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Mdlle. Sylvia as Serpolette in Les Cloches de Corneville upon its reopening, Globe Theatre, London, 4 September 1880

November 30, 2014

Mdlle. Sylvia (active late 1870s/early 1880s), Swedish soprano, as she appeared as Serpolette in Les Cloches de Corneville upon its reopening, Globe Theatre, Newcastle Street, London on Saturday, 4 September 1880. The part of Serpolette had been first played in London by he American soprano, Kate Munroe.
(cabinet photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1880)

‘Mdlle. Sylvia, a young vocalist of Swedish extraction, made her first appearance in England on Wednesday last as the heroine of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, which still retains its popularity after nearly 500 continuous repetitions. Mdlle. Sylvia is young, graceful, and prepossessing. Her voice is a soprano of good quality and ample compass, and she sang with taste and expression, although at times so nervous that her intonation became unsatisfactory. She was heartily applauded, and will probably prove a valuable addition to the excellent company at the Strand Theatre.’
(The Observer, London, Sunday, 1 August 1880, p. 7d)

Globe Theatre, London, Saturday, 4 September 1880
‘On Saturday, September 4, the Globe Theatre, which has been newly decorated, will reopen for the regular season with Les Cloches de Corneville, the reproduction of which will derive additional interest from the engagement of Mr. [Frank H. ] Celli, who will personate the Marquis; and Mesdames Sylvia and D’Algua, who will respectively sustain the parts of Serpolette and Germaine. Mdlle. Sylvia is already known to the London public as having successfully impersonated Madame Favart at the Strand Theatre, during the absence of Miss [Florence] St. John. Mdlle. D’Algua will make her first appearance on the London stage, and Messrs. [Harry] Paulton, [Charles] Ashford, and Shiel Barry will reappear as the Bailie, Gobo, and the Miser. Les Coches will only be played for a limited number of nights, pending the production of a new comic opera from the pen of Offenbach.’
(The Observer, London, Sunday, 29 August 1880, p. 3f)

‘After a short recess, during which the auditorium has undergone a complete renovation, the Globe Theatre reopened on Saturday evening with the familiar but by no means unwelcome Cloches de Corneville as the staple entertainment. M. Planquette’s charming opera has not yet outlived its popularity, and no doubt it will attract the music-loving public while Mr. Alexander Henderson is getting ready the promised Offenbach novelty. The present cast is in many respects an excellent one. Mr. Shiel Barry, of course, retains his part of the miser, Gaspard, and plays it with the same intensity as heretofore; while Mr. Harry Paulton and Mr. Charles Ashford continue to impersonate the Bailie and his factotum, Gobo, in a manner which is well known. With these three exceptions the characters have changed hands. Mdlle. D’Algua is now the Germaine, Mdlle. Sylvia the Serpolette, Mr. [Henry] Bracy the Grenicheux, and Mr. F.H. Celli the Marquis. Unfortunately both Mdlle. D’Algua and Mdlle. Sylvia have but an imperfect acquaintance with the English tongue, and their speeches are therefore not readily comprehensible. Perhaps practice, in each case, may make perfect, but at present a little judicious ”coaching” would make an improvement. Mdlle. D’Algua sings her music efficiently, and with some degree of artistic feeling; while Mdlle. Sylvia acts with plenty of vivacity throughout, and proves herself an accomplished vocalist. Mr. Bracy has a pleasant tenor voice, which he used fairly well, and Mr. F.H. Celli brings his ripe experience in opera to bear upon the part of the Marquis – a character usually assigned to a tenor, if our memory serve us right. The work is placed on the stage with all due regard for picturesqueness of effect, there is a capital chorus, and Mr. Edward Solomon has his orchestra thoroughly well in hand. So wholesome and refreshing is M. Planquette’s work that playgoers may perhaps disregard the oppressive head, which renders indoor amusements all but intolerable, and take the opportunity of renewing their acquaintance with the chiming of the Corneville bells. The opera is preceded by a farce.’
(The Standard, London, Monday, 6 September 1880, p. 3d)

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