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Arthur St. Vincent and Eugenie Montebello, British and Australian music hall entertainers

May 15, 2014

Arthur St. Vincent (active 1869-1887), English music hall singer/songwriter, manager and general entertainer, and his wife, Mdlle. Eugenie Montebello (active 1868-1876), Italian-born British music hall artist, sometimes described as ‘the dashing serio-comic and dancer,’ male impersonator, magician/illusionist and entertainer
(carte de visite photos: Clayson & Cuthbert, 13 ½ South Parade, Nottingham, and Tulley, 26 Division Street, Sheffield, both circa 1870)

Arthur St. Vincent and Mdlle. Montebello appear to have been in their early 20s when they began their separate stage careers. They soon joined forces, however, and in 1873 they set sail for Australia. Settling for a while in the new gold-mining town of Charters Towers, where they are said to have been connected with the Sportsman’s Arms Hotel and its theatre, they were subsequently seen in company on tour with various other entertainers throughout parts of Australia and New Zealand. It was on 27 October 1874 at the Crown Hotel, Dunedin that a son was born to the couple (Otago Witness, Dunedin, New Zealand, Wednesday, 28 October 1874, p. 4b).

Early in 1882 Arthur St. Vincent returned to England but disaster struck his and his party’s return journey to Australia when they were involved in a steamship wreck, which deprived them of their savings and wardrobes. St. Vincent managed to return to his wife in Australia, where a benefit was held for him in June 1884. Later references to Mr and Mrs St Vincent are in Australian sources but they cease in 1887.

* * * * *

‘Success! The Great Arthur St. Vincent. Success!
ARTHUR ST. VINCENT, acknowledged to be the most original and successful Comic that has visited HALIFAX [Yorkshire] (ODD FELLOWS’ MUSIC HALL). Thunders of applause nightly. Pullan’s, Bradford; Fleur-de-Lis, Sheffield; Victoria, Hartlepool; Wear, Sunderland, to follow. Address, HARRY FOX, Middlesex Music Hall, London, W.C.
N.B. Songs and Duets written on moderate terms (Ladies’ versions).’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 23 May 1869, p. 16b)

Metropolitan music hall, Edgware Road, London, week beginning Monday, 23 October 1871
‘… Mdlle. [Eugenie] Montebello and Mr. Arthur St. Vincent, who are comic duettists with voices above the average for musicalness, have newly appeared here, and are well received. They represent a belle and beau, who sing of ”London Society” being more to their taste than that of Baden-Baden, &c. Dressed nearly alike as fops, with peculiar hats and profuse whiskers, they carol a lively strain, the refrain of which is ”Hurrah for the Gaslight School.” The manlike appearance and swagger of the lady cause much laughter. Again they come forward and exhibit cards bearing good representations of the Rose, the Thistle, the Shamrock, and other emblems of nations, and accompany the display of the pictures with appropriate melodies. When we saw them they were so earnestly called that they appeared a fourth time and sang ”A song of songs,” which consisted of snatches of a very large number of popular ditties well woven together and cleverly sung… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 29 October 1871, p. 12a)

‘DPARTURE OF PROFESSIONALS FOR AUSTRALIA. – On Thursday the following members of the Music Hall Profession sailed from Southampton for Australia, viz.:- The De Castro troupe, Valentine Vose, Arthur St. Vincent, Mdlle. Montebello, Airee, Nellie Forrester, Harry Sefton, and Jessie Danvers. Through Messrs Durden and Wills, who witnessed their departure, they send kind regards to their brother and sister professionals.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 31 August 1873, p. 4d)

‘ST. VINCENT’S GEM CONCERT COMPANY.
FOR THREE NIGHTS ONLY. SATURDAY, MONDAY, AND TUESDAY NEXT.
MR. AND MRS. ARTHUR ST. VINCENT, From all the London Theatres, and late Principal Vocalists of Smith’s English and Continental Combination, beg most respectfully to announce Three Performances as above.
The Company at present consists of the following first-class Artists:-
MR. ARTHUR ST. VINCENT, acknowledged by public and press to be the greatest Local Comic and Characteristic Vocalist, who has visited the Colonies, in all new Songs, written and composed by himself.
MDLLE. EUGENIE MONTEBELLO, pronounced by the London and Provincial Press to be the greatest Lady Impersonator of Male Character in the world.
MR. FRANK VERTEN, (late of the Australian Bell Ringers), Negro Comedian and Dancer, in his beautiful American Songs and Dances.
MR. LESLIE CHARLES, (late of the Canadian Concerts), Baritone and National Vocalist.
HERR JULIUS, Solo Pianist and Musical Director.
MR AND MRS A. ST. VINCENT In their highly amusing Drawing Room Sketches of ”Life and Character.”
Vide Press – ”The most amusing couple we have seen for many a long day.” – Cromwell Argus, December 24, 1875.
An entire Change of Programme each evening
Books of Words may be had at the Hall.
Doors open at 7.30; commence at 8.
SOLE MANAGER – MR. A. ST. VINCENT. SOLE AGENT – ALFRED WRIGHT.’ (The Nelson Evening Mail, Nelson, New Zealand, Wednesday, 2 June 1875, p. 2g)

‘MR. ARTHUR ST. VINCENT has arrived [in London], and will remain in England for Two Months. He will be pleased to hear from old friends; also from Persons having Novelties in any line of Business, Illusions of all kinds, Duets, Dialogues, Comic Songs. Can arrange with Artistes to visit the Colonies either on terms share or otherwise. Address, ARTHUR ST. VINCENT, 32, Fitzroy-street, Fitzroy-square, London, W.C.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 27 May 1882, p. 23c)

‘ST. VINCENT’S
AUSTRALIAN ”MUSETTES and
CONCERT PARTY
of Six Star Artistes
are now on Tour through England.
Managers and Proprietors please send vacant dates for Halls.
ARTHUR ST. VINCENT.
N.B. – ”The Hindoo Marvel.”
Australia again in August.
Permanent address, 32, Fitzroy-street, Frizroy-square, London, N.W.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 10 June 1882, p. 21a)

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