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AMUSEMENTS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 86, 12 April 1909
HIS MAJESTY'S THEATRE. "RIP VAN WINKLE." Musical comedy, to which, unfortunately, we are too much accustomed, and where, as a rule, one receives little comedy and less music, compared with bright, sprightly comic opera, are, as the poles, asunder. The former is too often made the peg on which is hung an incoherent jumble, wherein all plot interest is subjugated to a spectacular effect and the introduction of a succession of vaudeville "turns" quite at variance with the construction of the piece. The large audience which thronged H'l3 Majesty's Theatre on Saturday night,showed in no unmistakable manner their appreciation of "Rip Nan Winkle," j the initial production of Pollard's Ju- , venile Opera Company in Auckland. < The stage adaption of Washington lr- j ving's charming story is a clever one, ! and with the addition of a genuinely j beautiful musical setting, the opera pre- j sents fine material for the efforts of the | company. The Juveniles attacked their J task with spirit and ability, and princi- 1 i pals and chorus alike deserve every 1 commendation for the excellence of their work. As previously mentioned, I the opera abounds in tuneful, and in I ! some " instances genuinely beautiful,! melodies, and the interpretation they re- j ceived; proved beyond doubt that the ranks of the company contain much ex- 1 cellent vocal material. The choruses j were sung with spirit, and showed evidence of careful training, which added to the attractions of ,the production, though their work would be better with the addition of a basis of male voices, thus securing a better balance of tone. The soloists, too, achieved distinction in their respective numbers, and among some particularly enjoyable items may be mentioned "Rip Van Winkle's"' trio with the two children in Act 1., and Miss Minnie Topping's "Good-night" and "Oh, Take Care." One may observe, however, that there is room for improved enunciation with more than one of the performers. Easily, the best performance of the evening was that of Mr. Charles Albert in the title role, which he invested with sincerity and genuine feeling. His singing, too, was excellent, and, fortunately, several good songs fell to his lot. 1 lis work was of a really high order in the second act, where he encounters Captain Heinrich Hudson and his phantom ban din the Katskill Mountains, and drinks the potion which sends him oil to his unbroken slumber for twenty years. As Gretchen, Kip's wife, Miss Minnie Topping was more successful with her vocal work than her acting. Her solos, however, were rendered with nice feeling and much ability. Tie same remarks may apply to Miss Cissie O'Keefe, who took the part of Katrina. Her voice is a good one, and the lower notes particularly were full and true. Little Ivy Aldous (Leedle Jan), Miss Alma Aldous, and Miss Trixie Ireland, are really talented children, who played with refreshing naturalness, and did not try to ape the irritating mannerisms of grown-ups. Mr. Ernest Schatz is not given very wide opportunities as the Burgomaster Of Sleepy Hollow, but he showed his old_skill even in such a small .part, .and resisted all temptation to overdo it. Mr. J. Willis, in the character of Derrick yon Slous, sang tunefully, and was otherwise quite at home in the part. Master Bert- Nicholson took the part of Nick Ycdder, landlora of the George 111. Inn, and as a low comedian showed some ability, though his work generally has been of a higher order in other productions. Miss Ethel .Hems, who sustained the part of Lieutenant Hans yon Slous, showed herself to be the possessor of a fine contralto voice of good Tange, and well worth training. Among other roles which were very creditably filled may be mentioned those of Mr. G. Edwards, Miss May Topping, and Miss Bessie Foy. A word oi commendation is due to the orchestra under the direction of Mr. A. Brahms. The piece was well staged, and, taken as a whole, the excellent reception which •was accorded to the initial performance of "Rip. Van Winkle" on Saturday night, was in full keeping with its merits.. The piece will be staged again this evening and throughout the week. THE OPERA HOUSE. A change of programme was submitted at a matinee at the Opera House on Saturday last, when there was a largo attendance. The theatre was crowded in the evening, when the .same programme was presented. The entertainment met wittjvan enthusiastic reception, the cine- 1 phone innovation being much appreciated. A dramatic series, entitled "A I Dream of Wealth," was of fascinating '■ interest, and there was considerable hu- j niour in the film, "The Ragman's Bar- I gain." Notable series also were: —"A Cure for Bashfulness." "Winter Sports in Savoy," "India of To-day," "The Convicts Revenge," etc. A number of musical selections were rendered by the cinephone, contributing much to the enjoyableness of the entertainment. A muti- . nee performance was given this afternoon, and the programme will be repeated again to-night. THE TIVOLI. The attendance at the Tivoli Theatre on Saturday evening was very good. The singing of Master Herbert Carter was manifestly much appreciated, and he was enthusiastically . recalled. The films shown evoked frequent applause. ROYAL PICTURES. The programme presented at the Royal Albert Hall for the present week is well up to the high reputation achieved by
the management in picture presentation, and was screened to a holiday audience on Saturday night. Tbe films embraced a wide range of interesting and diverting subjects, grave and gay, and included such representations as "The Navy and H.M.S. Dreadnought," "Marie Antoinette," '-Views of Canada," "The Gipsy Model," "The Armchair." "Too Stout," "Dr. Wright's Invention," and a host of other capital films. A matinee performance was given to day, at which Mr. Travis started his attempt to break the world's piano-playing record. Each evening after the entertainment a dance will be held in the Royal Albert Hall. THE WELSH SIXGERS. The Royal Welsh Male Choir repeated the fine programme, previously noticed, or Saturday evening, when there was a large audience. The various items were sr. much appreciated that nearly every one was encored. The devotional numbers were given in a most effective manner. As usual the choruses were given with wonderful precision, while the solos and part songs were truly admirable. This evening there will lie an entire change of programme, and as this will be the final appearance of the Welsh Singer.s in Auckland, no doubt there will be a big attendance.
AMUSEMENTS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 86, 12 April 1909
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