Posts Tagged ‘Royal Academy of Music (London)’


John Bardsley (1883-1916), English tenor

September 21, 2013

autographed halftone postcard photograph of John Bardsley (1883-1916), English tenor
(photo and postcard: unknown, United Kingdom, circa 1910)

Before leaving for the United States in August 1913 to fulfil a contract with the Aborn Opera Company, John Bardsley sang at several Promenade Concerts in London between 1906 and 1911. Among other commitments (see below) he also appeared in two musical plays: Butterflies, at the Apollo Theatre, London (12 May 1908), with Ada Reeve, Louis Bradfield and Hayden Coffin; and A Persian Princess, at the Queen’s Theatre, London (27 April 1909), with George Graves, Carrie Moore and Ruth Vincent. He also made a number of gramophone recordings.

‘Shortly after singing faintly, ”Drink to me only with thine eyes,” John Bardsley, a tenor who formerly was a member of the Covent Garden Opera Company in London and the Century Opera Company in New York, fell back on his bed and died.’
(The Wairarapa Daily Times, Saturday, 13 May 1916, p. 3b)

‘New York. – Dying of pneumonia, John Bardsley, tenor, sat up in bed, sang ”Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes,” and fell back dead.’
(The Day Book, Chicago, Illinois, Friday, 7 April 1916, p. 30b)

‘Was Formerly Well Known as a Singer of Operatic Roles.
‘John Bardsley, formerly a well known tenor of the Aborn Opera Company and for the last two years one of the entertainers at Shanley’s, was buried yesterday from the undertaking rooms at 2748 Broadway. He died early Thursday morning of pneumonia.
‘Mr. Bardsley was born in Lancaster, England, and was 32 years old. He won the Ada Lewis free scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London when 17 years old and at 25 was tenor with the Beecham Opera Company at the Covent Garden. He made his first appearance in the United States with the Aborn troupe and was especially successful in light opera roles. One of his best successes was in ”Pinafore” at the [New York] Hippodrome [9 April 1914].
‘His wife and three small children were at his bedside during his illness. Mr. Bardsley leaves three brothers, all of whom are with the British troops in France, one of them being a captain. Burial was at Woodlawn Cemetery.’
(The Sun, New York, Saturday, 8 April 1916, p. 9g)


Laura Joyce Bell

April 22, 2013

a carte de viste photograph of Laura Joyce Bell (1858-1904), American actress and singer in comic opera before her marriage in 1883 to Digby Bell
(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1878)

‘Notwithstanding the decree of the New York Court, which granted a decree of divorce to Mrs. Digby Bell and prohibited the husband from marrying again, that gentleman made his appearance at a Chicago hotel on Sunday with a new wife, known to the stage as Miss Laura Joyce, who was herself divorced a short time ago from James V. Taylor, a wealthy New Yorker. Bell and Miss Joyce were married in Pennsylvania.’
(Decatur Daily Republican, Decatur, Illinois, Saturday, 17 March 1883, p. 2d)

‘Haverly’s Theatre, Chester, Pennsylvania, January 1885.
‘Monday evening the McCaull Opera Company will present Gilbert & Sullivan’s esthetic [sic] opera Patience in a brilliant manner, with new scenery, a large and thoroughly drilled chorus, and the following cast: J.H. Ryley will be Bunthorne; Digby Bell, Grosvenor; C.W. Dongan, Colonel Calverley; George Roseman, Major Murgatroyd; George R. Appleby, the Duke; Mary Beebe, Patience; Irene Perry, Lady Angela; Emma Ellsner, Lady Saphir; and that pronounced favorite, Laura Joyce Bell, the massive Lady Jane.
‘In this series of revival Manager McCaull has determined to produce the operas in the very best possible manner, selecting from his various companies those artists who are best adapted for the different roles. The present company could not be surpassed, all being especially fitted from their respective parts.’
(Chester Times, Chester, Pennsylvania, Monday, 12 January 1885, p. 3b)

Grand Opera House, San Antonio, Texas, 31 December 1896
‘Tonight and Tomorrow Matinee and Night.
‘Hoyt’s greatest comedy, A Midnight Bell, which portrays more accurately than any other of its rivals, the charms, sweetness and fragrance of New England life, will be presented in this city shortly with an ideal cast of metropolitan favorites, headed by America’s foremost comedian, Dibgy Bell, and the famous comedienne, Laura Joyce Bell. An entire carload of scenery has been painted by the celebrated artist, Arthur Voegtlin. New music has been specially arranged by Victor Herbert, author of Prince Ananias and The Wizard of the Nile and leader of Gilmore’s famous band.’
(San Antonio Daily Light, San Antonio, Texas, Thursday, 31 December 1896, p. 5a)

Laura Joyce Bell Once Popular Comic Opera Star.
‘Chicago, May 30 [1904]. – Announcement from new York city yesterday of the death of Mrs. Laura Joyce Bell, the comic opera singer, saddened scores of theatrical people who had known her when she was in the height of her popularity and success.
‘Mrs. Bell was the wife of Digby Bell, the vaudeville star.
‘Mrs. Bell had been ill for nearly a year. She suffered from fatty degeneration of the heart.
‘Laura Joyce Maskell was born in England. She received her musical education at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Her first appearance in America was in Niblo’s Garden in New York in 1872. In 1882 she was married to Digby Bell. Mrs. Bell was 46 years old.’
(The Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, Monday, 30 May 1904, p. 3d)

‘Because the Girl Ran Off and Got Married.
‘New York, Oct. 21. – ”I give and bequeath to my daughter, Laura Seymour Bell, for her sole support and separate use, $1.” In these words Laura Joyce Bell, the actress, wife of Digby Bell, by her will, cut off her daughter from participation in her estate except as stated. The will was drawn may 3, 1904. Only a short time before that Miss Bell eloped from the normal college on the eve of her graduation and was married, her name now being Wilson.’
(The Daily Review, Decatur, Illinois, Friday, 21 October 1904, p. 1c)

For further photographs of Laura Joyce Bell, see NYPLDigitalGallery and University of Louisville, Digital Collections.