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Marguerite Naudin

August 29, 2013

Marguerite Naudin (1879?-), child prodigy, vocalist and actress, as she appeared as O Mimosa San in Frederick Mouillot’s principal touring company of The Geisha between 1901 and 1903.
(photo: unknown, probably London, circa 1901)

Marguerite Naudin, daughter of the French tenor, Emile Naudin (1823-1890), was a pupil of Isidore de Lara (1858-1935), the English song writer and vocalist. As a child she made a number of well-received concert appearances before embarking on a career in musical comedy and comic opera between about 1901 and 1907.

‘At Mr. De Lara’s concert on May 16 [1888] – the first given by him in London since his return from an eight months’ sojourn on the Continent – an interested début took place, that of little Marguerite Naudin, a child only nine years old, and daughter of the famous French tenor. This tiny girl, whose voice is peculiarly sweet and ”tender with tears,” sings perfectly in tune, with a justness of phrasing and passionate pathos that are simply marvellous in one so young. Whilst interpreting De Lara’s beautiful setting of Lord Lytton’s lines, ”If sorry have taught me anything,” she touched her audience to the very heart’s core; and yet, what should this pretty child know about sorrow, or have learnt from it? She has certainly been taught to mimic passion with such exactitude that he imitation may readily pass for the genuine article. Her rendering, too, of Tosti’s ”Pepita” was inimitably sympathetic and interesting. The Cavaliere Paolo himself could not have ”spoken” the charming song more effectively.’
(‘Our Musical-Box,’ The Theatre, London, 1 June 1888, p. 312)

‘At Miss Helen Townshend’s concert, besides the bénéficiaire, Isidor de Lara sang delightfully, and his Virgin Choir covered itself with chased glory. Little Marguerite Naudin also ”spoke” two songs most touchingly. I heard this gifted child again at De Lara’s second recital (June 4 [1888]), and was profoundly impressed by her imitative pathos. She is every whit as sympathetic as Pepi Hofmann, though quite in a different way. What voice she has is naturally veiled and tearful in quality, and there are tender little breaks in it that are ineffably touching.’
(‘Our Musical-Box,’ The Theatre, London, 2 July 1888, pp. 28 and 29)

Following her tour in The Geisha, 1901-1903, Marguerite Naudin again toured with Frederick Mouillot’s company as Chandra Nil in The Blue Moon in 1906 and 1907.

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