Posts Tagged ‘Franz Lehar’

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A tribute to Lily Elsie in the title role of The Merry Widow, Daly’s Theatre, London, 1907

April 9, 2014

a flyer issued by The Edison Bell Consolidated Phonograph Co Ltd, 30 Charing Cross Road, London, WC, in June 1907 for the Edison Bell recording of ‘The Merry Widow Waltz,’ ‘The enormously successful Waltz now being encored nightly at Daly’s Theatre, London.’

‘The Merry Widow Waltz’ and other selections from Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow were recorded innumerable times, particularly after the play’s production in London (Daly’s Theatre, 8 June 1907), with Lily Elsie and Joseph Coyne, and in New York (New Amsterdam Theatre, 21 October 1907), with Donald Brian and Ethel Jackson respectively playing Prince Danilo and Sonia.

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José Collins in Alone at Last, Shubert Theatre, New York, 1915

October 26, 2013

José Collins (1887-1958), English actress and singer, as she appeared in Alone at Last, an operetta in three acts with music by Franz Lehar, adapted from the German for the American stage by Edgar Smith and Joseph Herbert and produced at the Shubert Theatre, New York, on 19 October 1915.
(photo: Moffett, Chicago, 1915)

‘Jose Collins returned to the cast of Alone at Last this week after having walked out of the rehearsals last week. Miss Collins will open with the show when it comes into the Shubert theatre unless she changes her mind between now and the opening date.’
(Variety, New York, Friday, 8 October 1915, p. 1d)

‘White Alone at Last, the most recent operetta from the pen of Franz Lehar, famed as the composer of the celebrated and justly sensational success, The Merry Widow, is endowed with a fine musical score, it is only fair to state that the big song hit of the piece is an interpolation. The song in question, contrary to the usual rule, is not a dreamy waltz ballad of love and soul kisses, but a comic ditty entitled ”Some Little Bug Will Find You Some Day.”
‘It occurs during the action of the second scene of the second act, and receives the best of treatment through the very able recitative attainments of Roy Atwell. Incidentally the latter collaborated in the writing of it in conjunction with Benjamin Hapgood Burt and Silvio Hein. Mr. Atwell tendered some ten extra verses of the ”Bug” song the opening night, and, to use a vaudeville colloquialism, ”stopped the show.”
‘But there is a great deal more to Alone at Last besides this most excellent humorous lyric. Take, for instance, Mr. [Joseph Harry] Benrimo’s superior producing ability as evidenced in the Swiss mountain scene in the second act.
‘The effect obtained is atmospheric to a remarkable degree, thanks to extraordinary lighting and Mr. Benrimo’s superlative knowledge of stage craft.
‘There are other beautiful and convincing scenic backgrounds as well, notably in the first act, with brings froth a realistic hotel set. The third act set, a hotel interior, while good in its way, is not up to the outdoor effects.
‘Then the music, both solo and ensemble, is pleasing, sweet and melodious. The score on the whole, although it contains nothing startling in the way of an individual ”hit,” is highly satisfactory. One might say that Lehar’s music was ”pretentious,” inasmuch as it often approaches great opera standards.
‘The chorus costumes are correct, in no way vulgar or obtrusive, and sufficiently kaleidoscopic in coloring. They show a nice refinement of taste in their designing and selection.
‘The book is only fair, and judicious eliminations of long and tedious passages of dialogue would help considerably. Particularly is is lacking the comedy values. This fault, of course, must be charged up to its programmed foreign authors [Dr. A.M. Willner and Robert Bodansky]. Admittedly the book contains no horseplay or buffoonery.
‘The cast is exceptionally talented in almost every instance. Jose Collins, as Tilly Dachau, sings charmingly, acts competently and wears her numerous costume changes bewitchingly. A champagne colored riding suit work in the second act, with the cutest of tightly fitting ”pants” imaginable, fills the eye in decidedly pleasure fashion. Miss Collins, it might be said in passing, fills the costume quite in the same manner.
‘John Charles Thomas, a strapping young fellow with a beautiful singing voice, that is quite as robust as his splendid physique, established himself in the good graces of the first nighters immediately after his first vocal number. His performance was highly enjoyable in every way.
‘Harry Conor, veteran American comedian, did splendidly with the material at hand. He was always at east and made his rather inane lines sound natural and convincing. A genuine achievement.
Madame Namara is a pretty girl of the frail, flower-like variety of beauty. The madame made the most of excellent opportunities offered her tat the finish of the second act. Her singing voice, a soprano of good range and fair quality, seemed to be not in the best of condition on the opening night.
‘Roy Atwell was very slightly remindful of Richard Carle as a mollycoddle sort of lover. Outside of the big song hit in the second act, Mr. Atwell was assigned little that was entertaining or amusing. He seemed to be mis-cast. However, the way in which he put over the ”Bug” song more than made up for any deficiencies of singing or acting.
‘The rest of the large cast, including Ed. Mulcahey [Edward Mulcahy], who made a realistic looking and sonorous voiced Swiss mountaineer, and Elizabeth Goodall, who impersonated an American widow without unnecessary affectations, were eminently satisfactory with one or two exceptions.
‘The dialogue exchanged by three or four chorus men in the second act should either be given to competent principals or else left out altogether. It would never be missed.
Alone at Last is a big show scenically, a delightful show musically, and a pleasing show generally speaking.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 30 October 1915, p. 27a/b)

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October 26, 2013

José Collins (1887-1958), English actress and singer, as she appeared in Alone at Last, an operetta in three acts with music by Franz Lehar, adapted from the German for the American stage by Edgar Smith and Joseph Herbert and produced at the Shubert Theatre, New York, on 19 October 1915.
(photo: Moffett, Chicago, 1915)

‘Jose Collins returned to the cast of Alone at Last this week after having walked out of the rehearsals last week. Miss Collins will open with the show when it comes into the Shubert theatre unless she changes her mind between now and the opening date.’
(Variety, New York, Friday, 8 October 1915, p. 1d)

‘White Alone at Last, the most recent operetta from the pen of Franz Lehar, famed as the composer of the celebrated and justly sensational success, The Merry Widow, is endowed with a fine musical score, it is only fair to state that the big song hit of the piece is an interpolation. The song in question, contrary to the usual rule, is not a dreamy waltz ballad of love and soul kisses, but a comic ditty entitled ”Some Little Bug Will Find You Some Day.”
‘It occurs during the action of the second scene of the second act, and receives the best of treatment through the very able recitative attainments of Roy Atwell. Incidentally the latter collaborated in the writing of it in conjunction with Benjamin Hapgood Burt and Silvio Hein. Mr. Atwell tendered some ten extra verses of the ”Bug” song the opening night, and, to use a vaudeville colloquialism, ”stopped the show.”
‘But there is a great deal more to Alone at Last besides this most excellent humorous lyric. Take, for instance, Mr. [Joseph Harry] Benrimo’s superior producing ability as evidenced in the Swiss mountain scene in the second act.
‘The effect obtained is atmospheric to a remarkable degree, thanks to extraordinary lighting and Mr. Benrimo’s superlative knowledge of stage craft.
‘There are other beautiful and convincing scenic backgrounds as well, notably in the first act, with brings froth a realistic hotel set. The third act set, a hotel interior, while good in its way, is not up to the outdoor effects.
‘Then the music, both solo and ensemble, is pleasing, sweet and melodious. The score on the whole, although it contains nothing startling in the way of an individual ”hit,” is highly satisfactory. One might say that Lehar’s music was ”pretentious,” inasmuch as it often approaches great opera standards.
‘The chorus costumes are correct, in no way vulgar or obtrusive, and sufficiently kaleidoscopic in coloring. They show a nice refinement of taste in their designing and selection.
‘The book is only fair, and judicious eliminations of long and tedious passages of dialogue would help considerably. Particularly is is lacking the comedy values. This fault, of course, must be charged up to its programmed foreign authors [Dr. A.M. Willner and Robert Bodansky]. Admittedly the book contains no horseplay or buffoonery.
‘The cast is exceptionally talented in almost every instance. Jose Collins, as Tilly Dachau, sings charmingly, acts competently and wears her numerous costume changes bewitchingly. A champagne colored riding suit work in the second act, with the cutest of tightly fitting ”pants” imaginable, fills the eye in decidedly pleasure fashion. Miss Collins, it might be said in passing, fills the costume quite in the same manner.
‘John Charles Thomas, a strapping young fellow with a beautiful singing voice, that is quite as robust as his splendid physique, established himself in the good graces of the first nighters immediately after his first vocal number. His performance was highly enjoyable in every way.
‘Harry Conor, veteran American comedian, did splendidly with the material at hand. He was always at east and made his rather inane lines sound natural and convincing. A genuine achievement.
Madame Namara is a pretty girl of the frail, flower-like variety of beauty. The madame made the most of excellent opportunities offered her tat the finish of the second act. Her singing voice, a soprano of good range and fair quality, seemed to be not in the best of condition on the opening night.
‘Roy Atwell was very slightly remindful of Richard Carle as a mollycoddle sort of lover. Outside of the big song hit in the second act, Mr. Atwell was assigned little that was entertaining or amusing. He seemed to be mis-cast. However, the way in which he put over the ”Bug” song more than made up for any deficiencies of singing or acting.
‘The rest of the large cast, including Ed. Mulcahey [Edward Mulcahy], who made a realistic looking and sonorous voiced Swiss mountaineer, and Elizabeth Goodall, who impersonated an American widow without unnecessary affectations, were eminently satisfactory with one or two exceptions.
‘The dialogue exchanged by three or four chorus men in the second act should either be given to competent principals or else left out altogether. It would never be missed.
Alone at Last is a big show scenically, a delightful show musically, and a pleasing show generally speaking.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 30 October 1915, p. 27a/b)

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October 26, 2013

José Collins (1887-1958), English actress and singer, as she appeared in Alone at Last, an operetta in three acts with music by Franz Lehar, adapted from the German for the American stage by Edgar Smith and Joseph Herbert and produced at the Shubert Theatre, New York, on 19 October 1915.
(photo: Moffett, Chicago, 1915)

‘Jose Collins returned to the cast of Alone at Last this week after having walked out of the rehearsals last week. Miss Collins will open with the show when it comes into the Shubert theatre unless she changes her mind between now and the opening date.’
(Variety, New York, Friday, 8 October 1915, p. 1d)

‘White Alone at Last, the most recent operetta from the pen of Franz Lehar, famed as the composer of the celebrated and justly sensational success, The Merry Widow, is endowed with a fine musical score, it is only fair to state that the big song hit of the piece is an interpolation. The song in question, contrary to the usual rule, is not a dreamy waltz ballad of love and soul kisses, but a comic ditty entitled “Some Little Bug Will Find You Some Day.”
‘It occurs during the action of the second scene of the second act, and receives the best of treatment through the very able recitative attainments of Roy Atwell. Incidentally the latter collaborated in the writing of it in conjunction with Benjamin Hapgood Burt and Silvio Hein. Mr. Atwell tendered some ten extra verses of the ”Bug” song the opening night, and, to use a vaudeville colloquialism, “stopped the show.”
‘But there is a great deal more to Alone at Last besides this most excellent humorous lyric. Take, for instance, Mr. [Joseph Harry] Benrimo’s superior producing ability as evidenced in the Swiss mountain scene in the second act.
‘The effect obtained is atmospheric to a remarkable degree, thanks to extraordinary lighting and Mr. Benrimo’s superlative knowledge of stage craft.
‘There are other beautiful and convincing scenic backgrounds as well, notably in the first act, with brings froth a realistic hotel set. The third act set, a hotel interior, while good in its way, is not up to the outdoor effects.
‘Then the music, both solo and ensemble, is pleasing, sweet and melodious. The score on the whole, although it contains nothing startling in the way of an individual “hit,” is highly satisfactory. One might say that Lehar’s music was “pretentious,” inasmuch as it often approaches great opera standards.
‘The chorus costumes are correct, in no way vulgar or obtrusive, and sufficiently kaleidoscopic in coloring. They show a nice refinement of taste in their designing and selection.
‘The book is only fair, and judicious eliminations of long and tedious passages of dialogue would help considerably. Particularly is is lacking the comedy values. This fault, of course, must be charged up to its programmed foreign authors [Dr. A.M. Willner and Robert Bodansky]. Admittedly the book contains no horseplay or buffoonery.
‘The cast is exceptionally talented in almost every instance. Jose Collins, as Tilly Dachau, sings charmingly, acts competently and wears her numerous costume changes bewitchingly. A champagne colored riding suit work in the second act, with the cutest of tightly fitting “pants” imaginable, fills the eye in decidedly pleasure fashion. Miss Collins, it might be said in passing, fills the costume quite in the same manner.
‘John Charles Thomas, a strapping young fellow with a beautiful singing voice, that is quite as robust as his splendid physique, established himself in the good graces of the first nighters immediately after his first vocal number. His performance was highly enjoyable in every way.
‘Harry Conor, veteran American comedian, did splendidly with the material at hand. He was always at east and made his rather inane lines sound natural and convincing. A genuine achievement.
Madame Namara is a pretty girl of the frail, flower-like variety of beauty. The madame made the most of excellent opportunities offered her tat the finish of the second act. Her singing voice, a soprano of good range and fair quality, seemed to be not in the best of condition on the opening night.
‘Roy Atwell was very slightly remindful of Richard Carle as a mollycoddle sort of lover. Outside of the big song hit in the second act, Mr. Atwell was assigned little that was entertaining or amusing. He seemed to be mis-cast. However, the way in which he put over the “Bug” song more than made up for any deficiencies of singing or acting.
‘The rest of the large cast, including Ed. Mulcahey [Edward Mulcahy], who made a realistic looking and sonorous voiced Swiss mountaineer, and Elizabeth Goodall, who impersonated an American widow without unnecessary affectations, were eminently satisfactory with one or two exceptions.
‘The dialogue exchanged by three or four chorus men in the second act should either be given to competent principals or else left out altogether. It would never be missed.
Alone at Last is a big show scenically, a delightful show musically, and a pleasing show generally speaking.’
(The New York Clipper, New York, Saturday, 30 October 1915, p. 27a/b)

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Maurice Farkoa and Zena Dare in Mitislaw; or, The Love Match, London Hippodrome, 1909

August 11, 2013

Maurice Farkoa and Zena Dare in Franz Lehár’s one act operetta
Mitislaw; or, The Love Match, billed as ‘A Delightful Miniature Viennese Opera,’ London Hippodrome, November 1909
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909)

Mitislaw; or, The Love Match was the English version of Lehár’s Mitislaw der moderne, the book and lyrics by Fritz Grünbaum and Robert Bodanzky, which was first produced at the Hölle cabaret theatre, Berlin, on 5 January 1907.

‘Mr. Maurice Farkoa as Prince Mitislaw and Miss Zena Dare as Princess Amaranth, in a scene from this dainty opera, wherein the love affairs of the Prince are set forth to an accompaniment of charming music by Franz Lehár.’ Other members of the cast were Florence Wood as Tina and John Le Hay as The Chancellor.
(The Throne and Country, London, Saturday, 11 December 1909, p.542)

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Maurice Farkoa and Zena Dare in Franz Lehár’s one act operetta Mitislaw; or, The Love Match, London Hippodrome, November 1909

August 11, 2013

Maurice Farkoa and Zena Dare in Franz Lehár’s one act operetta
Mitislaw; or, The Love Match, billed as ‘A Delightful Miniature Viennese Opera,’ London Hippodrome, November 1909
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909)

Mitislaw; or, The Love Match was the English version of Lehár’s Mitislaw der moderne, the book and lyrics by Fritz Grünbaum and Robert Bodanzky, which was first produced at the Hölle cabaret theatre, Berlin, on 5 January 1907.

‘Mr. Maurice Farkoa as Prince Mitislaw and Miss Zena Dare as Princess Amaranth, in a scene from this dainty opera, wherein the love affairs of the Prince are set forth to an accompaniment of charming music by Franz Lehár.’ Other members of the cast were Florence Wood as Tina and John Le Hay as The Chancellor.
(The Throne and Country, London, Saturday, 11 December 1909, p.542)

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August 11, 2013

Maurice Farkoa and Zena Dare in Franz Lehár’s one act operetta
Mitislaw; or, The Love Match, billed as ‘A Delightful Miniature Viennese Opera,’ London Hippodrome, November 1909
(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1909)

Mitislaw; or, The Love Match was the English version of Lehár’s Mitislaw der moderne, the book and lyrics by Fritz Grünbaum and Robert Bodanzky, which was first produced at the Hölle cabaret theatre, Berlin, on 5 January 1907.

‘Mr. Maurice Farkoa as Prince Mitislaw and Miss Zena Dare as Princess Amaranth, in a scene from this dainty opera, wherein the love affairs of the Prince are set forth to an accompaniment of charming music by Franz Lehár.’ Other members of the cast were Florence Wood as Tina and John Le Hay as The Chancellor.
(The Throne and Country, London, Saturday, 11 December 1909, p.542)

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Marguerite Sylva, Belgian-born American actress and vocalist

January 5, 2013

Marguerite Sylva (1876-1957),
Belgian-born American actress and vocalist
(photo: unknown, probably USA, circa 1897)

This real photograph cigarette card is no. 810 from one of the Guinea Gold Cigarettes series issued by Ogden’s of Liverpool, England, about 1900. The subject is the mezzo-soprano Marguerite (Marguerita) Sylva whose appearances on Broadway included parts in the musical comedy The French Maid (1897), a revival of Erminie with Francis Wilson (1903), and Franz Lehar’s Gipsy Love (1911). In the latter she starred with Arthur Albro with whom she contemporaneously recorded for Edison (28002) ‘Love is Like the Rose.’ Her several appearances in films are said to have included a silent version of Carmen.

‘Paris, 21 July 1906.
‘As we are just now indulging in these kindly sentiments, wishing good luck and prosperity to people we do not know and possibly may not care much about, let us go a little nearer home and wish that a real and a big success may attend a charming American singer who is to make her debut here at the Opéra Comique in September. I refer to Madame Marguerita Sylva (Mrs. W.D. Mann), who has been engaged as a star at the Opéra Comique here during the coming season, which is a great triumph for her considering how many competitors there always are in the field. Madame Sylva has just had a splendid success at a concert given in the Kursaal at Ostend, where she was the only soloist accompanied by the well-known orchestra of 125 instruments. An Ostend paper gave her the following notice: ”The young cantatrice possesses a very beautiful voice and sang for her first number the sorrowful romance of Santuzza from Cavalleria Rusticana, and followed this by rendering the air from Etienne Marcel, ‘O Beaux Rêves Evanious.’ In response to a most enthusiastic encore she gave the ‘Chant d’Amour’ by Hollman, with ‘cello obligato, and it is only fair to say that the instrument so dear to the composer of this number blended so perfectly with the voice of Madame Sylva that the result was most charming and harmonious.” Americans will feel proud of Madame Sylva, and will congratulate her on being so readily engaged as a star at the Opéra Comique, the foremost theatre of its kind in the world.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, Saturday, 4 August 1906, p.8d)

Marguerite Sylva’s death on 21 February 1957 at Glendale, California, was the result of a road accident.