THEATRICAL AND MU SIC A L NOTES.
Br Pasquiv. TUESDAY, March 24, 1903. Mr Howard Vcrnon arrives in town today (Wednesday), when he commences his duties as stage manager for the op-ora season of the Dunedin Operatic Society. Mr VeiT.cn is also undertaking the principal co.nodian's part— a part which he played with success in J. C. Williamson's company when, tho opera was first produced in Melbourne. Mis? Rosina Biukmann, who is engaged by tho Duncciin Oporr'io Focieiy to play Ihe name part in the forthcoming pcoducI tien of *' Erminio," aivi^od in town by ihe ! sorond expre c .s on £alurda\ r , and has comiiirTiocd rehearsing; in r^al earnest. The musical conicdv rov. showing at His Miijo-.ty's concludes its Dunedin season on T'lui-sday evening, and on Friday iho members of the company pack up their several fvaralcjra trunk-, prior to deparrine; for In-%e>;-<vi"gill, where a brief «ra=on of two nights will ba played — then ai.o*her '"packing up" to join the outgoing stoamfr for Mel-bon-.-ne, via the Bluff ai.d Hobart. \V. S. Percy, the ex-Pollard artist and ''he clover young comedian of iho Royal Comic Opera Company now in Sydney, displayed his versatility by <.!*« part of Oeorge L.aiiri. who has bee l il' an-cl is resting, on cm 1 night, and that of Fred. Leslie, who Trained h" 3 ankle, or the following evening-. Peicy is sfid to ha^o been excallent on both occasions. Another invasion of vaudeville is prornired from a, company under the direction of Mr Harry PuckaioV The combination is a strong one. ar.d 'iclurles several hisrhc!fi«9 arti°t', — notably the ATtois Bros., the SHore Elo*, and' tho Miles Stavordale Mr .41' an U> -niltou comes as •pitin"cr, a -id -'Jr .Tinniy Moore, brother of ' Vaj'jie AJooro. nchnnca rep. The tour co:r"meTcos at Dunedin on June 1. 1 The requirements of the City Council at the. 4kr«Q .ihea.tres. i*L &^ediu^_are_Jbejjis,
gradtially given effect to, and in a few weeks all the works required will have been carried out. Arrangements are now being made for the hanging of the fireproof curtains in His Majesty's and the frinces Tiaeatres. The following- are the attractions a.t the principal centres for Easter : — Dunedin (His Majesty's); Edwin Geach's Dramatic Company; Ohristchurch (Theatre Royal), Pollard Opera Compiny; Wellington (Opeia House), Sheridan Mugicai Comedy Company; Auckland (His Majesty's), Julius Knight Dramatic Company; ar.d Invercargill, Cbas. Blake's Company. Mr Harry Rickards has recehed a cablegram from Paul Cinquevalli, slating that the celebrated jugsrler's wife died suddenly in London. Mme. Cinquevalli accompanied' her husband on his visit to Australia and New Zealand. She was one of thp loading equestriennes in France, but on her marriago ceased to appear professionally. Perry's Bicgranh and Vaudeville Company ore booked to play a brief season in the Garrison Hall. The opening night is set clown for Thursday next, 26th inst. The company includes amongst others. Mi*s Eva Biwciv. Miss A'ico Stewart, and Mr Harry Collins. Consistent with thpir policy of quick changes, the management of the Fuller Company introduced two new artists at tho Princess Theatre on Saturday evening:— Mr Bransgrovo. a double-voiced vocalist, and Carl Brasso, a strong man and slackwire performer. The newcomers wero well received -b\- the J.irgo audience. That cle\er ariist Allan Shaw, the coin king, is still on the bill, but his last nights are announced, and those who ha-vc not seen his act should make a point, of doing so ere he departs. Salmond* pnd Chester put on a new" sketch. "The Diamond Fiend,"' on Saturday evening, and at onco made n, success of the little dramatic scene. The VanteFs, triple bar performers, do an exceedingly c!ever act, and all the old favourites assist in a bright and attractive programme. Acknowledged with thanks corrected list of bookings of the Municipal Thoatre, Inverc^.nrill; Municipal Opera Rouse, Palmoiston North ; and Town Hall, Mast.or- | ton. As one of ihe features of the theatrical page of tho Witness is the list of dates booked at, the -various theatres in New Zealand, and as th-satrical managers are now largely arranging rhcir Now Zealand tours from the list at the hra.d of this column, it is imperative that the bookings should be kent as accurately as possible. I will be indebted to thos-3 in authority who forward me each week, or as additional tours are made, a corrected li^t to date. The rumour is cruelly persistent that Miss Amy Murphy, at present with "Tho Blue Moon" Company in Dunedin. purposes retiring from tho professional I b.a,ve the best authority for stating that Dame ftrar.our in this case 's a jade. De.ar Pasquin, — Last week was a busy time for local pleasure-seekers. On Monday and Tuesday Pollard's Juvenile Opera Company occupied the Town Ball, staging "Bluebell in Fairyland" and "The Isle of Bong Bong" to big business. The a-udi-enc°s were most, enthusiastic, and the operas went well, the young performers throwing themselves into their respective parts with an abandon that A\as most refreshing. Master Bert Nicholson displayed exceptional cleverness as a. comedian, his acting and '"business" in "The Is!© of Bong Bong" being such, as would do credit to a performer of wide experience. Tho company con look forward to a hearty reception when they return to Masterton. On March 12 Wirth's Circus a-ppeared, the huge tent bein^ filled to its utmost capacity. The programme was much enjoyed, the Flying Herberts 'being the star performers in a big "ist cf attractions. The wild animal acts also proved very interest ing-. The circus was announced to appear at Carterton on March 11, but was prevented from doinir so by the howling gale which raged early in the evening doing trreat damasre to the tents. This week we have had Coop?r's Operascope with us, opening on St. Patrick's Night for a two nights' season. Business .vas fairly good. The principal attraction is a ?eries of scenes from Gilbert and Sullivan's opera "Mikado," accompanied by a number of the songs, choruses, etc., on the graphophone. The words of the ?ongs are made to coincide with the actions of the figures in the pictures, and the effect is rather novel. Miss Louie Fisher and Mi- Huorh Wilson provided a musical interlude. The interior of our Town Hall is bcinc handsomely decorated by Mr Churcnill, a gentleman who at one time. I understand, cl>'-l lightning 1 sk^i'chc« on the Fuller circuit. The work is much admired, and reflects treat credit' on the artist engaged. — Sincerely yours, Fba Diavolo. Masterton, March 19. The Ortcna brought back to Aush-aha Miss Tittell Brune. She comes back full of enthusiasm for her work, especially oas-er to start on "Peter Pan." in which she will make her first appoavar-re at the Prinre=sTheatre, Melbourne, on Easter Saturday. While away she was specially fortunate in her efforts to make herself acquainted with every detail of Mr J. M. Barrio's masterpiece. In the United States Maude Adams was, afier two years, still playing the fascinating piece to capacity business, and in London Miss Pauline Cha.«e was doing the <n,«e for the fourth year's revival At the Duke of YqrkV Thcxtro, sr> that Mi?s Bruno was exceptionally fortunate in seeing both thg English and the American exponents of the pait. Not only so, but she also had tho advantage of long and invaluable convers&tiors with Mr Barrie. The latter always stipulates that he fihall have the fina.l word 1 in the selection of the actress _to play "Peter Pan," and in accordance -with that wish Miss Brune visited him jn London as soon as she arrived there. The approval was obtained forthwith, and so great an int-->vest did 1 Mi- Barr'-e take in the Australian produerinn of the piece that he *1 «voted seve-'^al hour? to specially coaching 7\fi«j Brune in h!s ideals as to the playing of the Tjart. With all this assistance, coupled with her trreat natural talent. Miss Brune's representation of the boy who wouldn't srvow up, should be worth going a long way to see. Tlt> recent terrible fire at +n~e theatre in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, by which 167 lives wero lost, recalls several other similar disasters. These were : —Lehman Theatre. St. Petersburg. February 14, 1836, 800 livc>s lost ; Canton Theatre, China, May 15, 1845. with 1670 deaths; Royal, Quebec, J-ine 12. 1846. 200; Tientsin Theatre, June 1872. 600 : The Theatre, Sacramento. December 10, 1876, 110; Opera House, Nice, Maroh 23, 1881, 150; The Buff, Moscow, January 7, 1883, 300; Circus Ferroni, BerTifofeen, January 13. _3LBB3 t 325jl
China, February, 1£97, 230: Rinj Theatre, Vienna, December 8, 1881. 447 ; Opera Comique, P.iris, May 25, 1887, 131; Royal. Exeter, September 5. 18b7, 127; The Theatre, Oporto, March 31. 18S8. 170; Charity Bazaar Paris, May 4, 1697, 130: and Iroquois Theatre, Chicago — still fresh in mest people's memories — 587. Bailey (formerly of Cooper and Bailey — his real name was Gordon and he was a big circus man and Ba mum's partner), whose property wa^ reccni Iy reported to be valued at £1,500,000, has. it appears, actually loft something like £200,000. He bequeathed it all to his wife, gn ing a-s his reason: " She baviiij;, by her counsel and devotion, largely aided me in the acquisition of my property." The will was contested, but has been declared vtlid. Three m'sh&ps hove occurred at Launceston Academy of Music in quick sucrcssion fcavs "Jacques"'). The first was the "xplo'sion of it big limelight tank <>vi intr a performance, of " Brewster's Millions." Then, on the second night of J' Tho Squatter's Daughter," by tho Anderson Dramatic Company, a horse, upon which Miss Ada Lawi-cnce (IMrs Wilson Forbes) was mounted, got resMyp, and backed inlo the orchestra. The lcdy -was flnnpr into tho stalls, and her escape- from sudden death was little short of miraculous. As it was, she fortunately escaped with a severe bruising- and shook. Plucky efforts were made by Afr Frank "Ri^fc the stacte manager, to prevent the horse* from going into tiio orchestra, but bis efforts weve vain. Miss Lawr Q neo, after a brief wait, bravely resumed her part, meeting with a great re- I ception from the largo audience assembled io witness tho performance. Two nights subsequently, in the same play, a log by which the hero a"d heroine (Mr Walter Dal^leish and Miss Ada Lawrence) wero eros'iinj? a chasm gave way, and the perform ei\s were precipitated on to the stage. Miss Lawrence was again badly bruised, and th« shock of tl-o rr-,t accident w.is accenmatcd. Tho members of tho octnpnnv piesonied Miss Lpwrenco with a handsome clock, in recognition of the courtage she ! displayed under very irjing circumstance*. Old Melbourne playgoers who have admired Miss Jennie Leo a.-, Jo heard -with irnch regret of the death of her only dflusjhter. Mi«« Joan Burnett, who came to Melbourne quite locently under onpapement to Mr J. C. Williamson for the production of "Peter Pan." Miss Burnett caught ccld on the voyage out, and it rapidly developed into consumption, which ended fatally. In the lieydoy of her mother's career Miss Burnett will be remembeied as a dark -haired little lassie, who went to school in Melbourne while her mother and father — the latter of whom played Inspector Bucket in "Jo" — wore touring- Australia. On returning to England, Miss Burnett, while yet in her teens, took up the stage a" a profession, and was successful. One of her best parts wa.s that of Jennie Goddes in " The Wedding Guest." Tho feeling of regret for the .young lady's death tmcler such sad circumstances will be coupled with deep sympathy for her mother, who accompanied her on ths totir. The immense sums earned by Kubelik may be gauged from the f-act that he was able to pay £160,000 for the purchase of Prince Hoh°nlohe'a anciaht feudal castle at Kollin, in Silesia. A few years ago he was offered 100 guineas to play at the reception of a well-known nobleman in London, but he refused, remarking that, just twice that sum should have been given him. And vel- his father, who was of Gfipsy origin, had to toil as a market gardener, practically kilting himself with overwork, in order to provide his son with a proper musical education ! For hi« first concert Kubelik received £5, out of which he spent £4- 103 on a. wreath for his father's giave. Many of the things which find their way on to the stace are tho result of chance. When T. IX Rice, ths original Jim Crow, was acti-is; in a Western thoatre as a member of a stock company in the early part of the nineteenth century, he happened to hear a light-hearted neero singing "Jump, Jim Crow," in a dingy back otrcet, and th? quaintness of the ditty, accentuited by the intermittent flip-flap, impelled him i.o make a study of the tatterdemalion droll with a view to reproducing him on the stage. The result w?<» the whimeical character sketch which convulsed two continents. His Knglish debut took place in November, 1836, and he has the distinction of beintr the first "nigger vocalist to set foot on English soil. Mr West, of West Picture fame, interviewed by a Sydney pressman, tells an incident of his opening in Dunedin: — "About three years ago," continued Mr West, "I decided to make a colonial tour. The cinematograph seemed in a way to bo overdone in the colonies: but it bad never been shown in the advanced btyle which I claim to have introduced in my entertainment. I wa*. so to speak, feeling my wav, and T decided to begin in New Zealand, selecting Dunedin for my open-, ing." "How was my announcement received? I will tell you." And here Mr Wcet smiled aa the events of those days came rapidly into his mind. "The fact is," ho went on to say, "that before I opened everyone eeemed to throw cold water on my scheme. They wero all Job's comforters, and told! me I was sure to fail. 'I suppose you have, brought plenty of [ money with you,' raid one. 'because if you expect to make money with the cinematograph, you will find it will be a failure.' That was very consoling, was it not? But 1 T kept my heart up. I remember well the \ night before I opened at His Majesty's | Theatre, Dunedjn. I would not be disheartened, and in proof of that went into the Evening Star with a column advertisement. I had a ohat with Mr Albert Cohen — you know him, of course— and there was moro of the wet-blanket experience. At the conclusion, he complimented me on my pluck, and expressed his intention of beincf present on the opening night. I opened on a Monday night to p fuill house, and during the second picture took the opportunity of goinjz from the stage to the d'resa circle, and stood by Mr Cohen. F# put his hand on my shoulder, and said, 'West, you were right; "we were all wrong. I never thought it could have been brought to such a pitch, of perfection as you have done. It is * success.* "I was very pleased, I oan tell you," said Mr West laughingly, "that he was in the prophet business.'* "Nothing bufc stern necessity drove me to the 6tage," said Mrs Patrick Campbell, the famous actrees, according to an American journal. "I had to decide between I becoming a governees and educating the children, fit •Hkera an .gojnjg gn, thf |^g& _ i
I walked into a dramatic agent's office, handed in my name, and paid, my guinea, jusfc like any other young woman. The agent wrote my name in a little book, and just then a. man named Green — how well I remember that namo! — entered tho office. He was organising a company to tour the provinces with a play called 'Bachelors.' by Robert Buchanan. Greon wanted a leading lady cheap, and I was very cheap. I received £2 a. week. Later I appeared in pastoral plays at an increase of 10s a. My health broke down, and when I recovered I -went to the Adelphi and played in melodrama, and there Arthur Wing Pinero saw me and picked me out for the title-role in 'Tlis Second Mrs Tanqueray.' That was my chance. Within 18 months from, the time I walked into tho agent's office I was playing the 'Second Mrs Tanqueray.' " Mr Philip Ncwbury. late of this- city, who has returned to Sydney by the Asturias with his wife (Madame Emily Sr.ada), has bren absent from Austria for five years. In that period tho well-known tenor has been occupied in important musical work in England, Scotland, and Ireland — sinking at thp chief mu*'ctl fo-itiva'». anrl fulfilling other leading engagements on the concert - platform. He has diligently studied tho method of Caruso, with the result that; those who have had an opportunity of listening to his voice and style since his re! urn declare that his artistic qualities are greater than ever. The public will have the opportunity to welcome Mr Newbnry hack to Sydney when he eives the first of hie series of concerts on Saturday, April 4, at, the Town Hall. His tour will necessarily be a. rapid one, as he and his wife are to anear in Buenos Ayres in the third week in June, and are to be in Boston in September. Mr Scott, organist, of St. Peter's Church in Maida Vale, is a member of the concert rcai'ty, as solo organist. Mr Newbury and Madame Emily Spada have sunsr a sjco-cl deal under the conductorshin of Mr Joseph Bradley. the newlv-apnointed conductor of the Sydney Philharmonic Society. Onp of the tenor's pleasmt recollections is of a mrformanop of Hami'sh MacCurm's "Lay of the list Minstrel." it which Madame Spada, Mr Andrew Black. and ho were soloists, -while the conductor was Mr Bradley, whom Tip describes as a voife fine exponent of British oratorio music. x
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