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[By Loitebeb.] Mr Martin Duff, the Dunedin tenor, has been engaged to sing the tenor role in ‘The Messiah,’ which is to be sung by the Royal Choral Society, Wellington, very shortly in aid of the Belgian fund. Mr J. A. Matheson, of this City, joins Barton’s Circus shortly as “ the man ahead." In a short note to he writer, Mr Matheson comments thus upon the Stophenson-Linley panto., to be produced here on Tuesday : “ A really good show; the Dame, great; Principal Boy, fine; specialties good; the whole show a pleasant surprise, comparing more than favorably with Willoughby’s.’’ Dolly Castles reached Wellington last Friday per the Mamma en route for Melbourne, where she plays'the principal girl in the Williamson panto. ‘ Cinderella.’ She has been absent from Australia for seven years. The play which Florence Young and Co. will produce here about January 4 will be ‘ The Climax.' .Mr Victor Bech is touring manager. “Bob” Hcmy, one of Australia’s premier producers of melodrama, died in Sydney recently. Henry toured this country several times Grace Palotta is going into English vaudeville working with “Eddie” Nable, formerly of Pollard’s Opera Company. New Zealand was represented by no fewer than three singers during the opera season at .Middlesex Theatre, Drury Lane. They were Adelaide Van Staveren, daughter of the Rabbi of Wellington; Nora D'Argel. of the same city; and Mrs Alanson, once Mabel Brailhwaito, of' Dunedin. Eugene Ossipoff, the Russian baritone, has been engaged to play the important part of the Demon King in tho Anderson panto. * Sinbud.’ AI. Ossipoff was formerly a member of the grand opera company at .Moscow. He sang in Dunedin some years ago. News of the death of that famous actress, Miss Fanny Brough, was cabled from London recently. Alias Brough (Mrs R. S- Boleyn) was a niccc of th© late William Brough, author and dramatist, and of Lionel Brough, tho actor, and a sister of the late Robert Brough. She was born in Paris in 1854, ami nurd© her first appearance at Manchester in 1869. in a pantomime written by her uncle. Site was a clever comedienne, and appeared in all th© most successful comedies and a good many dramas produced in London between 1870 ami 1910. In 1905 she toured America with Charles Haw trey. During her life she took loading parts in nearly 80 different plays, many of which had long runs. .She took a keen interest in tho welfare of her sister actresses, and helped greatly in improving their conditions. She was presklent of the Theatrical Ladies’ Guild. H. B. Irving, in a recent appearance as Wilfred Denver in a London revival' of ‘ Tho Silver King,’ was received with a feeble show of enthusiasm by the English critics. The hard, metallic side of Irving’s acting was too apparent in his impersonation, and some critics took an opportunity of chiding him on tho monotony of his style in big melodramatic parts. Ambrose Manning, on the other hand, was unanimously complimented for his “ really ai'vat ” pert’ornmneo as Elijah Cooinbc. Madame Anna Pavlova, the famous Russian dancer, was in Berlin when the war broke out. According to the New York ‘World,’ she had been appearing in public, and was applauded by tho Kaiser, who gave her the Order of Merit. But when war was declared this did not save her from being arrested on suspicion of being a spy. She was detained for several days, all her baggage was searched, and she was freed only on condition that she would leave tho’country at once. Madam© Pavlova reassembled her scattered company in London, and went to New York. In his recent book, tho cx-Llenpan spy, Dr Graves, declares that Madame Pavlova was suspected by the German War Office of being in the Russian secret service. .Mr Frank Thornton, according to tho latest advices from London, has acted in similar capacity to Sir George Alexander, Sir H. Becrb’jhm Tree, Mr Havcourt Beatty, and many other prominent actors, anti been sworn In as a special constable. Whilst doing duty at the reservoir Barnes, near where he resides, he was surprised to hear that the man doing patrol duty with him was arrested as a German spy. Mr Thornton, iu communicating the intelligence, to a ft tend in Australia, somewhat cryptically remarks: ‘‘One never knows where these devils are.”

Beatrice Holloway, Ed. O’Neill, and Robert Greig have gone to South Africa to stage the comedies Fred Niblo has appeared in in Australia. AA’ybert Stamford is producer. According to Northern advices, Miss •Jessie Arnold, the loading lady of ‘The Rosary* Company, married Air Paul Byron, of the same combination, in Dunedin on June 2-1 Aliss Arnold’s first husband was Edward E. Rose, who wrote th© play. Paul Byron played Charles Harrow, tiro wiki yonth/of tho play who marries the Irish colleen. , There has arrived in Melbourne, under engagement to J. C. Williamson, Ltd., an actress of some prominence in th© person of Aliss Dorothy Davies, who, when ‘Bought and Paid For’ is staged by the Muriel StaiT Company, will play the part of Fanny Gilley, in which she mode a big success in America Aliss Davies was born in Canada, but has spent most of her stage career in tho U.S.A. She played Fanny Gilley for more than three years. In the same' company was Edward Harrigan, the clever young’American comedian who appeared recently in ‘The Argyl© Case,’ and made a comparatively unimportant part stand out prominently. Air Harrigan will play Jimmy Gilley, the part ho was playing in Now York when Air Georg© Tallis was struck by Ids clever performance and engaged him for Australia. The report that Max Linder, the famous French comedian, had been killed in the battle of the Aisne “ was grossly exaggerated,” as .Mark Twain once remarked. Although Alax is badly wounded, it is expected that he will bo back in the firing line within a short time. Linder is an dllicer in the French artillery, and has been at tho front ever since the German retreat began. Though still under 30 years of age, and the highest-salaried artist in pictures, when the call came to fight Linder donned hia uniform and took up his station with his comrades. It is said that on the day before leaving Paris he wont to the PalheiStudio at Vincennes to say good-bye. When his fellowplayers expressed tho hope that within a short lime he would return from the front to resume his work, Linder shrugged his shoulders, and replied : “ I am a fatalist. What is to be, will be. When I am to die. 1 will die, whether on the battlefield or in my bed at homo." An American paper reproduces with characteristic “ intensifications” the statement Mr Harold Bauer made to a Sydney journal that the musical conditions in Australia “arc deplorable.” These conditions, according to Air Bauer, ware largely" due to the craze wo have for examinations. Perhaps Air Bauor, as the Spanish proverb has it, spoke through the mouth of his wound, for it is an open secret that, from tho financial point of view, his tour was not exactly a conspicuous success, and had ho played to audiences more commensurate in size with his unquestioned greatness as an artiat ho might, possibly have said more in our favor. At th© same time, wo have to admit that wo are, in this country, given over to too much faith in the powers of examinations. The famous pianist says truly enough tint “ the concentration of the pupils on their own mechanical work prevents them from taking any interest in music as a whole. As a result, orchestral concerts are not supported.” That we know to be a fact. Thousands every year are working for examination passes, yet how many of these thousands attend concerts ? Probably only a few, for otherwise our orchestral concerts would flourish, and ether concerts would bo more numerous. The inference seems plain, therefore, that those who have th© examination fever do not, as a result, develop any love for music; they are after 'a pedantic distinction —if tho so-called diplomas can bo termed such—-which adds nothing to .their artistic understanding, and which of necessity adds nothing to tho general musical activity of the community.— ‘ Australasian.’

A venerable lady who forms a link with a notable theatrical past extending back to the days of tha great Sarah Siddons, from whom she is descended, resides in Melbourne, in the person of Mrs Fanny Musgrove, the mother of Messrs George, Harry, and JFrank slusgrove, the Australian theatrical managers, and of Dr Charles Musgrove, of Buenos Ayres, South America. • Airs Musgrove. whose many friend* are aware that her health is rapidly declining, was born in 1827, and has therefore reached the great ago of 87 years. She is a grand-niece of the great Mrs Siddons, whom she strongly resembles, and tho third daughter of Georg© Hodson, an English composer, and sister of Mrs Laurin Lyster, wife of the Australian grand opera impresario of tho early seventies. A fourth sister, Mary Hodson, played Juliet in England to the Romeo of James Oathcart (who eventually settled in Australia), but she married young and retired. All the sisters were noted for their beauty. A brother, George Hodson, was the father of tho brilliant London actress, Henrietta Hodson, afterwards Airs Labouchcrc, whoso husband was editor and proprietor of London ‘Truth.’ Airs Musgrove was trained as a dancer at Covent Garden Theatre bv Glossop, a then famous manager of that house, whilst Mrs Lystei studied singing with Mnio Fcion (Mrs Glossop). Airs Musgrove first made the acquaintance of Sir Augustus Harris, of Drury Lane Theatre, when he was a da\ old! On tho stage as Fanny Hodson, whilst acting with Charles Matthews, it was recognised that she bad inherited the dramatic fire of the Kemble family, but with it descended also a trait characteristic pf all of them, from Sarah Siddons downwards—a love of home life and children. Accordingly, on her marriage with tfie scholarly Thomas Musgrove, she withdrew from the stage once and for all. However, she remained in touch with most of the leading artists of the day up to the middle sixties, when she came to Australia with her husband and five children, and niado now friendships.

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FOOTLIGHT FLASHES, Issue 15674, 12 December 1914

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FOOTLIGHT FLASHES Issue 15674, 12 December 1914

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