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The Serenaders

September 28, 2013

two members of The Serenaders (active early 20th Century from about 1900), English ‘masked singers,’ who specialised in song scenas and other refined entertainment for the music hall stage, at fetes, special events and private functions
(photo: Alfred Ellis & Walery, London, circa 1902)

‘THE SERENADERS’ ENTERTAINMENT.
‘A very agreeable and successful entrainment was given on Monday after noon, April 21 [1902], at St. James’s Hall, under the direction of Ashton’s Royal Agency, by The Serenaders, a troupe of masked singers, two ladies and three gentlemen, who have latterly proved popular at Cowes [Isle of Wight] and other places. Black satin, sequins, hoods, cloaks, big hats, and so on, are among the paraphernalia of their picturesque and romantic attire, and The Serenaders may fairly be classed with The Japs, The Follies, The Musketeer Concert Party, The Scarlet Mr. E’s, and similar organisations. The present troupe comprise a capital baritone, a very acceptable tenor, a high soprano, a pleasing contralto, and a gentleman pianist. They opened their programme on Monday with an introductory quartet, ”The Serenaders,” written by Alan Otway, in which familiar melodies were made use of wherewith to characterise the various singers. Other pieces arranged as quartets were the popular ”Tell Me, Pretty Maiden,” from Florodora, and its parallel, ”’A ,” from The Silver Slipper. The baritone gave ”In the shade of the Palm” as an encore for ”The Sweetest Flower that Blows”; the tenor also had to choose another song after his refined rendering of Goring Thomas’s ”Ma Voisine,” the charming quartet from ”The Daisy Chain,” ”Foreign Children,” was brightly sung; and other items were ”Across the Sill Lagoon” (tenor and baritone), ”Love’s Nocturne” (contralto and baritone), Eckert’s florid ”Echo Song” (for soprano, of course), and the well known ”A Regular Royal Queen,” from The Gondoliers. Appropriate dancing and business enhanced the effect of The Serenaders’ excellent performances. They were assisted by Mr. Charles Capper, who whistled as beautifully as ever (accompanied by Mr. Victor Marmont), and by Miss Helen Mar. That clever lady, besides giving several of her amusing American stories, was heard in a pathetic little piece about a game of hide and seek played by a lame lad and his aged grandmother, and imitated a girl reciting ”Curfew shall not ring to-night!” No doubt The Serenaders will have abundant opportunity of further proving their quality during the Coronation season. They had a numerous and highly appreciative audience on Monday.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 24 April 1902, p. 18c)

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