Posts Tagged ‘Jacques Offenbach’

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April 22, 2013

Mlle. Thérèsa (Emma Valadon, 1837-1913), popular French café-concert singer, the ‘Patti of the pot-house’
(photo: Gaston & Mathieu, Paris, circa 1867)

‘A LETTER OF GOSSIP FROM PARIS.
‘PARIS, Monday
‘If English ladies choose to go and see Mdlle. SCHNEIDER play the Part of La belle Hélène, in imitation of the beauties of Mabille, that is their affair. The piece was not composed for them, and no representations of it are given at the Grand Hôtel for their special edification. Moreover, the first demeanour of the heroine simply amuses them from its grotesqueness. They know nothing of the great original whose gestures and general manner Mdlle. SCHNEIDER imitates. Nor can they make anything of the allusions and jokes – fortunately not broad, but sharp, and to the perfectly pure mind impalpable – in which the operetta of La Belle Hélène abounds. It they could understand them, they would be in the position of the woman whom ROUSSEAU imagines beginning to read La Nouvelle Hèloise and continuing to read it – they would be “lost already.” The lively love-making of Paris and Helen is also considerably veiled by M. OFFENBACH’S brisk and rather noisy music through which it is carried on; and it may be said in favour of the positive morality of the piece that Helen, in spite of a certain levity which she has acquired by frequenting too assiduously the public gardens of Greece, makes a desperate resistance, until Paris, at the end of the third and last act, carried her off by force. THÉRÈSA is said to aspire to a more artistic reputation that she now enjoys, while Mdlle. SCHNEIDER wishes to descend to the not very dignified but exceedingly profitable position which THÉRÈSA actually fills. Instead of remaining on the stage during the greater part of the time occupied by the performances of three long acts, and singing in some eight or ten solos and concerted pieces, Mdlle. SCHNEIDER, at her musical tavern, will only have to sing twice, or at most three times, in the course of the evening, and during the intervals between the songs will have absolutely nothing to do. She will have no parts to learn, and consequently no rehearsals to attend; her costumes will cost her next to nothing, and she will be paid an immense salary. Let her “floor” THÉRÈSA, as it is said she threatens to do, and she may gain three thousand a year. That, at least, is the figure at which THÉRÈSA’S income for the last twelve months is estimated – not in francs, but in pounds. It is about a quarter of what Mdlle. PATTI was receiving two or three years ago.
‘Why, it may be asked, should the graceful, charming ADELINA be mentioned in the same sentence as THÉRÈSA? A sort of comparison, however, has been instituted between them. THÉRÈSA has been called by her admirers “the PATTI of the people,” and by her detractors the “PATTI of the pot-house,” and it is quite true that she resembles PATTI in being very successful, and in gaining large sums of money. Still, as there is not the remotest personal or artistic resemblance between the two, the comparison suggested by the above phrases is absurd. FIORNTINO was much nearer the mark when he called THÉRÈSA “la Rigolboche de la Chansonette.” THÉRÈSA declared that this mot gave her much pain. Nevertheless she reprints it in her Memoirs – though, it is true, only to protest against it. She has no objection to being called “the SCHNEIDER of the café concert;” but we fancy she says this simply out of politeness to Mdlle. SCHNEIDER, whom she has spoken of just before (in her Memoirs) as “the THÉRÈSA of the stage.” This is all very well. But it is said that La Bell Hélène means mischief, and that she is determining to beat THÉRÈSA on her own ground, or to destroy even the memory of her if she retired to the stage before Mdlle. SCHNEIDER has an opportunity of challenging her to vocal combat before the frequenters of the café concerts. In a little while the partisans of SCHNEIDER and THÉRÈSA will no doubt form themselves into two hostile camps, like the Maratistes and Todistes at the beginning of the century. In the meantime THÉRÈSA’S début at the Bouffes Parisiens is to take place in a few days, while Mdlle. SCHNEIDER will be unable to make her first appearance at a singing tavern for some weeks to come.
‘It is easy to understand why singers, whose exclusive object is to make money, and to make it with as little trouble as possible, go to the café concerts in preference to the theatres. They may not gain quite as much as is generally reported, but it is certain that THÉRÈSA at the Alcazar only sings twice in the course of the evening, and that when the proprietor of a rival establishment brought an action against her not long ago for breach of agreement, the damages were laid at 40,000 francs. Accordingly, the salaries paid by the directors of the café concerts to popular singers must really be very great. How can they afford the outlay, when, according to the custom at those places, they charge nothing whatever for admission?
‘The answer is very simple. Every one who enters the Alcazar – now a music-hall decorated more or less in the Moorish style, formerly a drinking saloon attached to a brewery – must order a “consommation” of some kind; and he must “renouveler sa consommation” (or “renew his consumption,” as the proprietors say when they issue the injunction in English) before THÉRÈSA sings her second song. Otherwise, to the door with him! If he cannot take his two glasses he cannot here THÉRÈSA sing twice. There is no occasion, however, for the amateur to intoxicate himself; and the “consummation” most devoutly to be wished for at a café concert is a glass of cold water. The liberality of the proprietor allows the visitor to confine himself to this insipid but generally innocuous beverage, which at the Alcazar is charged for at the rate of one franc and a half per glass. It is only fair to add that a glass of beer or a thimbleful of brandy costs the same. You cannot, however, sit down in the place without spending a franc and a half, and the inexperienced visitor who gives his orders first and looks at the list of prices afterwards in all probability spends a great deal more. Served out at the rate of about half-a-crown a pint, a bucket of water or a barrel of bad beer will yield an enormous profit; and out of this profit THÉRÈSA receives her immense salary.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Tuesday, 25 April 1865, p. 11)

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April 22, 2013

Mlle. Thérèsa (Emma Valadon, 1837-1913), popular French café-concert singer, the ‘Patti of the pot-house’
(photo: Gaston & Mathieu, Paris, circa 1867)

‘A LETTER OF GOSSIP FROM PARIS.
‘PARIS, Monday
‘If English ladies choose to go and see Mdlle. SCHNEIDER play the Part of La belle Hélène, in imitation of the beauties of Mabille, that is their affair. The piece was not composed for them, and no representations of it are given at the Grand Hôtel for their special edification. Moreover, the first demeanour of the heroine simply amuses them from its grotesqueness. They know nothing of the great original whose gestures and general manner Mdlle. SCHNEIDER imitates. Nor can they make anything of the allusions and jokes – fortunately not broad, but sharp, and to the perfectly pure mind impalpable – in which the operetta of La Belle Hélène abounds. It they could understand them, they would be in the position of the woman whom ROUSSEAU imagines beginning to read La Nouvelle Hèloise and continuing to read it – they would be ”lost already.” The lively love-making of Paris and Helen is also considerably veiled by M. OFFENBACH’S brisk and rather noisy music through which it is carried on; and it may be said in favour of the positive morality of the piece that Helen, in spite of a certain levity which she has acquired by frequenting too assiduously the public gardens of Greece, makes a desperate resistance, until Paris, at the end of the third and last act, carried her off by force. THÉRÈSA is said to aspire to a more artistic reputation that she now enjoys, while Mdlle. SCHNEIDER wishes to descend to the not very dignified but exceedingly profitable position which THÉRÈSA actually fills. Instead of remaining on the stage during the greater part of the time occupied by the performances of three long acts, and singing in some eight or ten solos and concerted pieces, Mdlle. SCHNEIDER, at her musical tavern, will only have to sing twice, or at most three times, in the course of the evening, and during the intervals between the songs will have absolutely nothing to do. She will have no parts to learn, and consequently no rehearsals to attend; her costumes will cost her next to nothing, and she will be paid an immense salary. Let her ”floor” THÉRÈSA, as it is said she threatens to do, and she may gain three thousand a year. That, at least, is the figure at which THÉRÈSA’S income for the last twelve months is estimated – not in francs, but in pounds. It is about a quarter of what Mdlle. PATTI was receiving two or three years ago.
‘Why, it may be asked, should the graceful, charming ADELINA be mentioned in the same sentence as THÉRÈSA? A sort of comparison, however, has been instituted between them. THÉRÈSA has been called by her admirers ”the PATTI of the people,” and by her detractors the ”PATTI of the pot-house,” and it is quite true that she resembles PATTI in being very successful, and in gaining large sums of money. Still, as there is not the remotest personal or artistic resemblance between the two, the comparison suggested by the above phrases is absurd. FIORNTINO was much nearer the mark when he called THÉRÈSA ”la Rigolboche de la Chansonette.” THÉRÈSA declared that this mot gave her much pain. Nevertheless she reprints it in her Memoirs – though, it is true, only to protest against it. She has no objection to being called ”the SCHNEIDER of the café concert;” but we fancy she says this simply out of politeness to Mdlle. SCHNEIDER, whom she has spoken of just before (in her Memoirs) as ”the THÉRÈSA of the stage.” This is all very well. But it is said that La Bell Hélène means mischief, and that she is determining to beat THÉRÈSA on her own ground, or to destroy even the memory of her if she retired to the stage before Mdlle. SCHNEIDER has an opportunity of challenging her to vocal combat before the frequenters of the café concerts. In a little while the partisans of SCHNEIDER and THÉRÈSA will no doubt form themselves into two hostile camps, like the Maratistes and Todistes at the beginning of the century. In the meantime THÉRÈSA’S début at the Bouffes Parisiens is to take place in a few days, while Mdlle. SCHNEIDER will be unable to make her first appearance at a singing tavern for some weeks to come.
‘It is easy to understand why singers, whose exclusive object is to make money, and to make it with as little trouble as possible, go to the café concerts in preference to the theatres. They may not gain quite as much as is generally reported, but it is certain that THÉRÈSA at the Alcazar only sings twice in the course of the evening, and that when the proprietor of a rival establishment brought an action against her not long ago for breach of agreement, the damages were laid at 40,000 francs. Accordingly, the salaries paid by the directors of the café concerts to popular singers must really be very great. How can they afford the outlay, when, according to the custom at those places, they charge nothing whatever for admission?
‘The answer is very simple. Every one who enters the Alcazar – now a music-hall decorated more or less in the Moorish style, formerly a drinking saloon attached to a brewery – must order a ”consommation” of some kind; and he must ”renouveler sa consommation” (or ”renew his consumption,” as the proprietors say when they issue the injunction in English) before THÉRÈSA sings her second song. Otherwise, to the door with him! If he cannot take his two glasses he cannot here THÉRÈSA sing twice. There is no occasion, however, for the amateur to intoxicate himself; and the ”consummation” most devoutly to be wished for at a café concert is a glass of cold water. The liberality of the proprietor allows the visitor to confine himself to this insipid but generally innocuous beverage, which at the Alcazar is charged for at the rate of one franc and a half per glass. It is only fair to add that a glass of beer or a thimbleful of brandy costs the same. You cannot, however, sit down in the place without spending a franc and a half, and the inexperienced visitor who gives his orders first and looks at the list of prices afterwards in all probability spends a great deal more. Served out at the rate of about half-a-crown a pint, a bucket of water or a barrel of bad beer will yield an enormous profit; and out of this profit THÉRÈSA receives her immense salary.’
(The Pall Mall Gazette, London, Tuesday, 25 April 1865, p. 11)

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Emma Carson

March 31, 2013

an extra large cabinet photograph, 12 ¾ x 7 inches, of Emma Carson (fl. 1880s), American actress and singer, as she appeared in a revival of H.B. Farnie’s burlesque version of Offenbach’s Bluebeard, produced at the Bijou Opera House, New York, Tuesday, 6 May 1884
(photo: Moreno, New York, 1884)

‘BIJOU OPERA-HOUSE.
‘A crude burlesque of that bright, spirited trifle, Barbe-Bleue, was given last night at the Bijou Opera-house. The French piece, done here several years ago by Irma, Aujac, and a clever company, is perhaps almost forgotten now. Lydia Thompson, without doubt the only woman who could charm away the stupidity of broad and vulgar burlesque, originally presented Farnie’s version of the Offenbach farce in this city. This version was used last night, though hardly in its right form. The performance, like most things of its kind, was composed chiefly of extravaganza, absurdity, and womanhood with a small amount of clothes. A ”variety ball” dance, at the end of the first act, seemed to enliven the audience. Much of Offenbach’s music written for Barbe-Bleue was not sung. That part of it which was sung fared badly. Mr. Jacques Kruger as Bluebeard, and Mr. Arthur W. Tams as Corporal Zong Zong were the most efficient members of the company. Miss Emma Carson and Miss Irene Perry were not especially entertaining, and Miss Pauline Hall appeared to be a rather lame Venus. There was little talent shown by these mediocre exponents of the ancient leg drama. Luckily, Mr. Kruger was amusing.’
(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 7 May 1884, p. 4f)

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March 31, 2013

an extra large cabinet photograph, 12 ¾ x 7 inches, of Emma Carson (fl. 1880s), American actress and singer, as she appeared in a revival of H.B. Farnie’s burlesque version of Offenbach’s Bluebeard, produced at the Bijou Opera House, New York, Tuesday, 6 May 1884
(photo: Moreno, New York, 1884)

‘BIJOU OPERA-HOUSE.
‘A crude burlesque of that bright, spirited trifle, Barbe-Bleue, was given last night at the Bijou Opera-house. The French piece, done here several years ago by Irma, Aujac, and a clever company, is perhaps almost forgotten now. Lydia Thompson, without doubt the only woman who could charm away the stupidity of broad and vulgar burlesque, originally presented Farnie’s version of the Offenbach farce in this city. This version was used last night, though hardly in its right form. The performance, like most things of its kind, was composed chiefly of extravaganza, absurdity, and womanhood with a small amount of clothes. A “variety ball” dance, at the end of the first act, seemed to enliven the audience. Much of Offenbach’s music written for Barbe-Bleue was not sung. That part of it which was sung fared badly. Mr. Jacques Kruger as Bluebeard, and Mr. Arthur W. Tams as Corporal Zong Zong were the most efficient members of the company. Miss Emma Carson and Miss Irene Perry were not especially entertaining, and Miss Pauline Hall appeared to be a rather lame Venus. There was little talent shown by these mediocre exponents of the ancient leg drama. Luckily, Mr. Kruger was amusing.’
(The New York Times, New York, Wednesday, 7 May 1884, p. 4f)

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Elisa Savelli

March 7, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Elisa Savelli (sometimes Eliza Savelli, real name Miss Sewell, fl. 1870s/1880s), English soprano, who created the role of Bi-bi in the English version of Offenbach’s Vert-Vert, produced at the St. James’s Theatre, London, 2 May 1874
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, mid 1870s)

see details of Opera Rara’s newly released 2 CD recording of Vert-Vert
‘A great success has been achieved at Milan by a young English prima donna now singing there under the name of Mdlle. Savelli. She has been received with great favour in many different rôles, especially in ”La Traviata” and ”Martha.” Mdlle. Savelli, who, in addition to her musical acquirements, is very beautiful, will probably appear in London next season.’
(The Illustrated Police News, &c, London, Saturday, 20 August 1870)

‘SIGNORA ELISA SAVELLI, Prima Donna Assoluto Soprano,
‘Has returned to London, after a brilliant and successful career of four years in Italy, singing to Milan and other Principal Cities. Will shortly appear at one of our large Theatres, being especially Engaged from Milan, to represent the Principal Par in the Opera ”Le Roi Carote.” Disengaged up till the 3d June. Apply, Mr. Carte, 20, Charing-cross.’ (The Era, London, Sunday, 12 May 1872, advertisement)

‘ALHAMBRA THEATRE ROYAL. ‘The Manager, Mr. John Baum, begs to inform the nobility and gentry that, on the 3d of June, will be produced, on a scale of magnificence hitherto unapproached in London, the Grand Opera Bouffe Feerie, LE ROI CAROTTE, in which upwards of 1,000 dresses will appear upon the stage. Music by Mons. J. Offenbach. Words translated and adapted to the English stage by Henry S. Leigh, Esq.
‘The artistes engaged include Mdlle. Elise Savelli, [Anetta] Scasi, and Cornelia D’Anka; Messrs, Selle, Connell, Warboys, and [Harry] Paulton.
‘Two Premier Danseuses, Mdlle. Nini and Bertha Linda, who will make their first appearance in London. A powerful chorus has been carefully selected, and with the magnificent Orchestra will be under the immediate direction of Mons. [Georges] Jacobi.’
(Reynolds’s Newspaper, London, Sunday, 26 May 1872, advertisement)

‘ALHAMBRA THEATRE ROYAL. – FIRST NIGHT of LE ROI CAROTTE.
‘ALHAMBRA THEATRE ROYAL. -FIRST APPEARANCE of the celebrated Prima Donna Mdlle. ELISA SAVELLI, from Milan, Naples, &c. …’
(The Daily News, London, Monday, 3 June 1872, advertisement)
The Alhambra, extract from a review of Le Roi Carotte
‘… Mdlle. Cornelia D’Anka, who was Cunégonde, as usual, captivated all hearts by her handsome face and figure. Her vocal ability, too, enabled her to render good service, and it was manifestly impossible for the audience to be anything but pleased with so fascinating an artiste, even when she kept them waiting, which, we are compelled to say, she did more than once. The loving Rosee had a capital representative in Mdlle. Elisa Savelli, who was literally overwhelmed with bouquets for her rendering of a charming and plaintive air in which she envies the flowers and the birds, and sighs for release from captivity. Miss [Violet] Cameron was Coloquinte, the sorceress, and she only calls for remark by reason of the scantiness of her dress… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 9 June 1872)

The Alhambra, extract from a further review of Le Roi Carotte
‘… Mdlle. Elisa Savelli is also brilliantly successful as Rosee du Soir, and sings the air in the third act so well as to gain an encore, and the duet with Mdlle. Anetta Scasi, ”Guide me! guide me!” is equally successful and qually meritorious on the part of both ladies… .’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 4 August 1872)

‘ALHAMBRA THEATRE ROYAL. –
‘Seventy-ninth Night, and during the week, LE ROI CAROTTE. Principal Characters:- Miss Kate Santley (her First Appearance), Annetta Scasi, and Elisa Savelli; Messrs F.H. Celli, E. Connell, Worboys, Robins, and Harry Paulton. 250 Coryphees. The Opera commences at 8.15; terminated at 11.40.
‘The coolest and best ventilated Theatre in London.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 1 September 1872, advertisement)

‘SIGNORA SAVELLI. – This talented vocalist, who has become quite a favourite at the Alhambra, on Monday evening, at two hours’ notice, undertook the role of Robin Wildfire in Le Roi Carotte, and created what we may truthfully term a furore. She is we understand specially engaged for the part of the Princess in The Black Crook [1st performance, Christmas Eve, 1872], now in active preparation.’
(The Era, London, Sunday, 1 December 1872)

The Alhambra, The Black Crook
‘… On the acting in the piece high praise may be bestowed, Mdlle. Savelli, who carried off the principal honours of the evening, sustains the part of Desirée with grace and skill, and is none the less impressive because she always avoids exaggeration… .’
(The Times, London, Friday, 27 December 1872

‘ITALIAN OPERA CONCERT. – A concert will be given this (Saturday) evening at the Victoria Rooms by several artistes of the Royal Italian Opera. The Brighton Gazette speaks highly of the vocal powers of Madame Savelli and Signor Brennelli, two of the artistes who will take part in the concert.’
(The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, Bristol, Saturday, 19 September 1885)

‘MADAME ELISA SAVELLI,
‘Prima Donna, Soprano Dramatica, for Italian and English Opera.
‘Madame Savelli’s beautiful and artistic rendering of ”Convien Parti” (Donnizetti) was much admired, as was also her rendering of the ”Stella Confidenta,” which was enthusiastically encored. She is possessed of a magnificent soprano voice of rich and powerful quality such as is rarely heard. – Bristol Times and Mirror.
‘Address all communications to Mr Gilbert Tail, 6, York-street, Covent-garden, W.C.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 3 October 1885, advertisement)

‘On Saturday next Her Majesty’s Theatre is announced to open at popular prices, with a company selected in Italy and France. Well-known operas will be given, commencing with Il Trovatore, Faust, Rigoletto, Lucia, Il Barbiere, La Traviata, Ernani, Fra Diavolo, LaGioconda, and, later on (never performed in England), La Ione. Mesdames Savelli, Dalti, Appia, Potentini, Signori Debiliers, Mascheroni, Genoesi, Fernando, Gualterio Bolton, Tamberlik, and Brennelli, are among the engagements.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 20 February 1886)

Her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket…
‘Those present last night when the ”house of amber curtains” reopened its door with a performance of Verdi’s ”Il Trovatore” would scarcely have felt inclined to declare that Italian opera was a thing of the past unless some bright, particular star condescended to brighten it with her presence, for a large and friendly audience had gathered together to hear this old and hackneyed work, who certainly were not attracted by any particular bright star, seeing there was nothing of the sort upon the premises… . The heroine was, vocally speaking, well rendered by a Madame Elisa Savelli, who, if we are not mistaken, some fifteen years or so since was known as a Miss Sewell. Time has, however, not improved her personal appearance, as she is now considerably too broad for her length, and, in the bridal dress of which satin, bore a curious resemblance to Miss Minnie Warren, the wife of General Tom Thumb. Being accommodated with a tall, stern lady as a made of honour (Mdlle. Corona) made this lack of symmetry all the more apparent… .
(Reynolds’s Newspaper, London, Sunday, 28 February 1886

Her Majesty’s Theatre
‘… In Saturday’s representation Madame Savelli was cast for Leonora, and Signor Fernando for her ill-fated troubadour lover; … In her performance as Leonora Madame Savelli displayed considerable vocal and dramatic power in the declamatory portions of her music, with an occasional tendency to exaggerated effort and a strained use of her upper notes. She was favourably received throughout, especially in the great scenes with Manrico and the Count… .’
(The Daily News, London, Monday, 1 March 1886

London, Sunday Night
‘Her Majesty’s Theatre was re-opened last night for a season of Italian opera at cheap prices… . The Leonora was, curiously enough, taken from the Alhambra, where she sang some years ago as Mdlle. Savelli, the foreign equivalent of her own English name of Miss Sewell. Although still in fairly good voice the lady has now attained well night the physical proportions of a Titiens and Parepa combined, and her appearance in bridal costume was irresistibly comical… .’
(The Glasgow Herald, Glasgow, Monday, 1 Marcy 1886)

‘On Saturday night, during the performance of Il Trovatore at Her Majesty’s, a mishap occurred which, but for the presence of mind of certain individuals, might have resulted in serious consequences to Madame Savelli, the Leonora of the evening. Madame Savelli’s figure is not exactly like Madame Sarah Bernhardt’s, and in moving backwards to execute a fall at the end of the opera she tumbled ”all of a heap” beneath the ponderous roller of the descending curtain, and had not the stage-manager and an attendant run forward and dragged her out of her dangerous position, she might have been seriously injured. The audience expressed their sympathy with Madame Savelli’s narrow escape by calling her enthusiastically before the curtain.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 6 March 1886)

Il Trovatore, Her Majesty’s, Saturday, 27 February 1886
‘… Without ranking ourselves with those unimaginative individuals who cannot overlook certain personal disqualifications for a role when its rendering is illuminated by genius, we must say that we had to ”make believe very much” indeed to accept a portly, matronly lady of Madame Savelli’s physique as an ideal Leonora. There is something cruet, to our thinking, in calling upon a person of Madame Savelli’s liberal proportions and limited dramatic and vocal acquirements, to face a London audience in such a part. No one felt more keenly than ourselves the failure of the singer to reach the higher notes of her role, and to embody the emotional characteristics of the heroine; and no one sympathised more with the lady in her difficulty in assuming kneeling and falling attitudes. The fault, we felt, was not so much hers as that of those who permitted her to appear in a wrong position – literally and metaphorically… .’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 6 March 1886)

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Mons. Marius as he appeared in H.B. Farnie’s English version of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, Strand Theatre, London, 12 April 1879

January 9, 2013

Claude Marius (1850-1896),
French actor, singer and stage manager,
affectionately known by English audiences as Mons. Marius as he appeared in H.B. Farnie’s English version of
Offenbach’s Madame Favart, Strand Theatre, London, 12 April 1879
(photo: The London Stereoscopic & Photographic Co Ltd, London, 1879)

MARIUS, CLAUDE (a nom de théâtre; CLAUDE MARIUS DUPLANY), born February 18, 1850, Paris. He entered the dramatic profession in 1865 as an auxiliary at the Folies Dramatiques, playing parts in most of the popular pieces presented there for a brief period. In 1869 he came to London, and appeared at the Lyceum Theatre in the characters of Landry in Chilperic, and of Siebel in Little Faust. M. Duplany joined the French Army during the Franco-Prussian war; but in 1872 returned to London, and, at the Philharmonic Theatre, appeared as Charles Martel and Drogan in Généviève de Brabant. Subsequently “M. Marius” joined the company of the Strand Theatre, where he has played and “created” many parts, among them the following: viz. Major Roland de Roncevaux in Nemesis, Rimbobo in Loo, Baron Victor de Karadec in Family Ties, Orloff in Dora and Diplunacy, and Dubisson in Our Club. On Saturday, April 12, 1879, first performance at the Strand of an English version of Offenbach’s Madame Favart, he sustained the rôle of M. Favart.’
(Charles E. Pascoe, editor, The Dramatic List, David Bogue, London, 1880, p.256)

‘Marius, Claude. (C.M. Duplany.) – The clever actor and stage manager whose nom-de-théâtre heads this paragraph is by nationality a Frenchman, and was born at Paris in 1850. He was intended for a commercial life, and entered a silk and velvet warehouse in that city, but his natural proclivities soon led him to mingle in stage circles, and he used to gratify his passion for the drama by working as a super at the Folies Dramatiques, where he presently obtained an appointment in the chorus, and from that rose to small parts. In 1868 he forsook the warehouse, and became a regular member of the dramatic profession. Mr. [Richard] Mansell, while on a visit to Paris in 1869, saw him act, and at once offered him a London engagement, which he accepted, and appeared in Chilperic and Little Doctor Faust. His career was cut short by the breaking out of the Franco-Prussian war, and he was recalled to France and drafted into the 7th Chasseurs-à-Pièd. He fought in three engagements, of which the most important was Champigney. His regiment was then ordered to Marseilles, and subsequently to Corsica, to quell the Communal riots. In the autumn of 1872 Mons. Marius returned to London, and appeared at the Philharmonic in Généviève de Brabant, and afterwards in Nemesis at the Strand. Sine then he has played in almost every theatre in the metropolis, creating many clever and original parts, amongst them being that of M. Favart in Offenbach’s opera of Madame Favart when first played in English at the Strand Theatre in 1879, and later as General Bombalo in Mynheer Jan at the Comedy, and Paul Dromiroff in As in a Looking Glass. But he probably achieved his greatest success as Jacques Legros in The Skeleton at the Vaudeville in 1887. In the autumn of 1890 he appeared in The Sixth Commandment at the Shaftesbury, and in the following year in both editions of Joan of Arc. Mons. Marius excels as a stage manager, and under his able direction Nadgy was produced at the Avenue, and The Panel Picture at the Opera Comique in 1888. He was also responsible for the staging of The Brigands, chiefly memorable by reason of the Gilbert and Boosey quarrel. But his most brilliant success in this line was the triple production of The Field of the Cloth of Gold, preceded in the programme by In the Express and La Rose d’Auvergne, at the Avenue in 1889, and more recently was responsible for the mounting of Miss Decima at the Criterion (1891). Mons. Marius is the husband of Miss Florence St. John, the bewitching prima donna of the Gaiety Company.’
(Erskine Reid and Herbert Compton, The Dramatic Peerage, Raithby, Lawrence & Co Ltd, London, 1892, pp.145 and 146)