TBy Call Boy.]
A private letter received in Christchurch by the last mail (says the ' Press') intimates that Mr Dan Fitzgerald, with his purchases made in England, left London on July 14 for Western Australia, and expects to open in Fremantle on October 14. '
Mr Davenport Higgins, a Hobart barrister, has taken to the lecture platform as an exponent of Dickens. He has been giving readings from tho novelist in Melbourne, where he has met with a hearty reception. Our London correspondent writes :—The Australian actor who is professionally known as Harry Giibben figured in the London Divorce Court last month, having petitioned for the dissolution of his marriage. He was married at Melbourne in 1892, and went to Eugland in 1895. They obtained an engagement in Calcutta, but just prior to sailing he was offered an advantageous position at Home, which he accepted on the condition that his wife and her sister went out to India. On the formers return in April, 1896, she admitted having misconducted herself with a Mr Thomas R. Pratt. The jury found for the petitioner, with damages £250. A decree will be pronounced when proof of the Australian marriage is forthcoming. I'here seems to be some little doubt as to the identity of the enterprising impresario who has guaranteed Mr Wilson Barrett a personal /ee of £IO,OOO for 100 performances of «The Sign of the Cross' in Australia and New Zealand, «nd though I have approached him personally on the point he is not communicative. Assuming, however, that colonial theatres hold about the same money as English provincial houses, and that the manager has to pay all expenses and salaries (not to mention cost of company's transit) as well as Wilson Barrett's honorarium, I don't envy him the speculation. Of course everyone will want to witness this big London success once, but it is not the kind of play folks go to again and again. Amy Sherwin's forthcoming concort tour in the Australian colonies is to be run on real high-toned lines, Mr Barton M'Guckin being prima tenore. The Tasmanian Nightingale has grown both physically and artistically since colonists last saw her. Her voice retains its pure birdlike freshness, and she is charming as ever. Australians will welcome Miss Sherwin not only as a great artiste but as the kindest of women. Her house at West Hampstead is famous for its hospitality, aud at the frequent parties there one meets invariably a goodly number of Australians.
Madame Melba will be the prima donna assoluta at the Donizetti centenary festival next month, and is studying the io!e of Marie iu ' The Daughter of the Regiment' for the occasion. She will also appear a3 Lucia in the most permanently successful of Donizetti's serious operas—a work, however, that of late years has been kept going by successive efforts on the part of Madame Patti, Madame Albaui, and finally, Madame Melba, all attracted and captivated by the brilliant "mad scene "of the third act. It is not, however, for * Bergamo' alone that Madame Melba is now studying the part of Marie in 'La Fille du Regiment.' She has given up the singing of Wagner's music, and finds it necesary to strengthen her list of parts from other sources. Wagner cannot be said to have owed much of his success in England to the singing of our favorite prima donnas. Madame PaUi has never undertaken one Wagnerian part. Madame Melba has sung one, and only one—that of Elsa in ' Lohengrin.' It is reported that the Strand Theatre (London) is likely to soon blossom forth as a variety show, under the direction of Harry Rickards.
The Brough Company closed their threeweek's season at Wellington Opera-house on Thursday night with 'Dandy Dick.' In response to repeated calls for a speech Mr Brough made a few remarks, in the course of which he said:—"lt may interest you to know that this has been far and away the best season we have ever had in Wellington ; and that is saying a good deal, for here we have always had good business, good appreciation, and good friends—a romark which 1 may say applies to New Zealand cities generally. It is with the greatest regret we contemplate our departure from you, and the disbandment of my company. I can only hope that at some future date we may meet you once more; and though we cannot possibly aay when that time will be, I will say that, as far as we are concerned, the sooner the better."
Mr Philip Newbury sang two numbers from Mendelsahon's 'St. Paul' at the evening Bervice at St. John's Church, Brisbane. His devotional rendering of 'Be thou faithful ' made a deep impression on the congregation.
The Invf rearpri'j Amateur Operatic Society havo 'Dor thy' in rehearsal. Herr Raimund Pechotsch, Madame Pechotsch, and their son, the latter a talented little violinist, left Sydney for London by the German steamer Gora. The visit Home is for the purpose of placing the boy under one of the great teachers in London.
Dressed as Napoleon ('Madame Sans Gene'), Sir Henry Irving addressed the audience at the Lyceum on July 22, saying that Mr Forbes Robertson would appear at the theatre in September in ' Hamlet,' and that in December he (Irving) would return to stage an original play, ' Peter the Great,' by his son Lawrence.
Mr G. L. Sharpe, who for six years was with the Daniel Mayer Agency in London, arrived in Sydney by the Orizabo in advance for the Amy Sherwin Concert Company, which arrives in Melbourne on Saturday week, the 25th. Miss Sherwin will be sup. ported by Mr B. M'Guokin (for fifteen years principal tenor with the Carl Rosa Company), Arthur Deane (baritone), and M. Szczspanowski (Polish pianist). A curious experiment is to be tried in London by the Elizabethan Stage Society, who intend to revive at the Matinee Theatre that old murder play 'Arden of Feversham,' also 'The King and the Countess,' a play of Edward lll.'a time. Both these pieces have been attributed positively to Shakespeare—wrongly as is now admitted, though 'Arden' may have been revised and corrected by the poet. The story of the murder of Arden by his wife Alice and her accomplice, was lately retold in the volume 'Twelve Bad Women.' A report in last month's ' Musical Times ' of a Richter concert in London relates how a sensation was caused by the great conductor " laying down bis baton at the commencement of the truly delightful movement in 5 4 time (fromTschaikowsky's 'Pathetique Symphony') and letting his orchestra play without couductißg." The writer then observes that he had him?elf "ou many occasions been under the spell of that genial eye of Dr Richter's, and knew that he can effect more with a look than some conductors can with hands and feet and baton."
Miss Helen Rowe, of Melbourne, has had to relinquish a promising singing career, as she found her constitu ion not sufficiently robust to stand the wear and tear. The •Argus's' London correspondent says that she is earning £I,OOO a year by teaching in England. The Macmahon Bros., the well-known theatrical managers, are exhibiting a oinematographe in Sydney. A revolving electric Vg'nt cutside sheds a lurid glow over the scene, and within are shown some of the best pictures yet produced in the colonies. The views, which comprise topical subjects, are thrown on the screen with remarkable clearness and freedom from jerkiness. The machine has row been running for ten months. The Macmahons are talking of invading New Zealand with it shortly. The ' British Australasian,' speaking of Mr Titheradge, describes him as "one of the great favorites of the Australian stage, and, according to the opinion of visitors and residents, one of the best actors in the world." Mr Titheradge ha 3 decided to try his luck on the London stage, and will leave Mllbourne for the Old Country early next year.
Miss Cicely Staunton, the well-known Auckland singer, who visited this City as a member of the Annis Montague Opera Company, has arrived in London from Paris, where she has been studying with Madame Marchesi. '.••■•.
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FOOTLIGHT FLASHES., Evening Star, Issue 10421, 16 September 1897