Posts Tagged ‘Jacques Offenbach’


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)

‘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)


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 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)

‘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)

‘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)


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)