h1

Ethel Negretti

July 2, 2013

Ethel Negretti (1879-1918?), English singer (soprano) and actress
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, circa 1902)

Ethel Negretti (Ethel Amelia Rosenstreich) was born in London in 1879, the daughter of Nathaniel Rosenstreich (1841/42-1903), a German-born looking glass and furniture manufacturer, and his first wife, Amelia (née Biddle, 1828-1898). On 28 July 1904 she was married to Albert Pembridge Parker, a sometime manager in the motor trade, at St. George’s, Bloomsbury. They appear to have had no children and may have separated before 1918, the last mention of her in the records. Parker married again in 1926, to Winifred Lilian Edith Grayson and died at the age of 75 in 1949.

Ethel Negretti appears to have begun her theatrical career in the summer of 1898 with Wallace Erskine’s company in a tour of the UK of The Shop Girl, a musical farce which was first produced at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 24 November 1894; she took the part of Lady Dodo Singleton, originally played by Helen Lee.

She was next seen at the end of October, 1898, in a small part at the Royal Theatre, Jersey, in the comedy The Dove-Cot, starring Seymour Hicks, following its London run at the Duke of York’s Theatre (12 February 1898). Miss Negretti was the Princess Haidée in the pantomime Dick Whittington, at the Grand Theatre, Fulham, at Christmas 1898, in which she was praised for the song ‘Carmencita,’ ‘rendered with such sweetness and verve.’ (The Era, London, Saturday, 21 January 1899, p. 12c). She was then seen in tours of the musical farcical comedy The Topsy-Turvey Hotel Co and the musical comedy The French Maid.

On 19 October 1899 appeared as Cyrene in a revival at the Lyceum Theatre, London, of Wilson Barrett’s drama The Sign of the Cross. She was next seen in a tour with G.H. Snazelle in The Prince of Borneo, an opera farce.

Derby, Wednesday, 7 November 1900
‘BANJO AND MANDOLIN CONCERT AT THE TEMPERANCE HALL.
‘Though the weather was miserable – rain fell sharply at times and the streets were thick with mud – there was a capital audience at the Temperance Hall on Wednesday evening, on the occasion of Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Merton’s fourth grand banjo and mandolin concert. The programme was a delightful one and the artistes were ladies and gentlemen of acknowledged ability. Mr Clifford Essex and Miss Ethel Negretti achieved considerable success at one of Mr. Merton’s previous concerts, and their second appearance in Derby was naturally looked forward to with much interest and pleasure. Of Mr. Essex and his pierrots it may be said that they have performed, by command, before the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the Royal Family on no fewer than five occasions. Then Mr. Olly Oakley there are few more celebrated banjoists and he too was exceedingly well received on a previous visit to the town… . Mr. Clifford Essex and Miss Negretti were heard to particular advantage in ”I love the man in the moon” (which was encored), and Miss Negretti, who has a very sweet, clear voice, sang ”Baby,” (from [Gustave Kerker’s] ”The American Beauty” [sic]), a particularly pretty song, charmingly… .’
(The Derby Mercury, Derby, Wednesday, 14 November 1900, p. 6e)

At Christmas 1900 Miss Negretti was seen in the pantomime Dick Whittington at the Prince’s Theatre, Bristol. The two leading parts of Dick and Alice were taken by Millie Hylton and her sister, Lydia Flopp; other parts were played by Ernest Shand, Tennyson and O’Gorman and Bessie Featherstone.

In November 1901 Ethel Negretti appeared as one of Clifford Essex’s Pierrots (the others being Clifford Essex, Joe Morley and Wilson James) at the Town Hall, Eastbourne. She remained with Essex until the autumn of 1902 after which she appeared as Ida in the pantomime Mother Goose at Drury Lane Theatre (26 December 1902), with Dan Leno, Herbert Campbell, Madge Lessing, Marie George and others. She was next seen in The School Girl, a musical play which opened at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, on 9 May 1903; the cast was headed by Edna May and G.P. Huntley. Following a tour in A Country Girl, Miss Negretti appeared again in pantomime at Drury Lane: Humpty Dumpty, produced on 26 December 1903, with Dan Leno, Herbert Campbell, George Bastow, Marie George, Louise Willis and Ruth Lytton.

With further appearances on tour and in pantomime, Ethel Negretti’s career continued until 1914/15, when she appeared as Mme. Alvarez in a tour of the successful Shaftesbury Theatre musical, The Pearl Girl. Her final appearances seem to have been in The Magic Touch, a musical comedy produced at the Palace Theatre, Walthamstow, on 18 January 1915; and in the revue, So Long, Lucy!, which was produced on 27 September 1915 at the Hippodrome, Derby, with Paul Barnes, the American black-face comedian and song-writer, in the lead; other members of the cast were Clay Smith (husband of Lee White, the American revue star), Phyllis Barnes and Phil Lester.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: