PLAYS AND PLAYERS.
NOTES BY LORGNETTE COMING EVENTS, OPEBA House. December 3 to 17—Henry Dramatic Company, December 26 to January 21—Messrs Willi an son and Musgrove.
Tho Alfred Woods-Wiliianison company concluded their season.,at tho Opera HoUsh oft Monday last, and have now goiie to tour tho provincial district, afterwards proceeding to the West Coast of the South Island, where they ought to do good business.
On Saturday, tho 3rd inst., tho Opera House will bo ro-opeued If he Henry Dramatic Company, which has been doing very well since tae New Zealand tour was commenced at Auckland some four or five weeks ago. Tho opening production will he the sensational draffla; ‘‘ Ftom Scotland Yardr which will he followed by other London successes.
Lovers of good music will bo rewarded with an ample fund of that commodity by taking advantage of hearing the programme to bo presented by Herr Max Hoppe, assisted by Mr Hebert Parker and some noted musicians of this c : ty at his initial Concert of Tuesday evening next.
The ‘programme will include items which should exemplify both the classical aiidmodcrh. Schools of violin playihg. With, Mr Parker, Herr Hoppe plays a sonata of Beethoven and Bach’s grand air for G string. The modern compositions include pieces by Jaures Hies Huber and Ontrocik. Misses Mee and Putman and Misses Mozar and Hales will supply the vocal items, and their ability is wellknown. This is Mr Hales .farewell appearance preparatory to his proceeding to England to study singing. An additional attraction-wjU be,.the appearance of little Ireiio Morris, a child of six years of ago, who has received all her tuition from Herr Hoppe. Tho tour of the “Firm’s” No. 2 Dramatic Company is to conclude at Broken Hill on Saturday next. I hear from private sources that the company did good business in Perth, whore our extownsman, Mr Harry Plimmer, made a big hit, being called before tho curtain three times at the conclusion of “The Cross.” It is probable that Mr Plimmer will return to this Colony, ili January, as a member of tho Knight-Ferrar Company. I hoar that Mr J. Macintosh, who was formerly a. partner .in .Mr Linloy’s theatrical advertising business, is now a member of the Brough Comedy Company.
I hear that Miss Pattie Browne’s projected tour of New Zealand has been abandoned, for the present at least. The popular comedienne is to be principal boy in tho Finn’s panto., “The Forty Thieves,” at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney. Miss Carrie Moore is to bo Gaven’s sweetheart and Miss Cesoa Vollugi, a young Australian soprano, who recently made a big hit in Melbourne as Arline in an amateur production of ‘ ‘The Bohemian Girl,” is also to bo in the cast. Amongst tho male performers are John Coleman, of “ Scarecrow ” fame, George de Lara, Charlie Berkeley, Little Gulliver, Irving Sayles (the variety artist) and J. W. Sweeney. Mr Arthur Adams, the ex-Wellingtonian, is writing the lyrics for the production.
At Melbourne Princess the Firm’s Christmas production will be “ The Geisha,” the 'name part to be played by a new soprano now oh her way out from England. Miss, Dorothy Vane will play tho part played in the original London production by Letty Lind; Miss Bose Musgrove, daughter of Mr Williamson’s partner, will be a French girl, and George Lauri ought to be great as a Chinaman.
In March next the Comic Opera Company will produce Mr A. Adams’ now will produce Mr Arthur Adams’ now Maori opera, 11 Tapu,” the music of which is by that clever young Wellingtonian, Alfred Hill, and the dances in which arc to be arranged by Mr Wi Duncan, tho well-known Native footballer. Great interest will attach to this production in Wellington, where both composer and author have a host of friends and well-wishers.
I am very sorry to hear of the death of Miss May Habgood, wife of Mr Tommy Hudson, the well-known variety cr.t-e----preneur. Miss Habgood will be remembered by Wellingtonians as having visited us with the Antoinette Sterling Concert Company in the capacity of accompanist. She was a brilliant pianist, and in private a charming woman and devoted wife. At the time of her death, which occurred the other day in Adelaide, her husband was away with a concert company in India. Much sympathy is expressed by the Australian press with the bereaved husband.
That prince of theatrical managers, and best of good fellows, Bland Holt, nearly lost the number of his mess the other day when biking with Mrs B. in Melbourne streets. Mr Holt got into difficulties between two trams, dodged one and got knocked down by the other. , Luckily neither rider nor machine was damaged.
The much-travelled Smythe’snext spec, is tho Singers, a swell London glee party.
That clever little actress, Brenda Gibson, who was here with B. and 8., and whose marriage in London the other day was chronicled in some recent notes, has been getting on very well in her profession since she joined Irving’s company. Sho made, I rood in a Homo paper, a special hit in “ Nance Oldfield," and will be entrusted with some important roles in Irving’s future productions.
Leoni Clarke, tho “ Cat King," whose performances in 'Wellington with the Matsa Company fell so very flat, is now running a boxing kangaroo at the London music halls.
Grattan Riggs has done, I am sorry to hear, but poor business during his Tasmanian tour, and it is probable he may relinquish his intention of visiting New Zealand.
Wilson Barrett has been doing tremendous business since he returned Home from his recent visit to Australia. He will not, however, make a long stay in the Old Country, but will leave England again early next year for India and the East. Ons would imagine that Indian audiences would bo rather bored than otherwise with tho heavy kind of dramatic fare which is Barrett’s speciality. Brough’s
light comedies and satires on London society arc much more likely utuff m be popular at Calcutta. With the ib iki.o meter perpetually at 100 3r more, in the Shade, the contemplation even of a iva/edy programme would be too much for Lorgnette,
A London correspondent issues a warning to Australian artistes thinking of trying their luck in the " Big Smoke.” Some few artis:es who are lucky and hive go;d introductions do get good engagetllen's anil fair salaries, but there are enough really capable artistes out of “ shops ” in London already, without colonials swelling the list.
The same correspondent says that the over - enterprising Bland Holt has pnr> chased the Colonial rights of the last Drury Lane success.),,“ The, Great Ruby.” It will cost a lot of money to mount, but, as wo in Wellington know full well, expense is never spared to make a play a sucoiss, when Mr Holt has the matter in hand. Colonial playgoers are lucky ia one way, in that they get a stall for a Holtinn production at three or four shillings, whereas in London the same scat for tho same production costs you a clo-.m ten bob: A big difference: li;:
Writing to . the “ Sydney Sunday Times,” Miss Hilda Spong says that the principals in the travelling .companies in tho English provinces seldom get more than five pounds a week, and even when an artiste gets a decent engagement in London it is quite on tho cards that when once it is over, he or she doesn’t get another show for some months to come. “ It s not all gold that glitters ” on the London stage.
Some three or four years ago twq, ve’-y clover performers, the brothers Eclair, were in Wellington with a circus, and simply paralysed the public with their contortionist act, one of tho best things .of its kind I over saw. One of them is new having a big success at Melbourne Opera House, under the name of Ajax.
Dorothy Vane, the "Firm’s” now comic opera star; is still dejornlirled, so she tells ah interviewer in Melbourne, to enter a convent when her engagement is concluded. Meanwhile she is tbo big attraction in “ La Poupee,” which is not by any means the sort of thing to be a pra paration for a religious life. Is the determination to enter a convent yet another variation of the lost diamonds advertising dodge which has been so popular with actresses as ap ad. fo.r so many years ? Shouldn't be sttfpriseu if this wero the case.
Moxl co Sir Arthur Sullivan, Mr Frederic H. Cowen ia tho most popular of English composers, writes Mr Klickmann, in the “ Windsor Magazine,” for Octob r, in an article on the Leeds festival. “ His work, in addition to being scholarly, is musical, a quality that Is strangely lacking in the works of some composers. Mr Co wen’s contribution to tho festival, is a sotting of Collins ‘ Gdo, to the Partlons.’ He will, of course, conduct this now work himself. Mr Cowen is a composer wlv. se
name is a household word wherever an English song is sung, and ‘ Tho Better Land ’ has worked itself as a classic into our national repertoire, just as ‘ The Lost Chord ‘ has done. Mr Oowon it was, my readers will femember, who gave music a
great lift in Australia by his COnduotorship of the orchestral concerts at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1888;
An interesting personage connected with the Leeds festival this year is Otto Goldschmidt, now in his 70th year. He has set to music for the festival Sir Lewis Morris’s ode, “ Music." The elder generation will remember him as the musician who was lucky enough to win tho hand of Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish nightingale, in 1851. At her first appearance in Leipzig (according to the “ Windsor Magazine ”) she was to sing at a Gewandhaus concert, under Mendelssohn’s direction. There was a great demand for tickets, despite the fact that the prices were raised ; it was therefore decided that the students of tho Conservatorium must waive their usual right to free admission. But the students objected. They were as anxious as anybody to hear the “ Swedish Nightingale.” A protest was made, and Oito Goldschmidt, aged sixteen, was deputed to interview the authorities. The students were granted their demand. Six years later, Otto Goldschmidt and Jenny Lind became man anil wife. The marriage took place during the prima donna’s tour in America. Jenny was then 32. She lived until 1887.
Amy Shcrwin's husband, Mr Hugh Gotlitz, has been in Russia,. through which country he is to pilot Paderewski next year, and whither he had gone to learn the Russian language.
Poor old Johnny Toole, who was recently operated on for cataract, has been very ill, but he was able to send by a friend visiting Sydney a message—“ Tell the Australians I have never forgotten the many kindnesses I have received from them. Thank them for me.”
“ Saharet,” who is described in the English newspapers os an, Australian dancer, has been captivating London and Paris by her grace and agility. A report of the “ Daily Mail ” informs the public, on “ Saharet’s " authority, that she entered the corps de ballet of the Theatre Royal, Melbourne, at the age of 10, and is now 20. She is married, but she looked 16. “ And when she spoke, the guileless intonation of the Australian voice heightened the idea of her extreme youthfulness." But the “ Daily Mail" did not give “ Saharet’s maiden name; and the identity of this Australian dancer is still shrouded in mystery. ■
The Coquelin performance of “ Cyrano de BergeraCj” about which so much has been written, did not impress Mr Brough, who went over to Paris to witness the performance. Coquelin has the enormous deformity of the nose, but as he is a short, dumpy little man, essentially a comedian, with a hard voice, and a method of rattling off the Alexandrines as, though they were light comedy, he did hdt impress the visitor, whose conception of Cyrano was as a man physically perfect with the one glaring defect of the awful nose, an Admirable Cnchton, foremost in sword play as in love, with a winning voice to capture any woman. It is interesting hearing this view after reading the English controversies.
Hall Caine offered the part of John Storm in the New York production of “ Gloria ” (“ The Christian ”) to Kyrle Bellow, who had to refuse it owing to his engagement with Charles Wyndham. Eranklin M’Leay, who left Wilson Barrett on the eve of the Australian tour to join Boerbohm Tree, and is now playing in “ The Three Musketeers,” also refused the part, and finally the chief character in “ The Christian ” fell to a young American actor named Edward Morgan, . who, I read in lata American files, has made a big hit as the over zealous young parson.
Kyrle Bellew, who seems to have definitely dissolved his stage partnership with Mrs Potter since the twain made their way to London, is to appear with Charles Wyndham in a new romantic fourteenth century play 'at the Criterion when once the run of “ The Liars ” is terminated. Twenty years ago Mr Bellew played in the same piece, (“Faust,”) with Mr Wyndham, who was the Mephistopheles, Bellew playing Faust, the late Edmund Leathes, who also has visited Australia, being the Valentine, Harry Paultou the Siebel, and Miss Eastlake, once the “ beautiful Miss Eastlake," playing Marguerite. The London “ Daily Mail ” says it would like to see Mr Bellew as Bolingbroke in " King Richard the Second," and as The Bastard in “ King John.” So would I. He is a fine actor in most parts, but he ought to do specially well in Shakespeare.
Rickards, who has made many thousands out of the variety business, which he understands, has lost heavily on his recent theatrical speculations. Rumour has it that on Cartwright’s tour alone was £3OOO, and on the Pattie Browne tour the manager is a thousand to the bad.
Auckland amateurs will shortly produce “ The Mikado ” and “ The Gondoliers ” at the local Opera House.
The Payne Family have been giving their entertainment in the Rangitikei and Manawatu districts, and appear to have been well received wherever they went. We shall probably see them in the city before long.
Auckland musical people, professionals and amateurs, are said to be very angry that the Exhibition Committee have enfaged some Wellington artistes for their ig show.
William Pauli, the baritone of the “ Firm’s ” Opera Company, has been ill for some weeks with a bad throat. Clever young Bathurst, who was here with the “ In Town ” crowd, has been filling his place. Pauli has just made a sea trip to Albany and back, and will now resume work again.
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New Zealand Times, New Zealand Times, Volume LXVIII, Issue 3605, 3 December 1898
PLAYS AND PLAYERS. New Zealand Times, Volume LXVIII, Issue 3605, 3 December 1898
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