Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Juteau: tenor, baritone and comic through 45 years.


I added this as a PS to my Fille de Madame Angot blog. But here it is for those who don't want to read that whole piece again

https://kurtofgerolstein.blogspot.com/2021/06/la-fille-de-madame-angot-they-dont.html

This is Emile Eugène PINARD dit JUTEAU (b 4 December 1834) as Ange Pitou in the American production of Angot. He and his wife, Perrette née ROLAND, went out to America with Marie Aimée's company which introduced the work to (French-speaking) America in 1872. It was a huge success, and in the shadow of Aimée, Juteau was considered more than adequate. The company played the whole repertoire of opéra-bouffe, and Juteau appeared as Fritz, Barbe-bleue, Falsacappa, Céladon (Cent Vierges), Paris et al during the two years they remained in America.




This card was signed while the company fulfilled a season at New York's Broadway Theatre.

Juteau was, as was the way in the USA of the 1870s, presented surrounded by ficticiously glamourising claims ('principal tenor at the Bouffes-Parisiens'). In fact, at nearly forty years of age, his busy and appreciated career in Europe had been limited to the provinces. With the help of Lyonnet's not often fallible dictionary, I have the following break-down (to be filled out).


1863 Lille (2ème ténor)

1864-5 Bordeaux

1867-71 Gymnase, Marseille: Piquillo (Périchole) ('un chanteur agréable'). Perrette got her costume on fire in L'Oeil crevé

1870-1 Galeries St Hubert, Brussels Les Hannetons, La Mer 

1872 (till August) Meynardier's co with Matz-Ferrare in Europe: Milan, Vienna Grande-Duchesse, Voyage en Chine, Petit Faust, Barbe-bleue, Les TurcsPérichole, Geneviève de Brabant (as Sifroy)

(New York)

more Marseille

1875-80 St Petersburg, Théâtre Michel

1876 Perpignan

1876 Brussels 

1881-2 Yassy

1883 Arcachon, Montauban et al

1883 Brussels Fille de Madame Angot with Luigini and Geoffroy

1883-6 Sommertheater, St Petersburg La Petite Mariée

1887 Rouen ('trial')

1889-91 Anvers Mam'zelle Nitouche, Manon

1891 London, Covent Garden  Guillot in Manon 'from the theatre de la Monnaie'

1892 Lyon

1894-5 Toulouse ('trial')

!! Paris 1896

1897-8 Toulouse


It is clear that while Juteau was no Dupuis, he was an extremely useful baritenor in all styles. And for a very long time. Oh, Madame (who also played as Mlle Roland), was, I feel, really little more than a chorine and when trying anything higher did not seem to please. I think I spot her once essaying Marguerite!


Lyonnet tells us that Juteau was still alive in 1907, living in Sucy en Brie ...


'Pinard', by the way, would not have been a nice name for a tenor. It is French for 'plonk' as in wine!



 Noted: father Jules Juteau and Mons Rolland were both members of the company playing in London in 1860.

 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Mr Pavitt: a musical homosexual in Victorian England ...

 

Quiet day today. Autumnal. Just felt like doing nothing. Too cold and breezy to go out in the garden. Wendy and Pat went off to buy nature cures and bacon bones and, of course, cat food and I promptly thought ...

I looked at my desktop. Bit of a tidy? What are these bits that I've downloaded from time to time ... why have I kept an Arthur Lloyd music sheet? He's been thoroughly researched and has his own website ...


Open the cover. Ah, that's why. 


Who, pray, was C J Pavitt? Well, I found out, and he linked up with another story I'd looked into some years ago ...

Charles John PAVITT (b Clavering, Essex 1843 x 17 October; d Barnstaple 2 June 1917) was a son of James Pavitt, grocer, wine-merchant and corn-miller, and his wife Emma née Spencer; and a grandson of James the elder the proprietor of Clavering Mill. I think father may have been amateurly musical or 'theatrical', for as early as 1864, I see his three sons William Spencer (1839), George Hawkes (1841) and Charles James (1843) appearing in concerts in Chelmsford. Charles played the harmonium, a piano selection from Faust and sang 'The Bashful Man'.

The family removed from Clavering to Battles Bridge Mill, and Charles in particular was seen in local concerts. I see him singing 'Tom the Tinker' and 'Skying the Copper' to huis own accompaniment, recited 'The Song of the Shirt', while father lectured on 'The Education of Girls' et al at the National School in Rayleigh. The brothers played in amateur dramatics and, there (I presume), Charles met one Ernest Boulton. And a bell rang in my brain.

Mr Ernest Boulton was, to put it politely, a transvestite and a lady of the town. He became celebrated, to put it politely, a couple of years later when, dressed to the nines, for he was not poor, he was arrested for soliciting from a theatre box ... it is a long story, semi-fictionalised in a book Fanny and Stella by Neil McKenna. I gave my copy away, so I can't look to see if Charles Pavitt makes an appearance. Anyway, there seems little doubt that 'Stella' was for a while the concubine of our Mr Pavitt.

Before the duo split, they had appeared around Essex in playlets and recitations where Boulton raised admiration for his female impersonation (My New Housekeeper), and Pavitt for his comic monologues ('Jeddiah and his Peggy'. 'Lady Clara Vere de Vere', 'An Evening Party at Mrs Molloy's') alongside father and brothers. Charles wrote 'an opera in 5 minutes' The Power of Gold for Stella to perform. 


In the wake of the luscious scandal, Charles evidently found it advisable to change locality, and in 1872 he turns up in London, doing his ventriloquism and comic song/monologue at the Metropolitan Music Hall ('Spooning at the bar') under the name of 'H Verne'. And he found himself a new partner in one Edward Bevan Burland otherwise 'Ernest Bruce'. I see them at Weston super Mare in August 1871, while poor Stella was having her rectum investigated by a team of police doctors for evidence of wrong-way traffic, playing excerpts from Sheridan. It was 'Bruce' who played Lady Teazle and Mrs Malaprop.

The pair worked provincial halls and institutes with their tidy little act for a decade and more, while Charles turned out regular ventriloqual sketches and ditties of which Our Amateur Concert (in which he represented all the participants) seems to have been the most popular. In 1885, however, Charles turned up at the Egyptian Hall, supporting Maskelyne and Cooke in their famous show. I think Edward may have been ill. They went to the country, and then to Dublin ... and then Edward died (10 September 1887), short of his 50th birthday. My last sighting of him is at Fred de Lara's concert, impersonating 'Mrs Turtledove' in May of that year

Charles returned to Maskelyne and Cooke, played his act solo here and there (comic operetta Home Rule, patriotic song 'No Fear') and in 1905 he went on a holiday to Ilfracombe. I don't know whether he went to Ilfracombe because John Thomas White, musicseller, lived there, but White seems to have been his last love (and heir) and he gave Charles the biggest song success of his career when he published his seaside song 'Clovelly'. 


An attempt to repeat the success was not as successful



Charles stayed in Devon, and died in Barnstaple during the Great War, aged 73. 

He had had a modest career as an entertainer, penned some songs and sketches, and stayed clear of the trouble into which his more exhibitory friends had got. I hope he was happy.

Oh, here's the rest of his song which got me into this. Maybe a Gay Museum will snap it up off ebay ...



Footnote. A friendly Barnstaple journo (one of the boys?) gave him an obituary of a most exaggerated kind:'30 years with Maskelyne and Cooke' but I will copy it here anyway with a pinch of pepper ..


Much-travelled? He left £312 9s 4d. Wouldn't get you from John o'Groats to Land's End these days. Now to track down some more of his music!

Come on my fellow furrowers ... help!

Here's one from piano.man .. always a good place to start!



The (apparently late)  John Parsloe has investigated Edward at https://parsloe.info/family-history/family-3a/.  Yes, John, he was as gay as a gilliflower ...

And here's Mr McKenna's book


Next day: the Wizard Allister Hardiman has come up with this super photo of Pavitt and Stella, performing their act in Essex in 1869 ...


Some more photos of the boys in their amateur dramatics. 



One of the gents is Sir Arthur Cecil (who is a whole other story). I assume the croquet girls are others of the coven.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

The Lamys of the Théâtre des Célestins, Lyon

 

Charles Lamy was a long-lived feature of the French musical theatre, as juvenile lead, as little comic and, latterly in a whole panoply of singing character roles. I wrote about him in my Encyclopaedia of the Musical Theatre, with mention of his brother and his son ... as follows ...



LAMY, Charles [CASTARÈDE, Charles Désiré] (b Lyon, 28 August 1857; d Orléans 15 June 1940).

 The son of Adrien [Étienne Constant] Castarède, the director of Lyon's celebrated Théâtre des Célestins, and the foremost of a family of light-tenor vocalists of charm (his brother Maurice and his son Adrien followed the same path), Charles Lamy had a 40-year career in the musical theatre, at first as a sweet-voiced tenor juvenile, and later as a full-blooded comedy player of some finesse. After beginning his career in the theatre as an orchestral violinist at the Théâtre de Saint-Étienne, he made his first stage appearances at the same house, but he began his lyric career in earnest, after some studies at his local conservatoire, playing opérette in Marseille (1876-7), touring in Italy (1877-8) and playing at the Galeries Saint-Hubert in Brussels (1879) before he was engaged at the Paris Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens in 1880.

 His first rôle at the Bouffes was probably his most memorable of all for, in December 1880, he created the high tenorino-cum-comedy part of the Prince Fritellini in Audran's La Mascotte (`Le Je ne sais quoi poétique'), but there were plenty of other fine parts to follow. Prince Olivier in Audran's next work, Gillette de Narbonne (1882), and the goofy Egyptian Putiphar Bey in Victor Roger's comical Josephine vendue par ses soeurs (1886) were amongst his other most important creations in the first part of a career which also included rôles in such further new works as Coquelicot (1882, Perez), Lacome's successful Madame Boniface (1883, Fridolin), La Dormeuse éveillée (1883, Saturnin), Serpette's La Gamine de Paris (1887, Hercule), Lecocq's Les Grenadiers de Mont-Cornette (1887, Canut), Pugno’s Sosie (1887, Neradi/Ravaja), the vaudeville Le Microbe (1887, Petrewski), Audran's Miette (1888) and La Gardeuse d’oies (1888), Pugno's Le Valet de Coeur (1888), the military spectacle Mam’selle Piou-Piou (1889, Camille), Roger's Le Fétiche(1890, Valentin des Hauts-Crénaux), Varney's La Fille de Fanchon la vielleuse(1891, Jules), La Famille Vénus (1891) and Paul Vidal's Eros (1892, Fortuny). He also performed the tenor rôles -- Gontran in Les Mousquetaires au couvent etc -- in the theatre’s repertoire of revivable shows.




The vocal demands grew progressively less, and the comic ones more prominent, as he moved on through such pieces as Pessard's Mam'zelle Carabin(1893, Monsieur Chose), Messager's Madame Chrysanthème (1893, Kangourou), Varney's Les Forains (1894, lion-tamer Jules César), Banès's Le Bonhomme de neige (1894, Fricotin), Diet's Fleur de vertu (1894, Casimir), L'Élève de Conservatoire (1894, Gedéon), Audran's successful L'Enlèvement de la Toledad (1894, Gaston Lombard) La Saint-Valentin (1895, Bertiquet), La Belle Épicière (1895, Pomponneau), the winning vaudeville La Dot de Brigitte(1895, Mulot), and the part of the secret agent in Monsieur Lohengrin (1896, Boussard) to what was undoubtedly the best new rôle of this later period of his career as the joyously silly-âne Duc Jehan de Beaugency of Les Fêtards (1897).

 In 1897 Lamy became a member of the company at the Palais-Royal, where Les Fêtards was included amongst the occasional musical productions in a programme of mainly comedies, but he still made intermittent forays on to other musical stages, creating memorably the part of a low-comical Paris in Claude Terrasse's Paris, ou le bon juge (1906, revived 1922), and latterly onto the cinema stage. He played in Terrasse's Le Coq d'Inde (1908), appeared in revue and, in 1920, took the rôle of Ischabod in the production of Rip! which opened the new Théâtre Mogador and in which his son, Adrien, played the small part of Pickly. He died alongside that same son, and their wives, in the German bombardement of Orléans in 1940 at the age of 83.





 Adrien LAMY [Adrien Maurice Édouard CASTARÈDE] (b Paris, 17 May 1896; d Orléans, 2 July 1940), a clean-necked, boyish, light vocalist, dancer and actor, had a lively career in the Paris musical theatre of the 1920s, playing juvenile lead in the French version of The Pink Lady, replacing Urban in the title-rôle of Dédé, and appearing in prominent juvenile parts in a full list of other popular jazz-age musicals including the Théâtre Marigny's Je t'veux(1923, Vignac, `C'est fou la place que ça tient', `Si c'était pour en arriver là' and the shimmy orientale `Là-bas'), Szulc's Le Petit Choc (1923, Alfred de Marigny, `L'Ouverture de la pêche', `Il faut savoir prendre les femmes'), and Moretti's En chemyse (1924) and Trois jeunes filles ... nues! (1925). In 1926 he was the first French Tom in No, No, Nanette, introducing Paris to `Thé pour deux' and `J'ai confessé à la brise' in partnership with Loulou Hégoburu, with whom he teamed again in Paris's Tip-Toes (Steve Burton), performing `La Femme que j'aimais' (a reverse-sex `The Man I Love') and `Un sentiment' (`That Certain Feeling'). He played the put-upon young hero Étienne Fanoche in Zou! (1930), appeared in Moretti's Rosy (1930) and was Orphée to the Eurydice of Marise Beaujon in the Mogador's starry 1931 revival of Orphée aux enfers. In the subsequent 1930s he appeared in the Parisian-Hungarian Katinka (1933 `En écoutant les petits oiseaux' w Lyne Clevers), as Frontignac in the Josephine Baker La Créole (1934) and in such productions as Les Soeurs Hortensia (1934, film version 1936), Un p'tit bout de femme (1936) and Les Jolies Viennoises (1938).


 Maurice LAMY [Maurice Henri Antoine CASTARDÈDE] (b Lyon, 1863; d April 1930) created two major musical comedy rôles -- the bedazzled shop-boy Aristide in Messager's Les P'tites Michu and the comical Loustot of the same composer's Véronique -- in a career which ran closely alongside that of his brother, Charles. He also appeared in the premières of such pieces as Les Pommes d'or (1883), the French version of Donna Juanita (1891), Le Cocarde Tricolore (1892, M Bosthonn), Cliquette (1893, Nicolas), Serpette's Cousin-Cousine (1893) and Shakespeare! (1899, Jack), Sa Majesté l'amour (1897, Tricala), La Petite Tache(1898, La Bûche), La Dame de trèfle (1898, Roger), La Fille de Paillasse (1894, Joséphin), La Demoiselle aux caméllias (1899, Octave), Lecocq's La Belle au bois dormant (1900, Le Taupier),  and La Fille de la mère Michel(1903, Quatrebard). He also played des Toupettes in the 1897 revival of Les Douze Femmes des Japhet. He later appeared in supporting rôles in several of Louis Ganne's works including Hans, le joueur de flûte (Petronius) and Rhodope at Monte-Carlo, where he was, from 1913 director of the Casino, in Cocorico (Margrave Jean-François) and in Banès's Léda (1909, Ménélas) and, in his sixties, took a four-line rôle as Le Directeur du Casino in Hahn's Le Temps d'aimer (1926).

 

Quite a family. But I only went forward. And the story of the Castarède dit Lamy family does go back a generation. To father Adrien (1823-1877)  and mother Marie Caroline Victoire Moreau-Valbon née Fleury dite 'Caroloine Duval' (188-1872). And what was my surprise to come upon these photos today: 




It is they. Dated 20 October 1869. And to be found at the ebay shop of the splendid photowide. I thought they deserved to be preserved in context and so .. voilà!


1858: Mr Buckstone goes talent-seeking for the Theatre Royal, Haymarket

 

Today I was tidying some old thetrical papers (it's a never ending job!) and I glanced in my 'autograph letters' folder. Things from the early nineteenth century, from England, from France, up to the 1970s. Stuff picked up in junl shops, flea markets, and pilfered from our old office files or the Albery office files ..

Most of them, I haven't look at again since I acquired them. But today I took this one from its slipcase ... goodness, I paid £25 for it in the 70s ... that was a good chunk of a week's wages. But it is a rather good one.

It is written by John Baldwin Buckstone, manager of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, to Harry Webb sometime manager of the Queen's Theatre Dublin on 17 August 1858. Yes, from internal evidence, it's 1858, not, as I first thought, 1856. And Mr Buckstone is brain-picking ...


He was at the Theatre Royal, Manchester, off-season, with his Haymarket company: Compton, Mrs Buckingham White, Amy Sedgwick, Mrs Wilkins et al. In spite of Miss Sedgwick going 'off' for much of the season he avows (or pretends) that their success is 'immense'.



And then he asks two rather curious questions. 'Casting' questions.

Is the young William Glover, scenic artist, who has begun his career by sharing the decoration with Charles Parker on the scenery of the pantomimes at the Theatre Royal for the Theatre Royal, Dublin, good enough for the Haymarket? Well, you can read what happened to the splendid William Glover after these Dublin debuts .. in many a theatre history book (not Wikipedia, which ignores his Irish beginnings!). But, unless I'm mistaken, Buckstone didn't hire him.

William Glover



And who is Maria Simpson? And does she SING WELL. I mean, whaaaat? Where had he been these last years? Looking at his navel, I suspect, as he was inclined to do. Miss Simpson had been visible at the Exeter Hall Wednesdays since 1854, singing alongside such stars as Sims Reeves. She had played at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool, made a fine leading lassie in Dublin and Cork, teamed with Toole as guest star at Wolverhampton ('a charming vocalist and an excellent actress'), and was by the time Harry received this billet doux, off to Southampton and then to Drury Lane for pantomime (Queen of the Forest in Robin Hood). But Maria didn't go to the Haymarket, either. She went to the Strand Theatre, where one of her favourite successes was the role of Milly in a comic piece entitled The Maid with the Milking Pail. Author: J B Buckstone.

Maria Simpson (Mrs W H Liston)


Maybe he was checking her out for that? I'm amazed that he had to!  Anyway, Maria had a very fine career, first as an actress and burlesque player (she was first boy in W S Gilbert's The Princess) and afterwards, as a producer under her married name of Mrs W H Liston. 

Harry and Charles Webb in Comedy of Errors



But look what someone ... Webb, I presume ... has scribbled across the top! He's doing his own casting! MISS THIRLWALL ... £8 per week  ...

The young Annie Thirlwall had already won a good place in the Pyne and Harrison Opera Company, so I guess this is sister Ellen. Or is it? They both played in Dublin during 1858, but Ellen seems to be at Brighton for Christmas ... take your pick!

Well, that was fun.  I wonder about Buckstone. Yes, he was clearly a fine comic actor. And a very effective playwright. As a theatre director, he employed some of best artists around. But ... this letter shows a distinct 'ivory-towerness'.  You have to ask someone way over in Dublin about two rising stars ...
I am not convinced wholly about J B Buckstone ....

Better have a look at some of the other letters in that folder!






Sunday, March 31, 2024

Star mezzos only live twice: Miss Hallande of Covent Garden.


In my ceaseless inquiring wandering through the theatre of the Victorian, and more recently, Georgian eras, there is, since publishing my Victorian Vocalists seven years ago, no particular rule as to what I light upon as fodder for my forensic research. Something catches my eye and ... if its the 'right day', away I go. Especially if the something involved has been otherwise ignored (or referred to without knowledge), by other writers.

I'm not talking about  choristers. Today's victim was an operatic leading lady at Covent Garden for several seasons, and starred round Britain for several more, before ....

Following her debut 'Miss HALLANDE' was rated, and cast at a level at least equivalent to Maria Tree, Kitty Stephens or Miss Paton. That debut was made in October 1821 when she was, allegedly ... well, nobody was quite sure. In fact, there was very little said about the lady in the press. She was said to have been born 'in Somerset', her father was 'a clergyman in Worcester'. All rather difficult to check up upon, for the Swedish-sounding surname of 'Hallande' fitted ill on an Anglican churchman's cassock.

I have worked really long and hard at this one, but I got there. 'Miss Hallande' was christened at St Swithin's, Walcot, 18 February 1800, as Julia ALLEN, a daughter of one William Allen, who may or may not have been a vicar, and his wife Elizabeth. So she was 21 when she came to Covent Garden, cast opposite Charles Kemble and billed above Miss Stephens in a piece entitled Don John. If she was a bit stage-frightened on the first night she quickly swung into gear, to rapturous reviews for her voice and singing. And praise for her lively performing. And it, quite simply, stayed that way. And the competition among the Garden's leading singing ladies seems to have been loyal: Julia's rich soaring mezzo, Kitty's agile trills and frills, Maria's all-round fine voice ...


So Julia was cast as Miranda in The Tempest (Maria was Ariel), as Silvia in Two Gentlemen of Verona...


Diana Vernon in Guy Mannering, Nannette in Fontainbleau, Kathlane in The Poor Soldier, Leonora in The Padlock, William in Rosina, Donna Isidora in Brother and Sister, Lucy in The Beggar's Opera and on occasion as Macheath to Kitty's Polly Peachum. When Miss Paton proved insufficient as Countess Almaviva, Julia was hurried on as her replacement (Kitty was Susanna), and she scored again as Carlos ('Sure, such a pair') in The Duenna. Ninetta in Clari, Daphne in Midas, Squalling Fran in Don Giovanni in London ..





She went a-touring to main centres, and then teamed up with star tenor, John Sinclair ... which is where my playbill comes in.


You can see at the bottom of the bill that, the other nights of the week, they played the most familiar of British musical plays ...  What the public wants ...

So, why is not Julia Hallande seen again in the patent theatres of London? There she is in 1825 appearing in Dublin, appearing in the repertoire with no less than John Braham and little Kitty grown great ... but when she returned to London, it was to play at the nearly completed Brunswick Theatre. And on 27 February 1828, during a rehearsal of Guy Mannering, the iron roof caved in. All the players and workmen, estimated at 230, were reported dead or 'deadfully mutilated'. 'The most melancholy forebodings prevail with regard to Miss Hallande ...'. But she was safe ...  The Sakers, who were late for rehearsal, saw the roof fall as they approached.

They say cats have nine lives. Mezzo-sopranos, alas, fewer.

Julia migrated to the Pavilion Theatre in Whitechapel and there I see her (the Pavilion was not covered much by the press) playing Mrs Christie in The Fortunes of Nigel alongside one Mr Hadaway, as David Ramsay. Mr Hadaway was Thomas Henry HADAWAY (b Worcestershire 18 January 1801). They were wed in Bloomsbury's St George's Church 10 May 1831.


Six months later (7 November 1831), they took ship for New York, and its Bowery Theatre. The Bowery! She who had been leading lady at Covent Garden. Nine months later, she was dead. The insanitary conditions of the Bowery led to both of the Hadaways falling prey to the cholera. Julia was taken after curtain fall, and dead by dawn. Tom, reported dead in the international press, in fact survived for sixty years, two wives, half a dozen children and the reputation as 'America's oldest actor'. He died 7 September 1892.

Bowery Theatre




Thursday, March 28, 2024

Arab Esoterica on my bookshelf

 


I really don't know much (OK, anything) about Indian philosophers or their writings. So how did this Stuttgart translation, dating from 1839, of the works of one BIDPAL find its way to my New Zealand farmhouse?

I suspect my grandfather's family. The Rosenbaum side. They were publishers, and seem to have toyed with Eastern literature ... and one or two asian books seem to lurk still around the house


I also suspect that it might a sort of Thousand and One Nights ...  or AEsop's Fables. I don't know.






Well, this one has been read ... and annotated ... I wonder by who....



Sunday, March 24, 2024

Antiqueinspired: One of the truest theatrical treasures of my career!

 

I spent twenty years of my life compiling what ended up as the two vast volumes on the life and theatrical times of Miss Emily Lambert-Swain ... otherwise EMILY SOLDENE, the greatest opéra-bouffe vocalist of the Englsh nineteenth century. 


I scoured the libraries and old bookshops and flea markets of the world, and gathered some wonderful information, pictorial matter, music ... and the result was, though I say it myself, the best ever record of the world of the Victorian musical theatre to date. A quarter of a century later, it still is.

Twenty years of life (a whole quarter of my 'so far') is a lot. And it doesn't get shelved or forgotten just because one moves on to all the subsequent projects of one's career. Emily remains an important part of my life to this day. Even my racehorse is called EMILY.


My self-designed luxury mini-bathroom is decorated with Soldene posters. Notably this one, given to me by dear friend, the late Peter Joslin


And, yes, my farm is called GEROLSTEIN.




When you've published a book(s) -- and I'm very proud of this one -- there is, however, a downside. In the years, the decades that follow, you come upon material that makes you go .. 'oh! I wish I'd had THAT for the book'.  Happily, that hasn't happened much with the Emily project.  Yes, more pictures, from one side of the world or the other, have surfaced of Emily in her various roles. Today on e-bay is a nice young Drogan (from Faustino's Dad) and a rather plump ageing Chilpéric (from Antiqueinspired)



And blow me down, here'a Nellie Beaumont (Soldene chorine) from Boston 1876!



But to today's find. It's not Emily. But it's La Grande-Duchesse. Photographs from the original British production, that production which is a white stone in the history of British musical theatre and helped change its course for many a decade.  The production which I have investigated, and written about, more than perhaps any other ...  

Emily was not the first Grand Duchess in John Russell's first stop-gap mounting of the show at Covent Garden. She was a subsequent take-over ... the story of how it happened ('Opéra-bouffe in England' 'The Grande Duchesse') is in my book, along with the story of how the 'stop gap' became a huge hit. And also the story of the Anglo-Australian lassie, fresh off the boat from the antipodes who was its first star. It all takes up fifty pages, so I'll not repeat it here.

The show was a success of stature, but it had to end its brief run as it was time for the all-important pantomime 1867-8, to take the Garden's stage. Some of the cast went into the panto, others to their Christmas jobs ... but Russell managed to gather a good number of his cast back together for Spring 1868 and sent the show on the road. With Miss Julia Mathews from Australia, eventually, in her 'original' role ...

And in Edinburgh, it appears, at some stage, they all had their photo taken.  I didn't know that till now.  And those photos appeared today in Antiqueinspired's e-bay shop!

Well, six of them. The Duchess (Julia Mathews), General Boum (Tom Aynsley Cook), Baron Puck (Frank Matthews, 2 ts and no relation), Prince Paul (J D Stoyle), Nepomuc (Fred Payne) and Baron Grog (originally 'mad' Odell, but the caption is cut off).

No Soldier Fritz and No Wanda. Two roles which had changed hands notably since the original production. 

Julia Mathews as the Duchess

Aynsley Cook as Boom

Presumably Fred Payne as Nepomuc

Frank Matthews as Baron Puck


Baron Grog ... Edward Odell?

Johnnie Stoyle as Prince Paul

There they are! Now I just need to find that Edinburgh date ... 12 October 1868, Edinburgh Operetta House? That looks like it ...  so it IS Odell as Grog. Splendid!

So Wilford Morgan as Fritz and Claliah Albertazzi as Wanda ...

Oh! Antiqueinspired .. pleased find the two missing pictures and here we shall have a wonderful souvenir ...

PS In and out of my books I have done large-to-very-large to not-quite-so-large biographies of all these folk. Too long to post here ... inquiries welcome at ganzl@xtra.co.nz


ZING!!!!  Old rule of e-baying and junk shopping.  Where you find one treasure, check the surrounding items ...


This is another Grande-Duchesse item. 

This is Marguerite Anaïs PRADAL (b Bordeaux 27 July 1839; d Nimes 23 April 1883) who appeared in London in the company led by Hortense Schneider, with which she played the role of Wanda to the creator's Duchess. However, she had a rather remarkable decade of career around that.
She trained at the Paris Conservatoire under Laget and Levasseur and was awarded merely two minor accessits. However, she was signed for the Hague where she debuted most successfully in La Juive, as Valentine in Les Huguenots then caused a minor sensation when, cast for Berthe in Le Prophète, she stepped in at the last moment in the vast role of Fidès. She played at Toulouse in 1861, at Orleans in 1863 (Rosina in Le Barbier de Seville, with the Venzano Waltz) and then, again at Toulouse as Leonora (Trovatore) and Valentine.
In 1868 she appeared at the Porte Saint-Martin in Nos Ancêtres, at Versailles in Zampa, La Dame Blanche, Le Voyage en Chine, La Traviata and as Berthe in Le Prophète, then at the Athenée in Première Fraicheur.  She visted Liège as première chanteuse, was hired for Schneider's company for London in June 1869 (Wanda, Fleurette in Barbe-Bleue) and the 1870 Félix tour of the British provincesand subsequently joined the company at the Bouffes-Parisiens where she created the little Le Moulin tenébreux of the Félix company's conductor, Vizentini. 
She seems to have followed up at Théâtre de la Monnaie at Brussels, and at Nantes .. and then she vanishes.
Remarkable? She seems to have performed every kind of soprano role, from the heaviest to the the very lightest. And everywhere with success. And she doesn't seem to have been photographed much. This is the only picture I have ever seen of her.




Better dig some more!