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John Bardsley (1883-1916), English tenor

September 21, 2013

autographed halftone postcard photograph of John Bardsley (1883-1916), English tenor
(photo and postcard: unknown, United Kingdom, circa 1910)

Before leaving for the United States in August 1913 to fulfil a contract with the Aborn Opera Company, John Bardsley sang at several Promenade Concerts in London between 1906 and 1911. Among other commitments (see below) he also appeared in two musical plays: Butterflies, at the Apollo Theatre, London (12 May 1908), with Ada Reeve, Louis Bradfield and Hayden Coffin; and A Persian Princess, at the Queen’s Theatre, London (27 April 1909), with George Graves, Carrie Moore and Ruth Vincent. He also made a number of gramophone recordings.

‘Shortly after singing faintly, ”Drink to me only with thine eyes,” John Bardsley, a tenor who formerly was a member of the Covent Garden Opera Company in London and the Century Opera Company in New York, fell back on his bed and died.’
(The Wairarapa Daily Times, Saturday, 13 May 1916, p. 3b)

‘New York. – Dying of pneumonia, John Bardsley, tenor, sat up in bed, sang ”Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes,” and fell back dead.’
(The Day Book, Chicago, Illinois, Friday, 7 April 1916, p. 30b)

‘JOHN BARDSLEY BURIED.
‘Was Formerly Well Known as a Singer of Operatic Roles.
‘John Bardsley, formerly a well known tenor of the Aborn Opera Company and for the last two years one of the entertainers at Shanley’s, was buried yesterday from the undertaking rooms at 2748 Broadway. He died early Thursday morning of pneumonia.
‘Mr. Bardsley was born in Lancaster, England, and was 32 years old. He won the Ada Lewis free scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London when 17 years old and at 25 was tenor with the Beecham Opera Company at the Covent Garden. He made his first appearance in the United States with the Aborn troupe and was especially successful in light opera roles. One of his best successes was in ”Pinafore” at the [New York] Hippodrome [9 April 1914].
‘His wife and three small children were at his bedside during his illness. Mr. Bardsley leaves three brothers, all of whom are with the British troops in France, one of them being a captain. Burial was at Woodlawn Cemetery.’
(The Sun, New York, Saturday, 8 April 1916, p. 9g)

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