Posts Tagged ‘Gus Elen’

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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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Herbert Darnley and company on tour during 1917/18 in the United Kingdon in Mr Mayfair

August 2, 2014

Herbert Darnley (1872-1947), English actor manager, song writer, composer and playwright, on tour in the United Kingdom in 1917/18 in Mr Mayfair, a musical comedy written by himself and Wal Pink. The piece was first produced at Leamington Spa on 10 September 1917 before the tour began at the Hippodrome, Willesden, north London on 15 October; the original cast included Herbert Darnley and Dan Leno Jr. (top photo, respectively centre and far right), Violet Parry, Wyn Blundell, J. Spry-Palmer, Line Hicks, Basin Hambury and Iris De Villiers. The cast list dates from the same tour.
(photos: unknown, 1917)

Herbert Darnley, whose real name was Herbert Walter McCarthy, enjoyed a busy career, both as a performer and writer. He began his theatrical career in the late 1880s on the music hall stage as one of the Darnley Brothers (Albert and Herbert), patter and sketch comedians, singers and dancers; they also appeared in a number of pantomimes. He afterwards appeared as an actor on his own account as well as producing plays and sketches and continuing his work as a writer and composer, particularly of songs and material for music hall performers like Dan Leno, for whom he co-wrote ‘No More Fancy Balls for Me!‘ and ‘The Tower of London,’ and alsoAda Reeve. Darnley himself made a number of recordings for Berliner and The Gramophone & Typewriter Co Ltd between 1900 and 1903, including ‘My Next Door Neighbour’s Garden‘ (which owes a good deal to Gus Elen’s ‘If it Wasn’t for the ‘Ouses in Between’). In spite of his talent and efforts Darnley was not financially successful and found himself in the Bankruptcy Court in 1909 and again in 1917. He died after a long illness at his home in Clapham, south London, on 6 February 1947.

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The Richmond Hippodrome, Richmond on Thames, Surrey, originally the Richmond Theatre and Opera House is now known as the Richmond Theatre.

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Gus Elen, ‘E Dunno Where ‘E Are

July 14, 2013

Gus Elen (1862-1940), coster comedian and British music hall star
(colour lithograph song sheet cover, published by Howard & Co, London, 1893)

”’E don’t know where E are,”
‘enormous success.
”’E don’t know where E are,”
”’E don’t know where he are,”
‘by Harry Wright and Fred Eplett.
‘A second ”Never introduce your Donah to a Pal.”
‘Read what the Umpire, Sunday, April 9th [1893], says:-
‘I won’t go so far as to say that the fortune of Mr Gus Elen was made by that popular ditty, ”Never introduce your Donah to a Pal,” but it certainly brought him suddenly to the front, and I can readily understand his desire to obtain another song which should rival in popularity that most entertaining coster wail, set, as it is, to one of the very best and freshest melodies of its day. That much desired song Mr Elen seems to have obtained in a lay in which he describes with disgust how a coster friend came into a little money, and at once put on airs, wore a collar and tie, took in daily his ”Sportsman” and his ”Telegrapht,” where formerly he had been contented with the ”Star,” which plainly showed ”E dunno where E are.” The song hasn’t an objectionable line in it, and, like the earlier ditty, it is wedded to a charming melody. ‘MR. GUS ELEN, ‘the Famous London Comedian, ‘concludes To-night a most genuine success at the Palace, Manchester, Topping the Bill Second Week.
‘Monday, PADDINGTON, LIVERPOOL next,
‘Manchester Courier, April 4th 1893,
”’And Mr Gus Elen, a clever, humorous artiste of the English music hall type, is gain in the arena of former triumphs.”
‘Manchester Spy, April 8th, 1893.
”’Mr Gus Elen has a new song ”E don’t know where E are,” which catches on in grand style.”
‘P.S. – Have you read the ”Openshaw Romance” in the Spy of April 1st issue (two columns), get it, it’s funny?
”’Never Introduce your Donah to a Pal.”
‘Booked at Pavilion, Tivoli, Oxford [music halls], for Three Years.
‘Sole and Exclusive Agents, Hugh J. Didcott and Co.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 15 April 1893, p. 27c, advertisement)

The Oxford music hall, London, October 1893
‘Mr Gus Elen seems very fortunate in his choice of songs, ”Never intoduce your donah to a pal” was whistled by every street boy; and now ”’E dunno where ‘e are” threatens to become one of the carols of Cockaigne. So great, indeed, is the popularity of the singer that in every postal district in London the peculiarities of Jack Jones, who, since he has ”tumbled into a bit of brass, ‘as the cheek and imperdence to call ‘is muver ‘is ma,” are heartily laughed at.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 4 November 1893, p. 16a)