Posts Tagged ‘Shaftesbury Theatre (London)’

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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)

* * * * *

‘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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Song sheet for ‘My Little Baby,’ sung by Dan Daly in The Belle of New York, first sung at the Casino Theatre, New York, 1897

August 17, 2014

song sheet cover for ‘My Little Baby’ as sung by Dan Daly in the role of Ichabod Bronson in the original production of The Belle of New York, which was produced at the Casino Theatre, New York, on 28 September 1897. The halftone photograph is of Mr Daly with Edna May as Violet Gray.
(photo: probably Byron, New York, 1897; song sheet published as the supplement to The New York Journal and Advertiser, New York, Sunday, 13 November 1898)

The first run of The Belle of New York closed at the Casino, New York, on 26 December 1897. The company then toured the United States before leaving for England and its engagement at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, where The Belle of New York, with its original American cast, opened on 12 April 1898. With various changes of cast and substitutions the piece ran successfully for 693 performances, closing on 30 December 1899.

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programme cover for the burlesque, Joan of Arc, Opera Comique, London, 1891

May 8, 2014

cover of one of the programmes printed for the burlesque, Joan of Arc, which ran at the Opera Comique, London, from 17 January until 17 July 1891, after which it was toured in the United Kingdom. A second edition of the piece then opened at the Gaiety Theatre, London, on 30 September 1891 before being transferred to the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, on 22 December 1891, where it finally closed on 15 January 1892.
(lithograph by Holdsworths for The Edwardes Menu Co Ltd; printed for the Edwardes Menu Co Ltd, 6 Adam Street, Adelphi, London, by G. Harmsworth & Co, Hart Street, Covent Garden, London, WC, 1891)

‘Redecorated in a warm and rich style, and much improved from the point of view of the comfort, convenience, and safety of visitors, the Opera Comique reopened its doors on Saturday evening to receive a crowded audience, manifestly rejoicing in the addition of a second burlesque house to the list of London theatres. The Opera Comique, however, is now something more than this; it is a burlesque house under the direction of a manager who comes with the prestige of the immense popularity of the Gaiety. That Mr. George Edwardes was attending to his new charge in his own person was shown by the promptitude with which he appeared before the curtain to repress a rather noisy demonstration in the gallery just before the commencement of Messrs. [J.L.] Shine, [Adrian] Ross, and Osmond Carr’s new operatic burlesque of Joan of Arc. ”Is there anything you want?” inquired Mr. Edwardes, and the same question had been puzzling the quieter portion of the audience unable to distinguish words amidst the confused babel of sounds. Could it be that there were purists in the gallery who objected to the perversion of a noble historical episode? The management appeared to have had some misgivings on that score; for by way of preface to the book some one had contributed an apology in the form of a very gracefully-turned and really poetical sonnet, which out to have appeased the ire of any Frenchmen present. As it was rumoured, however, the trouble was nothing but a rather scant supply of programmes. It would have been well if the louder demonstration towards the close of the performance had been on no more substantial ground; but the truth is that, in spite of public explanations and anticipatory disclaimers, there was a considerable part of the audience who took offence at Mr. Arthur Roberts’s strike solo and still more at the alternate choruses of railway guards, policemen, postmen, messengers, dockers, and colliers. On the whole, however, Joan of Arc was indulgently received in spite of the fact that the humours of the first act were rather forced and the whole piece something wanting in the prettiness and quaint drollery to which the frequenters of the Gaiety have been accustomed. The most amusing thing was the duet ”Round the Town” between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Charles Danby, attired as two costermongers who are supposed to have arrived with a huge barrow of provisions for the relief of the besieged city of Orleans. Miss Emma Chambers, who has returned to our stage after a long absence, sings, dances, and utters her lines with unabated sprightliness, but does not do much to identify herself with the Maid of Orleans beyond donning brilliant armour, waving the Royal Standard of France, and finally turning up in the market place at Rouen, there to be unhistorically rescued from the stake. Mr. [J.L.] Shine, as King Charles VII., laboured under the disadvantage of a hoarseness which finally rendered him almost inaudible. The humour of Miss Alma Stanley’s Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury appeared to be chiefly in embroidering her costumes with the initials with which certain cabs have rendered the eyes of Londoners familiar. Miss Phyllis Broughton brought to the performance her graceful talents as a dancer; as did a new and valuable recruit to the burlesque stage in the person of Miss Katie Seymour, while Miss Grace Pedley’s agreeable presence and well-trained voice served her well in the part of the Queen of France. Provided with brilliant costumes, picturesque scenery, and very tuneful music, Joan of Arc is probably destined to enjoy some measure of success.’
(The Daily News, London, Monday, 19 January 1891, p. 3c)

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Marie Studholme in the United States, 1895/96

September 6, 2013

a colour lithograph cigarette card issued in the United States in 1895 by the P. Lorillard Company for its ‘Sensation’ Cut Plug tobacco with a portrait of Marie Studholme (1872-1930), English musical comedy actress and singer, at the time of her appearances in America in An Artist’s Model
(printed by Julius Bien & Co, lithographers, New York, 1895)

An Artist’s Model, Broadway Theatre, New York, 27 December 1895
An Artist’s Model, as presented last night by George Edwardes‘ imported company, was received with frequent applause, and many of the musical numbers were redemanded. Still it is difficult to understand why the piece should have made such a hit in England, or why it should have been found necessary to bring over an English company to interpret it for the delectation of American audiences… .
‘Marie Studholme, the Daisy Vane of the cast, is fully as pretty as she has been heralded to be. What is more to the point, she acts, sings, and dances with coquettish archness and charming vivacity.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, New York, Saturday, 28 December 1895, p. 16c)

‘Another transfer from Broadway is that of An Artist’s Model, which goes to the Columbia immediately after the close of its term in this city. Brooklyn gets it with the London company intact, including a group of good vocalists, a set of competent comedians, and, perhaps above all, a prize beauty in Marie P. Studholme [sic], whose loveliness of person is an object of quite reasonable admiration.’
(The Sun, New York, New York, Sunday, 9 February 1896, p. 3b)

Columbia Theatre, Brooklyn, week beginning Monday, 10 February 1896
‘George Edwardes’ company, direct from the Broadway Theatre, appeared on Monday evening in An Artist’s Model. The bright, catchy songs, funny situations, and pretty girls caught the fancy of a large and fashionable audience, and encores were the order of the evening. Maurice Farkoa‘s laughing song was a great hit, and Marie Studholme’s pretty face and cut manners took the chappies completely by storm. Others were pleased were Nellie Stewart, Allison Skipworth, Christine Mayne, and Lawrence D’Orsay.’
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, New York, Saturday, 15 February 1896, p. 16c)

* * * * *

‘MARIE STUDHOLME.
‘Said to Be the Most Beautiful Woman in England.
‘The present attraction at the Broadway theater, New York, is An Artist’s Model, and the most potent magnet of that successful production is Miss Marie Studholme, who is almost universally conceded to be the most beautiful woman in all England. She was quite popular in London, but it is safe to assert that she has received more newspaper notices during the two weeks she has been in this country than had ever been accorded to her in the whole course of her theatrical career.
‘Miss Studholme is a Yorkshire lass. She was born in a little hamlet known as Baildon, near Leeds, about twenty-two years ago. She was exceptionally pretty, even as a child, and, being possessed of considerable vocal and histrionic ability, it was decided that she should become in time a grand opera prima donna. To this end a thorough training was considered necessary, and Miss Studholme accordingly made her debut in Dorothy, singing the role of Lady Betty. Her next London engagement was in La Cigale, in which she had only a small part. She suffered from ill health at about this time and found it necessary to return to her native village to recoup.
‘After a very brief retirement Miss Studholme was lured back to the British metropolis by an offer of the character of the bride in Haste to the Wedding, at the Trafalgar theater [27 July 1892, 22 performances]. There here remarkable winsomness of manner was first notices by the newspapers. An engagement in Betsy at the Criterion [22 August 1892] followed, and again the fair young actress found it necessary to go home to win back her health and strength, which have since never failed her.
‘She soon returned to the Shaftesbury theater [13 April 1893], where Morocco Bound was the attraction. Here she enjoyed a positive triumph, having been successful in no less than three parts in the piece – those originally assigned to Violet Cameron and Jennie McNulty, besides her own. The enterprising and octopian George Edwardes, recognizing that the little beauty was also possessed of extraordinary versatility, immediately made Miss Studholme an offer to join his Gaity [i.e. Gaiety Theatre] company. This was accepted, and then the Morocco Bound syndicate made her a more tempting proposition to remain. She would have preferred to stay where she was in the changed circumstances, but the agreement had already been signed, and Miss Gladys Stourton in A Gaity Girl [i.e. A Gaiety Girl] at the Prince of Wales’ theatre [14 October 1893]. Her success I that role was enormous, and when Mr. Edwardes was getting together a special company to send to the United States, Miss Studholme is said to have been his very first selection. His wisom is demonstrated by the columns of priase devoted to the little English artiste by the not infrequently hypercritical New York theatrical critics.’
(The Saint Paul Daily Globe, St. Paul, Minnesota, Sunday, 3 May 1896, p. 9c)

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July 10, 2013

George W. Walker (1872/73-1911), African-American vaudevillian, as Rareback Pinkerton for the song, ‘The Czar, He is the Greatest Thing,’ in In Dahomey, the all African-American musical comedy which took London by storm after its opening there at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 16 May 1903. In Dahomey was first produced at the New York Theatre, New York, on 18 February 1903.
(photo: Cavendish Morton, London, 1903)

The Grand Theatre, Woolwich, London, week beginning Monday, 25 January 1904
‘Mr. Clarence Sounes has undoubtedly scored in securing In Dahomey, played by Williams and Walker and their company, for the first week of its tour. There was an enthusiastic audience on Monday. Messrs. Williams and Walker are without doubt the mainstay of the play. Mr. Bert Williams as the lugubrious Shylock Homestead causes roars of laughter, and his son, “The Jonah Man,” is redemanded again and again. As the mercurial Rareback Pinkerton, Mr. Geo. W. Walker causes much merriment, and his dancing is one of the features of the show. His song, “My Castle on the Nile,” was on Monday encored five times. The chorus business in his son, “The Czar,” is also well done. Mr. G.A. Shipp as Hustling Charley acts with a fine sense of comedy, and his dancing is extremely clever. Mr. Harry Troy scores with his son, “Mollie Green.” As George Reeder Mr. Alex. Rogers acts quietly. Mr. J. Lebrie Hill and Mr. Peter Hampton are successful as Hamilton Lightfoot and Dr. Straight. Miss Hattie McIntosh makes a dignified Cecilia Lightfoot. Miss Lottie Williams as Mr. Stringer brings her part into prominence. As Rosetta Miss Ada [Aida] Overton Walker makes a decided hit, and dances in a capital manner. Her song, “A Actor Lady,” is well sung, which touches of burlesque. Miss Ada Guignesse sings “Brown skin baby mine” in a style that makes one regret that it is her only appearance. At the finale of the last act there is a cakewalk competition among the members of the company for a prize presented by the management. Thunders of applause greet the efforts of each pair of dancers. Mr. J. Gladwin, the courteous acting-manager, should have difficulty in finding room for his patrons for the rest of the week.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 28 January 1904, p. 15b)

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George W. Walker in In Dahomey

July 10, 2013

George W. Walker (1872/73-1911), African-American vaudevillian, as Rareback Pinkerton for the song, ‘The Czar, He is the Greatest Thing,’ in In Dahomey, the all African-American musical comedy which took London by storm after its opening there at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 16 May 1903. In Dahomey was first produced at the New York Theatre, New York, on 18 February 1903.
(photo: Cavendish Morton, London, 1903)

The Grand Theatre, Woolwich, London, week beginning Monday, 25 January 1904
‘Mr. Clarence Sounes has undoubtedly scored in securing In Dahomey, played by Williams and Walker and their company, for the first week of its tour. There was an enthusiastic audience on Monday. Messrs. Williams and Walker are without doubt the mainstay of the play. Mr. Bert Williams as the lugubrious Shylock Homestead causes roars of laughter, and his son, ”The Jonah Man,” is redemanded again and again. As the mercurial Rareback Pinkerton, Mr. Geo. W. Walker causes much merriment, and his dancing is one of the features of the show. His song, ”My Castle on the Nile,” was on Monday encored five times. The chorus business in his son, ”The Czar,” is also well done. Mr. G.A. Shipp as Hustling Charley acts with a fine sense of comedy, and his dancing is extremely clever. Mr. Harry Troy scores with his son, ”Mollie Green.” As George Reeder Mr. Alex. Rogers acts quietly. Mr. J. Lebrie Hill and Mr. Peter Hampton are successful as Hamilton Lightfoot and Dr. Straight. Miss Hattie McIntosh makes a dignified Cecilia Lightfoot. Miss Lottie Williams as Mr. Stringer brings her part into prominence. As Rosetta Miss Ada [Aida] Overton Walker makes a decided hit, and dances in a capital manner. Her song, ”A Actor Lady,” is well sung, which touches of burlesque. Miss Ada Guignesse sings ”Brown skin baby mine” in a style that makes one regret that it is her only appearance. At the finale of the last act there is a cakewalk competition among the members of the company for a prize presented by the management. Thunders of applause greet the efforts of each pair of dancers. Mr. J. Gladwin, the courteous acting-manager, should have difficulty in finding room for his patrons for the rest of the week.’
(The Stage, London, Thursday, 28 January 1904, p. 15b)