty, and finally sang two leading roles: when The Bohemian Girl was repeated she sang Arline (‘sang and acted very cleverly’) with Louise Meisslinger as the Queen, and when Djamileh was produced (10 September 1892) for the first time in English, she featured, opposite Barton McGuckin, in the title-role. ‘She was much applauded’.

Pauline had established herself in the operatic world, in one month, by all the traits which would make her Sir Harris’s favourite: She was pretty, charming, a fine actress with a most musicianly mezzo-to-soprano voice (‘rich and flexible’, ‘pretty if not powerful’) which was still expanding, she sang correctly and as the Dublin critic noted ‘her thorough acquaintance with her text, music and stage business was deserving of all credit’. It certainly was. She had learned and played seven roles since her engagement, two months previously, and there were more to come. Pauline Joran was indeed an operatic managers dream.

The company moved on to Belfast and then to Manchester where, on 24 September, L’Amico Fritz was produced, with Ella Russell and Hedmondt, and Pauline pulled out her violin. The virtuoso Alsatian melody was probably the ‘big tune’ of the opera, and the effect of having a performer who could give it live, on stage, caused a great sensation. ‘Miss Pauline Joran produced her great effect with her violin solo, but she looked and acted capitally as the gipsy boy’.

Sheffield, Leeds, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool … the tour marched on in to the new year, and Pauline added the roles of Ann Chute in The Lily of Killarney, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana and Venus in Tannhäuser (‘singing with much charm and bewitching power’, ‘very finely played’) to her bundle. She also appeared in the various concerts the company gave en route, both playing and singing, and Elise, who seemed to be accompanying the tour, played too. In Liverpool, Pauline took the contralto part in a performance of the Stabat Mater. And in Middlesborough she went on for Esther Palliser as Santuzza.

On 19 July, Mascagni came to London to conduct L’Amico Fritz at Sir Harris’s Italian Opera, Covent Garden. Calvé and de Lucia repeated their roles from the previous season, and for the role of Beppe … Miss Joran was ‘borrowed’ from the Carl Rosa. Cavalleria rusticana was given, too, and Pauline sang Lola to the star’s Santuzza. On 12 July, the composer took the two operas to Windsor Castle and played them before the Queen.

Having borrowed Miss Joran, Augustus Harris was not inclined to give her back, and when his company began its tour at Edinburgh in September, she was there as Siebel, Mercedes, Urbano in Les Huguenots, then Mistress Ford in Falstaff, Anita in La Navarraise … but by the time they reached Liverpool she was also singing Santuzza.

The company returned to Drury Lane 24 March, where Pauline gave her Santuzza (‘excellently played’) to London, a whole lot more Mercedes, Siebel or Lazarillo, and, when Orfeo was put on, as the second half of the bill with Cavalleria rusticana, Pauline added the role of Eurydice (‘remarkable versatility’) to her Santuzza.

Harris’s regular season at Covent Garden began 14 May 1894 (Mercedes, Lazarillo, Lola with Calvé, Urbano) and doubled with a German season. The ever-willing Miss Joran sang Rossweise in Die Walküre. And then Siebel to the Marguerite of Madame Melba. And then it was back on the road as Santuzza (‘truly admirable’) Anita (‘her voice, pure and bright in quality, gains in strength … she sang the music admirably and acted occasionally with tragic power’), Mistress Ford to the Falstaff of Bispham (‘bright, sympathetic tones’) …

In early 1895, she voyaged to Italy ‘where she had the opportunity of studying the rôle of Nedda in Pagliacci with Leoncavallo himself, who spoke very highly of her conception of the part. She has been re-engaged for Sir Augustus Harris' coming season.’ Of course, she had.

She gave her Nedda in Harris’s spring season at Drury Lane, and the critics found that although she did not equal her predecessor vocally, she acted the part much more effectively. The previous Nedda had been Melba. During the season she put on breeches and, as Stephano, supported Melba in Roméo et Juliette.
It was announced that Pauline would play the role of Carmen in the new Harris season, but she didn’t. Instead, she swanned off to Paris, and thence to Milan to make ‘my Italian debut’. It wasn’t an earth-shaking debut. Edoardo Sonzogno had taken the old Canobbiana in Milan, re-christenened it the ‘Teatro Lirico’, and there, 31 October 1895, Pauline gave her Santuzza. I can’t find a notice. The Canobbiana wasn’t exactly news. From Milan, she continued on to the Liceo, Pesaro (manager, until he was sacked, Mascagni), and it was there she gave what seems to have been her first Carmen. And, of course, Santuzza.

When Augustus Harris re-opened at Covent Garden, 4 April 1896, she gave her Carmen. Philip Brozel was Jose, Amy Sherwin Micaela, and Pauline had to deal with memories of arguably the best Carmen of the era in Calvé. But she succeeded, with her ‘Highly coloured rendering, which delighted the Italians in the last winter season’, ‘A decided success ... has the physique for the part … Miss Joran’s voice may not be very powerful but it is very sweet in quality and she sings with much expression and taste’, ‘brilliantly successful ... an admirable performance vocally and histrionically’.

She played Nedda rather than Santuzza (‘seen to great advantage her acting being excellent and her rendering of the music indicated a decided advance as a vocalist’), and she appeared in Harris’s own opera The Lady of Longford which got more performances than it might have, due to being paired with Hänsel und Gretel (‘[she] displayed vocal and histrionic capacity which will ere long we are convinced raise this talented lady to a much higher position’. ‘[She is] one of those meritorious young artists who strive to do their best on all occasions’ noted the press.

And then Augustus Harris died. And Pauline Joran’s professional life changed. The year round operatic engagements gave place to a more relaxed schedule. In the latter part of 1896, where she would have been touring, she turned to concerts, with her Amico Fritz number as a speciality, and 10 December she gave a concert of her own, at St James’s Hall. Elise, who hadn’t had the brilliant career predicted for her by some, played, Richard Green joined in duet (‘Crudel perche’), and Pauline gave the waltz song from Roméo et Juliette, the Habanera, ‘Quella trine morbide’ et al.

The following month she sang the Habanera again, when she guested briefly with the Carl Rosa at the Garrick Theatre (26 January 1897), but 16 February she took a new line, when she, seemingly, inspired a production of Paër’s famous Le Maître de Chapelle as a supporting piece to a Kitty Loftus piece at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The little opéra-comique proved a surprising success, and Pauline repeated it at her concert of 8 July 1897.

And then ..

‘Pauline Joran has been secured by D'Oyly Carte for the new romantic opera by Sir Arthur Sullivan, Pinero and Carr. We understand that the authors consider her specially suited to the part she is to create. Miss Joran has been spending the winter in Brussels, perfecting her French repertory with Madame Moriani and M Vermandaele..’…

Well, The Beauty Stone by Pinero, Comyns Carr and Arthur Sullivan wasn’t the greatest of ‘romantic musical drama’s. Pauline had the wicked woman’s role, alongside Ruth Vincent as the sweet crippled heroine (!), but she was not well showcased (‘a very fascinating Saida, who is treated none too well by Sir Arthur Sullivan since the most is not made of her vocal capacity’) and the piece faded out after 50 performances.

And Pauline returned to the Carl Rosa company. She played Marguerite in Faust, Nedda and Carmen, and when the company came to the Lyceum Theatre she again played both Santuzza and Nedda.

There wasn’t much more. On 6 December 1899 Pauline married William Ernest Bush (b 29 October 1860; d July 1903), otherwise the Baron de Bush, of Preshaw, Hants, and effectively retired from the stage. The Baron was killed by falling from a train, just three-and-a-half years later, leaving Pauline with a baby daughter, Pauline Marie Louise (1900-1975, Mrs Lugg).

She lived half a century a widow, but interested herself (‘Baroness de Bush’) in the arts and young performers up till her death in 1954.

The other sisters had different fates. Lula married a Bremerhaven gentleman of business, Johann Friedrich Franz Melchior Schwoon (12 April 1899) and lived to the age of 97 (d Hove 12 July 1966). Elise, unmarried, lived with mother, until Mary’s death in 1933, and latterly became a recluse in a Bayswater flat. She and her little dog died, 4 August 1952, when her apartment was destroyed by fire. The newspaper reporting the drama commented ‘she is believed to have been a music-hall artist’. I hope not. M d’Albert and Moritz Moszkowski would have been disappointed.

Elise Joran
As for father, he lived till 1901, with a new wife and another daughter … still painting not very well, but probably more peacefully. It does seem as if Mary née Askew had been a bit of a ‘stage mother’.

Pauline Joran isn’t written about much in those books about nineteenth century American prime donne from Sutton and Biscaccianti via Caterina Marco and her ilk, or, better, Julia Gaylord, up to the days of Ella Russell and Albani. But she appeals to me … I reckon she deserves her place.

PS Well flutter me days, she's been Wikipedia-ed. Oh well, let's hope we agree!


The earlier Gilbert and Sullivan operas-bouffes underwent some strange (re-)casting during their original runs. Some of it worked magnificently, some is an enduring puzzlement.

Liverpudlian-Australian ‘Alice May’, entirely efficient, created the part of Aline (The Sorcerer) at least partly because she and her paramour, conductor ‘Grievous Bodily’ Allen, were investors in the production. So far, so good. Alice was replaced by her understudy, Jewish ‘Giulia Warwick’ (Julia Ehrenberg), again perfectly competent. The management followed up the Australian piste, so fruitfully mined by Russell at Covent Garden, by casting Tasmanian Emma Howson as Josephine (HMS Pianfore), and following her contract’s end, gave a turn to very pretty little Alice Burville, a sometime burlesque actress, touring prime donne Eleanor Loveday and ‘Duglas Gordon’ (Ellen Louise Thomas) both proven on the circuits, Fanny Holland, star of the German Reed establishment, and, in a first, but far from the last, dip into the American scene, the disastrous Blanche Roosevelt. Jewish opera singer Helene Crosmond was to have created Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, but in the end it was Jewish music-hall soprano ‘Marion Hood’ (Sarah Isaacs) who made a grand success in the role, depped for by student Ellen Shirley, and another very capable lady, ‘Emilie Petrelli’ (Emily Mary Jane Peters).

When Miss Petrelli turned down the ‘soubrette’ role of Patience, stability finally hit the prima donna spot at the Savoy with the arrival of yet another Jewish soprano, ‘Leonora Braham’ (Leonora Abraham). Miss Braham would become the copybook Savoy leading lady.

But all good things must come to an end, and during the run of Ruddigore, Miss Braham put an end to her long stint at the Savoy. She was replaced by … an American. Geraldine Ulmar was, however, a totally different bouquet of bluebells to Ms Roosevelt.

She had been well and truly tried in the Savoy roles in America, and she was thoroughly capable. Miss Ulmar played Elsie in The Yeomen of the Guard through its run, and introduced the role of Gianetta in The Gondoliers. When she was not, or no longer there, the chaos began. Fourteen other sopranos would follow her, for shorter, very shorter and slightly longer periods as lead soprano of the show. Why? I have no idea. Four were Americans, one Australian; thirteen were heard of (a little or, in some cases, a great deal), thereafter, fourteen I have been able to discover at least a little about. Of one (or maybe two) I know nothing. So, how about a little list.

1) Carrie Donald [DONALD, Caroline Kerracher Rodger] (b Edinburgh 9 February 1870; d North Berwick April 1930) A choir singer at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, she had played Gianetta on tour and was more than capable. She went on to play for Carte in Ivanhoe, La Basoche and The Vicar of Bray, before retiring to marriage as Mrs Thomas Lamb.

2) Alice Baldwin. Miss Baldwin, if that were her name, played the role just a handful of times then disappeared. Chorister? Understudy? Friend of the management? Amateur paying her way? I have no idea.

3) Mina Cleary [CLEARY, Wilhelmina] (b Allumette Island, Quebec 17 August 1862; d Brookline, Mass 27 June 1929). Miss Cleary was an established performer. Daughter of an Irish hotelkeeper, Martin C Cleary, and his wife Maria Coghlan, she had played supporting roles with the Boston Ideal Opera Company between 1885-8. Her sister married the company’s bass, Eugene Cowles. She subsequently went to Paris to study and, ‘on the way home’, played some performances at the Savoy. The experience was not continued with, and Miss Cleary returned to America and the Bostonians before marrying physician John Masury and retiring.

4) Nita Carritte [CARRITTE, Lillian Harriet Temple] (b New Brunswick c1864; d New York 1 August 1929). Daughter of a doctor, Dr Thomas W Carritte of Amherst NB, and his Swiss wife Susanna Louisa Givaudin, 'Nita' studied with La Grange in Paris from where she (‘Nita Carita’) was hired for Augustus Harris’s Covent Garden. Mythology says she played Micaela. However, although that underliked role went through several tenants during the season – Minnie Evans, Margaret McIntyre, Mdlle Colombati, Regina Pinkert --, Nita did not go on. Mind you, neither did Harris’s other new hiring, Mdlle Tetrazzini. However, Nita did get to play Micaela, to friendly notices, when it was produced by the Carl Rosa in October 1890. Mythology (?) also says she played Faust, but the notices credit first Georgina Burns and then Amy Sherwin. 5 January 1891 she succeeded to the Savoy, and played Gianetta till 21 March, when the show was advertising ‘last weeks’. Four years later, she returned to the Rosa for some performances as Carmen, but on her return to America appeared only in the flop musical 1999, and in repertoire at Castle Square, before marrying musician Frederick Emil Gramm (28 December 1899) and retiring.

5) Maud Holland [HOLLAND, Alice Maud]. Did she or didn’t she? During August 1890, while Carrie Donald was in possession of the role of Gianetta, Maud Holland, daughter of a couple of elementary schooteachers from Bath and Wales, and an established West End soprano, was billed for a few nights in the part. A pupil of the Royal Academy of Music, Maud had made her debut as a teenager as cover to another ex-student, Miss Etherington (‘Marie Tempest’) in The Red Hussar, and went on to play the lead in The Rose and the Ring, in Maid Marian (Robin Hood), in an English version of François les bas-bleus, on tour as Charlotte in La Cigale and Teresa in The Mountebanks, before creating the principal girl’s role in Little Christopher Columbus. She later succeeded May Yohe in the star part, and appeared as Alésia in La Poupée, before fleeing across the Atlantic following her divorce from the actor known as ‘Lytton Grey’ (Charles Ford Morgan). Mr Morgan’s lightning remarriage makes it look as if there were a little collaboration between the ex-spouses. Maud did not make a notable career in America (I see her only advertising cough lollies). Her second daughter, as Alice Maude Morgan Grey, married into the aristocracy as Lady Alvingham.

6) Nellie Lawrence [LAWRENCE, Nellie Louise] (b Brighton 1868; d Sussex 4 November 1912) seems to have been another ephemeral Gianetta. She is a little bit tricky to follow, as there were two other contemporary ladies of the same name in action, one playing dramatic leads in the provinces with Andrew Melville and another dancing in the chorus of musical comedies such as The Silver Slipper. Our Nellie was born in Brighton 1868 where she was brought up, with her sister, by their widowed mother. Her venture into the musical theatre was brief, but she seems to have been a useful Cartesian, stepping in for those in larger parts than hers in The Pirates of Penzance, The Yeomen of the Guard, The Gondoliers (Fiammetta) and The Nautch Girl (Cheetah), before once again going back to ‘living on her own means’.

7) Esther Palliser [WALTERS, Emma F] (b Germantown, Penn 28 July 1868) was easily the most talented of D’Oyly Carte’s American prime donne. The fact was not slow to be recognised, and, apart from her engagements with him, she did not appear in the musical theatre again, restricting her operations to opera, oratorio and concerts, largely in England, before her return to America, and her retirement, as a singing teacher in California.
Miss Palliser, daughter of music teacher B Frank Walters (1840-1918) and his wife Kate Fronfield, first appeared on stage in America, as Gianetta in The Gondoliers which role she repeated as her debut in England 9 December 1890. She appeared for Carte in Ivanhoe and in La Basoche in 1891, before moving on to Covent Garden and Drury Lane to sing Carmen, Faust, Cavalleria Rusticana, Lohengrin et al. In 1893 she sang Brangaene at Covent Garden, and created C V Stanford’s Mass in G with the Bach Choir.
Miss Palliser moved to California in the mid 1910s, and taught music for a while, before vanishing from public view. Last sighting 1923. However, her birthdate is not quite so well hidden as that of her death. She was not born in 1872 as always claimed, for she can be seen in the 1870 census of Philadelphia, aged 2 or 3, living with her parents, aunt, and maternal grandparents.

(8) Louise Pemberton [PEMBERTON, Louisa] (b Chelsea 1868) Miss Pemberton played four performances at the Savoy in September 1890. Was it an ‘audition’, a ‘tryout’? Who was she? She appears to have been a greengrocer’s daughter from Chelsea who taught piano. Unless she changed her name thereafter, it seems to have been her only venture on the stage.

(9) Norah Phyllis apparently did change her name [aka MA[C]GUIRE, Norah]. Only I’m not quite sure from what. She was ‘Norah Phyllis’ when she came on the scene in 1887-8 at All Saints’ Rooms Kensington (‘Poor Wand’ring One’) and St Colomb’s Church Notting Hill, under the aegis of teacher George Ernest Lake, and 20 March 1889 she made a ‘debut’ in concert at the Crystal Palace. In 1889 she joined the Carte company on tour, playing Elsie Maynard, and 16 December she was hurried on at the Savoy to dep for Geraldine Ulmar as Gianetta. Mr & Mrs Carte took her to America some weeks later to bolster their Gondoliers company (‘she is capable of playing any role’) and she ended up playing Casilda to the Gianetta of Miss Palliser. When the ‘American company’ returned to England she again played Casilda to the Gianetta of America’s Lenore Snyder, before taking over as Gianetta at the Savoy. In December 1890 she sang at St George’s Chapel, in 1 July 1891 with Richard Temple’s Crystal Palace company in The Mock Doctor, and at the German Reed Entertainment in The Old Bureau, after which she apparently got married. Her husband was a doctor, stationed in Bombay, and thence she travelled. However, in 1899 she returned to England, the stage, and Carte and appeared, under the name of Norah MacGuire (or Maguire), as Lazuli in The Lucky Star et al in the country. She followed up as Nadine in the unfortunate The Prince of Borneo, as Lauretta in L’Amour mouillé for Tom Davis, sang Blush-of-the-Morning in The Rose of Persia on the road and as a replacement for Agnes Fraser at the Savoy, and my final sighting of her is as prima donna of several Carte repertoire companies, ending in 1905. In 1909, she can be seen playing Josephine with the Lichfield amateurs ...

(10) Emily Squire [SQUIRE, Emily Jane] (b Ross on Wye 2 May 1867; d Bournemouth 1948). I was most surprised to find the name of Emily Squire listed as having played Gianetta for a couple of weeks in June 1890. Miss Squire (or Mrs Edward William Jennings, as she became about that time) had a long and fine career, but certainly not as a musical theatre player: oratorio, concerts and the great provincial music festivals would be her natural habitat for some two decades. Emily was the eldest daughter of the musical family of Cornish bank clerk (later manager) John Squire and his wife Emma née Fisher. She studied at the RCM, and later at the RAM (Parepa Rosa Scholarship, Sainton Dolby Prize, Llewellyn Thomas Gold Medal), appeared in concert in Cardiff, Bath, Exeter, and in London at the Crystal Palace Saturday Concerts and the Handel Festival, supporting Nordica in Israel in Egypt. In 1889 she sang the quartets in Elijah behind Nordica and behind Albani, performed The May Queen and The Woman of Samaria in a Devonshire Festival, The Prodigal Son and The Last Judgment at Hadleigh, Parry’s Judith at Exeter, where the programme included her brother, Willie, the cellist and songwriter W H Squire. She made a first professional acting appearance at Ascot as a hurried replacement in the operetta Tobacco Jars.
In 1890, I spot her in concert in Swansea, Glasgow, Leicester, Hereford, and as Ursula in The Golden Legend at Newport, and then came the news: Miss Squire had been offered the role of Gianetta. But she was turning it down. A fortnight later she appeared at the Savoy. She played a dozen or so performances, then zipped back to Swansea to get married (18 September 1890). After which she returned to the concert platform – Grieg’s Olav Trygvason, The Fall of Babylon, another Prodigal Son, four engagements at the Three Choirs Festival – where she led a fine career over the next twenty years.

11) Cissie Saumarez [BARTRAM or BARTRUM, Mary Jane] (b 9 Barton Street, Bath 1870; d London 23 July 1930) was born in Bath, the second daughter of cabinet-maker Edwin Bartrum and his wife Mary Jane née Summers. She studied in London with an unknown Signor, and went on the stage in 1890, covering and taking over the role of the little bride in Dorothy. She moved to the Savoy, where she appears to have been a general swing, playing, at some time, every one of the principal contandine. She played Suttee in The Nautch Girl, but by March 1892 she was on the road featuring in the title-role of one of the interminable Dorothy tours. A selection of mostly unimpressive touring musicals (Wapping Old Stairs, Sport, The American Belle, The Transit of Venus) and pantomime princesses was relieved by a stint as Mrs Ralli Carr in Gentleman Joe, and a Diana Vernon in a Durward Lely Rob Roy, before she found a niche as singing lady (and sometimes man) in Shakespearian productions and became a longtime adjunct of F R Benson’s troupe. She later played in comedy under her married name, her husband, Mr Arthur [Herbert] Whitby (1869-1922), being an acting member of the Shakespeare company.

(12) Amy Sherwin [SHERWIN, Frances Amy Lillias] (b Judbury, Tasmania 23 March 1855; d Bromley 20 September 1935). Quite why Amy Sherwin played a week as Gianetta, I cannot imagine. She was at least a decade older than the other Gianettae and thoroughly established as a concert and operatic singer in places from her native Australia – she sang in Namaan in Tasmania, in the shadow of her elder sister, in 1872, and May 1878 made her operatic debut as Norina with a visiting opera troupe -- to America (La Traviata with Strakosh, H M S Pinafore, Damrosch’s Oratorio Society of New York, Brooklyn Philharmonic Society, Damnation of Faust, Cincinnati Festival), to Italy, to – in 1883 – Britain. She was engaged by Carl Rosa, for whom she first appeared as Maritana (7 May). In the seven years that followed she led a highly successful career in Europe and the colonies … only to come to rest at the Savoy, aged 34, for this incomprehensible week of Gianetta. Amy continued to work as a vocalist into her fifties, before retring to teaching. She had married the agent Hugo [Heinrich Ludwig] Görlitz (1854-1935) in New Zealand in 1878, and had by him a son, journalist [Hugo] Louis (1881-1978), and a daughter, Jeannette (Mrs Jolley, 1884-1936).

(13) Annie Schuberth [SCHUBERTH, Annie Elizabeth Sophia] (b Pimlico 1869), daughter of a Russian-born accountant, was not a novice when she played her little turn in The Gondoliersin July 1890. And she wasn’t Miss Schuberth either. She had made her first stage appearance in a musical comedy The Beautiful Duchess at Templar Saxe’s concert in 1887, and in 1889 (19 June) she married the said gentleman, and bore him a son (I’m not sure in which order). After some concert experience, she went on tour in the title-roles of the French musicals Pepita and Falka, and then joined Saxe (who was understudy to the leading lady) in the London cast of the Carl Rosa company’s Paul Jones, playing the role created by Kate Cutler. And then she made her short stop-over at the Savoy. She went on to play Charlotte in La Cigale alongside Geraldine Ulmar, in Miss Decima, toured some more in the star roles of Pepita, Falka and La Cigale, played Marion in Poor Jonathan, Lolika in The Magic Opal … and got herself divorced by Saxe (Templer Edward Edeveian) for persistent adultery. They both remarried: Saxe whisked off to America where he became a cinema actor, while Annie wed (3 December 1895) an ageing Bradford lawyer and, after playing a while in Willie Edouin’s Qwong Hi, let her theatre career fizzle out while she had two more sons. However she remerged in 1906 to play in the Manchester panto, and in 1910 and 1912, giving ‘I Dreamt That I dwelt in Marble halls’ in the northern music halls. Husband Charles Law Atkinson died in 1916 and Annie changed her name, Not to Atkinson, but to 'Annie Hubert'…

(14) Lenore Snyder [SNYDER, Leonore W] (b ?Indianapolis c1868; d Camden, London July 1911). Miss Snyder was raised, and doubtless born, in Indiana, the daughter of Frederick W Snyder (machinist) and his wife, Virginia née Ballenger (m 27 March 1867). The three can be seen in 1880 living at Brightwood, Indiana. She apparently sang, first, in the local Presbyterian church, and I see her performing with the Imdianapolis Lyra Society in 1887. As an amateur, she took part in a local ‘opera’ called Maganon, and appeared as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, which led to a first professional engagement in 1889. She appeared for the Duff company in the title-role of Paola (played in Britain by Leonora Braham) and in the Chicago musical King Cole II, before being hired to deputise for Esther Palliser as Gianetta in New York’s Gondoliers. She subsequently sang the role on tour in Britain and, briefly, at the Savoy. In August 1890, she returned to America where she played in The Pirates of Penzance, The Red Hussar, Carmen, Dorothy, Iolanthe et al, before being recalled to Britain in place of Australia's Nellie Stewart, to create the lead role in The Nautch Girl and the revised Vicar of Bray. Back in America, she joined Harry Dixey for an attempt to float Mr Dobbs of New York, and there was more Patience, Iolanthe, The Sorcerer, The Mikado … The press judged her ‘irreproachably correct … and tame’. It was advertised that she was to go to Paris to study, it was reported that she had married American basso ,William H MacLaughlin, and that she had returned to the stage in Dorothy Morton’s role in The Wizard of the Nile. But that seems to have been it. A professional career of impeccable credits, but seemingly less éclat. But there was a reason for its ending. Lenore retreated to Paris, and in 1897 was reported to be seriously ill. Mrs Lenore [W] MacLaughlin died of tuberculosis and was interred at Camden cemetery 15 July 1911.

Well, that is the who. As to the why? We will never know. The Savoy would flounder its way through the unimpressive likes of Ellen Beach-Yaw and Nancy McIntosh, and the novelty casting of Hungarian star Ilka Palmay and opera singer Pauline Joran, to the stabler days of a Ruth Vincent, but never again would it devour fifteen prime donne – genuine and wannabe – in one leading role. Why? And who the hell was Alice Baldwin?

Thanks to David Stone and the g&s archive for most of the photos herein. Anybody got a Maud Holland?