Posts Tagged ‘Florence Smithson’

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Améliè de l’Enclos, French soprano, billed in London as ‘the vocal phenomenon’

January 7, 2015

Améliè de l’Enclos (active early 20th Century), French singer, billed as ‘the vocal phenomenon,’ who made United Kingdom appearances at the Tivoli, Stand, and other London and provincial music halls between about 1909 and 1911
(photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin, 1908/09; postcard no. 5779, published by The Rapid Photo Printing Co Ltd, London, circa 1909. This postcard, stamp and postmark missing, was sent by Mlle. De l’Enclos to Luigi Motto, 12 Foster Road, Chiswick, London, W. In the 1911 Census for that address, Luigi Motto (1894-1968) is recorded as a music student. He subsequently became a noted ‘cellist and sometime member of The Mozart Concert Party.)

The Tivoli music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 3 January 1910
‘The holiday programme at the Tivoli contains the names of several of the chief music-hall favourites. Miss Marie Lloyd, with her inimitable wink, Mr. Gus Elen, in excellent voice, Mr. George Formby, the Lancashire comedian, who becomes more of an artist the longer he sings, and last but not least (in one sense) Little Tich, all combine to keep the audience in the best of humours… . One of the newcomers to the Tivoli, Mlle. Améliè de l’Enclos, is described on the programme as a phenomenal soprano vocalist, and well deserves the title. She has, to begin with, quite a pleasant and well-trained voice. But over and beyond and far above it she produces some extraordinary vocal harmonics which reach to a positively dizzy height. They are much more like the notes of a flute than a human voice, and of course this part of her performance is merely a variety of trick-singing. But for all that it is not only astonishing, but also, which is a different thing, agreeable to listen to.’
(The Times, London, Tuesday, 4 January 1910, p. 11c)

‘Some Close-range Studies of Personalities of the Week [beginning Monday, 21 November 1910] …
‘A Marvellous Singer
‘Mlle. Amelie de l’Enclos, who is singing at the Tivoli, is able to reach C sharp in alt.’
(The Sphere, London, Saturday, 26 November 1910, p. 181)

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‘FAMOUS SINGERS’ TOP NOTES.
‘What are the utmost limits of the human voice? Since, years ago, Mme. Patti reached G in altissimo, doctors of music have been asking themselves this question. As a matter of fact, no singer seems to have exceeded Mme. Patti’s range, although she herself seldom touched that not, her real top note being E flat. Since then, however, several singers have astonished the world by reaching G in alt. even more easily than Mme. Patti.
‘A few days ago a young singer, Miss Florence Macbeth, who has been hailed as ”a second Patti,” appeared at the Queen’s Hall and astounded the critics with her phenomenal voice, which ranges from low G sharp to the G in alt. – three octaves – which she can sing with a clear note.
‘Miss Macbeth was born in Minnesota, and is not the first American nightingale who has astonished the world. Miss [Ellen] Beach Yaw as one of the first to break all musical records on the other side of the Atlantic, and there is a passage in Mozart’s ”Magic Flute” which took her to F, but Miss Yaw demonstrated that she could sing a note higher than that – G.
‘Then there was Miss Editha Helena, a young American diva, who sang at the Empire, London, some time ago, and who claimed to have the greatest vocal register ever possessed by a woman. She could sing with perfect musical intonation (in addition to the two octaves of the ordinary good soprano) F in the altissimo, and even climb to the remote altitudes of the A above F. Besides, this, she could take the low G, and could thus, like Miss Macbeth, sing three octaves, a vocal achievement unprecedented in the whole history of music.
‘In 1910 Mlle. Camille Obar appears at the London Coliseum, and astounded the critics by raising her voice above the level of the C – that ”high C” which is commonly supposed to mark the limit of the ordinary soprano’s efforts in the ”top note” business. As one critic put it, ”The dictionaries of music contained no name for Mlle. Obar’s vocal sky-rockets.” In the same year another French lady, Miss Amelie de l’Enclos, appeared in London and showed that she could reach the four-line C and C sharp, her voice retaining its marvellous purity at this great range.
‘One of the most wonderful singers who ever appeared on the London stage is undoubtedly Miss Florence Smithson, whose song, ”Light is my Heart,” was one of the chief numbers of ”The Arcadians” at the Shaftesbury Theatre. When she first sang the song she set all musical London discussing the wonderful note – F in alt. – which she reached, and not only rendered with astonishing purity and sweetness and without apparent effort, but held with undiminished strength for 24 bars.
‘Naturally the question arises, How do these phenomenal voices compare with the great prima donne of to-day and yesterday? Tetrazzini‘s trill on E flat in alt. has been her greatest and most admired effort. Mme. Melba is credited with an F sharp, Nordica sings C sharp, Calve sings B flat, while Mme. Eames and Mme. Sembrich each easily attain E. Christine Nilsson was able to touch G, and Jenny Lind even an A – ranges, of course, which are phenomenal, and rarely to be found among concert singers.’
(The Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia, Saturday, 19 July 1913, p. 6h)

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January 7, 2015

Améliè de l’Enclos (active early 20th Century), French singer, billed as ‘the vocal phenomenon,’ who made United Kingdom appearances at the Tivoli, Stand, and other London and provincial music halls between about 1909 and 1911
(photo: Ernst Schneider, Berlin, 1908/09; postcard no. 5779, published by The Rapid Photo Printing Co Ltd, London, circa 1909. This postcard, stamp and postmark missing, was sent by Mlle. De l’Enclos to Luigi Motto, 12 Foster Road, Chiswick, London, W. In the 1911 Census for that address, Luigi Motto (1894-1968) is recorded as a music student. He subsequently became a noted ‘cellist and sometime member of The Mozart Concert Party.)

The Tivoli music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 3 January 1910
‘The holiday programme at the Tivoli contains the names of several of the chief music-hall favourites. Miss Marie Lloyd, with her inimitable wink, Mr. Gus Elen, in excellent voice, Mr. George Formby, the Lancashire comedian, who becomes more of an artist the longer he sings, and last but not least (in one sense) Little Tich, all combine to keep the audience in the best of humours… . One of the newcomers to the Tivoli, Mlle. Améliè de l’Enclos, is described on the programme as a phenomenal soprano vocalist, and well deserves the title. She has, to begin with, quite a pleasant and well-trained voice. But over and beyond and far above it she produces some extraordinary vocal harmonics which reach to a positively dizzy height. They are much more like the notes of a flute than a human voice, and of course this part of her performance is merely a variety of trick-singing. But for all that it is not only astonishing, but also, which is a different thing, agreeable to listen to.’
(The Times, London, Tuesday, 4 January 1910, p. 11c)

‘Some Close-range Studies of Personalities of the Week [beginning Monday, 21 November 1910] …
‘A Marvellous Singer
‘Mlle. Amelie de l’Enclos, who is singing at the Tivoli, is able to reach C sharp in alt.’
(The Sphere, London, Saturday, 26 November 1910, p. 181)

* * * * *

‘FAMOUS SINGERS’ TOP NOTES.
‘What are the utmost limits of the human voice? Since, years ago, Mme. Patti reached G in altissimo, doctors of music have been asking themselves this question. As a matter of fact, no singer seems to have exceeded Mme. Patti’s range, although she herself seldom touched that not, her real top note being E flat. Since then, however, several singers have astonished the world by reaching G in alt. even more easily than Mme. Patti.
‘A few days ago a young singer, Miss Florence Macbeth, who has been hailed as “a second Patti,” appeared at the Queen’s Hall and astounded the critics with her phenomenal voice, which ranges from low G sharp to the G in alt. – three octaves – which she can sing with a clear note.
‘Miss Macbeth was born in Minnesota, and is not the first American nightingale who has astonished the world. Miss [Ellen] Beach Yaw as one of the first to break all musical records on the other side of the Atlantic, and there is a passage in Mozart’s “Magic Flute” which took her to F, but Miss Yaw demonstrated that she could sing a note higher than that – G.
‘Then there was Miss Editha Helena, a young American diva, who sang at the Empire, London, some time ago, and who claimed to have the greatest vocal register ever possessed by a woman. She could sing with perfect musical intonation (in addition to the two octaves of the ordinary good soprano) F in the altissimo, and even climb to the remote altitudes of the A above F. Besides, this, she could take the low G, and could thus, like Miss Macbeth, sing three octaves, a vocal achievement unprecedented in the whole history of music.
‘In 1910 Mlle. Camille Obar appears at the London Coliseum, and astounded the critics by raising her voice above the level of the C – that “high C” which is commonly supposed to mark the limit of the ordinary soprano’s efforts in the “top note” business. As one critic put it, “The dictionaries of music contained no name for Mlle. Obar’s vocal sky-rockets.” In the same year another French lady, Miss Amelie de l’Enclos, appeared in London and showed that she could reach the four-line C and C sharp, her voice retaining its marvellous purity at this great range.
‘One of the most wonderful singers who ever appeared on the London stage is undoubtedly Miss Florence Smithson, whose song, “Light is my Heart,” was one of the chief numbers of “The Arcadians” at the Shaftesbury Theatre. When she first sang the song she set all musical London discussing the wonderful note – F in alt. – which she reached, and not only rendered with astonishing purity and sweetness and without apparent effort, but held with undiminished strength for 24 bars.
‘Naturally the question arises, How do these phenomenal voices compare with the great prima donne of to-day and yesterday? Tetrazzini’s trill on E flat in alt. has been her greatest and most admired effort. Mme. Melba is credited with an F sharp, Nordica sings C sharp, Calve sings B flat, while Mme. Eames and Mme. Sembrich each easily attain E. Christine Nilsson was able to touch G, and Jenny Lind even an A – ranges, of course, which are phenomenal, and rarely to be found among concert singers.’
(The Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia, Saturday, 19 July 1913, p. 6h)

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Nora Stockelle, English music hall and pantomime soubrette and dancer

February 23, 2014

Nora Stockelle (active 1907-1920), English music hall and pantomime soubrette and dancer
(postcard photo: Charles & Russell, 10 Royal Avenue, Belfast, circa 1915)

Merry Moments Merry Moments, a revue by Albert P. de Courville and Herman Darewski, first presented at the Hackney Empire, north London, 22 March 1915. There were various changes during the subsequent tour: Nell Emerald was temporarily replaced by Lily Lena and by July 1915 Florence Smithson had been added.
Finsbury Park Empire, north London, week beginning Monday 17 May 1915
‘Harry Day brings his Merry Moments to Finsbury Park Empire this week, and frankly disdaining the fetters of a plot of any kind, just gives us a series of amusing scenes, linked together by choruses, and the evolutions and dances of Lottie Stone’s troupe. The effect is decidedly pleasing, and requires no mental effort to follow. Amongst the most amusing episodes are ”The Amateur Burglar,” by Hal Jones, [Fred] Hawes, and T. Gamble; ”Bookkeeping” and ”A present from a friend,” by Marriott Edgar and Walter Williams; ”The Canadian Bully,” by Lily Lena, [Hal] Jones, and [Fred] Dark; ”A swish wish,” by Nora Stockelle, Messrs. Edgar, Jones, and W. Williams. These are apparently the favourites with the audience. Lily Lena’s archness and piquancy find immediate favour with the audience, and she makes a great hit with her song, ”What a lady.” Nora Stockelle scores with ”All of you rag with me,” as does Miss [Beatrice] Boarer and Walter Williams with their duet, ”Anytime, Anywhere.” altogether, Merry Moments may be said to have made a good impression, and Mr. A. Coleman Hicks has no cause of complaint as to business.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 20 May 1915, p. 16a)

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Florence Smithson, English soprano and musical comedy and pantomime actress

February 19, 2014

Florence Smithson (1884-1936), English soprano and musical comedy actress, who appeared in several Drury Lane pantomimes and spent much of the last part of her career touring variety theatres in the United Kingdom. She is best remembered for her appearance as Sombra in the original production of The Arcadians (Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 28 April 1909).
(photo: Metropole Studios, Cardiff, circa 1915)

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The Blue Moon

April 29, 2013

colour lithograph cover (after original artwork by Richard Pannett) to the score of The Blue Moon, a musical play by Harold Ellis, revised by A.M. Thompson, with lyrics by Percy Greenbank and Paul A. Rubens and music by Howard Talbot and Paul A. Rubens, published by Chappell & Co Ltd, London, 1905, printed by H.G. Banks Ltd.

The Blue Moon, was first produced at the Opera House, Northampton, on 29 February 1904, before its London premier at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, on 28 August 1905. The principal parts on the opening night in London were played by Courtice Pounds, Fred Allandale, Walter Passmore, Willie Edouin, Eleanor Souray, Florence Smithson (a stylized portrait of whom is on the above score cover), Billie Burke and Carrie Moore.

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Florence Smithson in The Mousmé

December 26, 2012

Florence Smithson (1884-1936), Welsh actress and soprano, as O Hana San in the musical play The Mousmé,

Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 9 September 1911, from a contemporary poster by David Allen & Sons Ltd, London and Belfast

This colour halftone postcard was published by David Allen & Sons Ltd of London and Belfast, based on the firm’s design for a poster featuring a portrait of Florence Smithson for the musical play The Mousmé, which was produced at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, 9 September 1911. The design for the poster was inspired by a photograph by Foulsham & Banfield of London.

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Doris Dean’ – Just for To-Night (Gaze into My Eyes and Say you Love Me)’

December 24, 2012

Doris Dean (1889-1981), the English musical comedy singer and dancer and pantomime principal girl, here sings ‘Just for To-Night (Gaze into My Eyes and Say you Love Me),’ a popular song by Harry, A. Tierney, with words by Worton David, published in 1914. Miss Dean’s recording was made for the Regal label in London in 1914. The song was also sung by a number of other celebrities, including Florence Smithson and Phyllis Dare, but neither appears to have made recordings of it.