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I MUSIC AND DRAMA.
Arthur Shirley, a young Australian ac-. tor, who was born in Hobart, is organis- ing a company! of leading Sydney ama-
teurs to support him in a new Australian | drama written for him hy a Sydney , authoress. The play will be produced at an early date.
Music-lovers will be pleased to learn that Messrs. J. and N. Tait oro including Tasmania in the Australian tour of Amy Castles and her company. Tho "Austra- lian Jenny Lind" has been delighting Melbourne audiences, the critics classing
her voice as superlatively 'brilliant, aug- mented by strength and pliancy. Mr. Peter Dawson, a newcomer to tho Anti- podes, is the possessor of a fine ba*s voice, and Mr. A. Nicol is a tenor pleasingly reminiscent of New'burv at his best. Other valuable aids to Miss Castles' musioal organisation aro Victor Busst, the dasn ing' pinnist, and Master A. Amadio, a young flautist with excellent credentials. Mr. A- Batiste is managing the Austral- asian tour of the popular vocalist, who is expected in this State towards the end
of the year.
Tho many friends and admirers of Mrs.
Perov Marchant, the wife of Hobart's, vocal specialist, will be pleased to ¡hear that she is steadily studying in Mel- bourne as a private nupil of Madame Elise Wiedermann, who reports most enthusiastically aB to the vocal endow- ment and promise of this plucky young songstress. She has also been Judged oy spveral old and experienced critics, who nil /agree that prolonged application only is necessary to attain such qualifications ns will add one moro to Australia's bril- liant roll of successful singers. Asked a« to the desirability of a lady being trained as a lady, and men by men, Mr. Marchant replies with a certain amount of fairness and enndouj-. Ho states frankly that ho believes a man should ha\s a malo teacher, but if theTo were moro Marcháis he would certainly give place aux dames 'to such as Indies' in- structors, after which he shakes Ms head ominously. . He, however, considers
Madame Wicdormann to bo one of the
few whoso work proves her eminence, nnd his action in placing his wife with her proves his' homage.
That charming romantic comic opera, "Ma Mio Rosette," will soon be put on at tho Thoatro Royal. It is one of tho few modern musical effusions which boasts of a capable and entrancing plot. From a point of stage craft it is some- what ambitions, hut tho management is composed of conscientious members, who are determined to place excollenoe of pro- duction boforo other considérations. Mr. Percy Marchant, who has lind consider- able experience as musical 'adviser to many important London companies, has been engaged to superintend the produc-
Tho revival for a fortnight of "Tho Face at tbo Window," while preparations were being made for the production of Jo. Smith's drama, "The Bushwoman," met with considerable success, and was very profitable to the management of the King s Theatre, Melbourne. Miss Maudie Cosham, ballot mistress at the King's, *s hard at work teaching various ballots for the forthcoming Christmas pantomime. In answer to an advertisement for chil-
dren, over two thousand applicants ar- rived at the stage door.
Rege Robins, artist at the King's The- atre, Melbourne, put some fine work into his scenic studies of various parts of the Commonwealth for the production of "The B-ushwoman," which was staged at the King's on Saturday lost. Tho picco deals with domestic life on the sheep runs of
Miss Olivo Wilton and Miss Daisy Scudauioro, the two English artistes re- cently imported by Mr. William Ander- son, mado their first appearance in "The
Mr. and Mrs. William Anderson, who have just concluded a tour of Groat Britain, will depart for Australia about the middle of September.
The Royal Comio Opera Company in auguroted its return season at Her Ma-
jesty's Theatre, Melbourne, on Saturday
last, when "The Duchess of Danitzie" was produced for the first time in that city. Tho romantic opera, founded on Sardon's well-known drama-"Madame Sans Gone'' -is well calculated to show tho various members of the popular organisation _at thoir very best. The story, which is in
teresting and well snstained throughout, concerns the ups and downs of Catherino Upsoher, the humble but kindly-hearted washerwoman who rises to bo the Duchess of Dantzic, and nn habitue of the Court of the Emperor Napoleon. In the name part, Mise Florence Young has already given unmistakable proof of her excep- tional histrionic power, and the character of the Duchess-otherwise . known as Madame Sans Gene-is one in which she has scored a veritable triumph. Mr. Wvbort Stamford, as Napoleon, is physi. cally exactly suited to the part of the Man of Destiny, and the other well known members of the organisation, in- cluding Messrs. Reg. Roberts, Gouriet, and O Connor, and Misses Fanny Dango, Nellie Wilson, and Connie Milne, are well fitted for the part« they aro called upon to sustain. The whole -production, which boasts some really fine musical numbers, is under tho supervision of Mr. Siam
In the transfer of "Tho Flag Lieuten- ant" to the Princess Theatre, where it enters upon a new lease of life, historv has once moro repeated itself. It will bo remembered that when "Brewstor's Millions" were first played in Melbourne it was quartered at the Princess Theatre, and thereafter was removed to Her Ma. jctv's. At that time, it was the steam yacht Flitter that was conveyed through the Melbourne streets, and on this occa- sion it is a British Man-o'-war (the Royal Edward) that has liad to bo trans- ferred from the one theatre to the other.
The new J. C. Williamson Opera Com nany have re-opened at Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney, with "The King of Ca- donia." A parked and enthusiastic audi- ence assembled to give the warmest of welcomes to the company, several mem- bers of which on that occasion mado their first bow to a Sydney audience, and it was not long before the newcomers wore as- sured of their acceptance in the estima- tion of playgoers in the Harbour City, where musical attractions always receive such warm support. The dainty music, the gorgeous costuming, the brilliant stage setting, and (ho many features which go to make the success of this opera-not forgetting the laughter which is evoked by tho comedians-all met with the most genuine apnroval which was, after all, not more than tho production
The Julius Knight season in Brisbane has terminated, after a most successful run of four weeks. Thev aro duo to open in Auckland on September 6.
On Saturday evening. Miss Nellie Stew- art brought her Wellington season to n close. So.far, her New Zealand vlsr*. has proved a most gratifying success, and playgoers" in the Dominion have most emphatically welcomed the popular Aus- tralian actress, and shown their pleasnre at having her onco more in their midst. The next objective of tho company will be Christchurch, where they are due to open to-night (Tuesday).
Mr. G. S. Tithcradgo has invested in a house situated on Rose Bay, Sydney. It commands a most beautiful and exten- sivo view, and its height above sea level if a certain guarantee of its being ideally situated from a healthful point of view, but it has one drawback which Mr. Tlth eradgo's friends are not slow to point out to him-it' is exposed to all the winds that blow, and doubt exists in the mindB of the popular actor's well-wishers as to his being able to indulge in "his favourite hobby of flower cultivation under such adverse circumstances. But, nothing daunted, Mr. Tithcradge smiles his slow, conciliating smile, and quietly remarks, "I'll show thom." .
An announcement which should lie ot
interest to Melbourne playgoers is that a revival of "The Village Priest" is m con temptation bj the J C Williamson man- agement ero the present dramatic season comes to a conclusion As everyone knows, the part of tho Abbe Dubois in this most popular of dramas is one which shows Mr G S Titheradge at his very best, indeed, it is one -Hinch seems m complete harmony with his own kindly personalitv, and is only equalled by his vv ell-remembered and striking impersona- tion of Wilfred Denver ni "The Silver King" With the company as it is now constituted, the shength and adoquacj of the cast should bo assured, and the ie vival of (the old timo honoured play would meet with general approval from the plaj going public
The two newcomers in "The Flag Lieu- tenant" Company (Miss Ethol Warwick and Mrcs Dorothy Grimston) havo «topped right into popular favour, and their re- spectivo poi trayais of the Lady Hermion« Wvnne and Mis Cameron (a young and rich widow) havo îeceivcd the meed ot appreciation so deservedly earned Mis« Warwick has had a versable stage career in England, and has appeared in numer
ous dramatic attractions, her first appear- ance on the professional stage being as tho'heroino in "The Corsicnn Brothers" with Henry Neville's School of Dramatic Art at Fulham. Since then she has play- ed many parts, amongst them several of Shakospeare's heroines, and altogether has put up a record for very fino work since she first took to tho boards. It is interesting to note in regard to these two leading Indies that while 'Miss Warwick's people were in no way connected with the stage, Miss Grimston was practically bora and brought up in a theatrical environ- ment, her relatives on all sides . being directly interested in the histrionic art. The youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kendal, the niece of the famous drama- tist (T. AV. Robertson), and the near rela- tive of many other noted artists, it is not to lie wondered at that Miss Grimston loves her profession, and is earning for herself such a fino reputation.
A cable recently received from London conveyed the news that J. C. Williamson has re-engaged Mr. Andrew MacCunn, who put in such fine work as conductor of the Royal Comic Opera prior to his departure for England some -two years ago. Mr. MncCunn's last oppoaronce in Melbourne was with "The Dairymaids"
production in 1007. '
A recent arrival from England is Miss Gertrude Boswell, who was included in the Wilson Barrett season of 1901, and appeared ns Stophanus in "Tho Sign of the Cross" and other parts. Since her lnst nppearance in Australia Miss Bos- well hns done good work in England, in- cluding a very excellent impersonation of Sunday in the piece of that name.
The .T. C. Williamson Pantomime Com- pany, having completed a successful sea- son in Auckland, are now visiting tho intermediate towns en route to Welling- ton, where they are due to open on Wed- nesday.
The Bosses o' the Barn Band will com- mence their return tour of Australasia under the Taits' management next Feb luary or March.
Mr. Charles^Waldron, the hero of "The Squaw Man" in Australasia, is to play tho leading role in "The Whirlpool" in
A strong vaudeville companj* has left Molbourno for a tour of the East, includ- ing Zeno the juggler, Mdlle. Sarron, the Ibsen family, of musicians. Williams and Bonnctta, Rosebud Sisters, Linden and Berridgo. etc.
Miss Geraldine Farrar, tho American rwimn donna, of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, and Signov 'Antonio Sootti. the Italian baritone, of the same company, are to be married in Paris in September.
American theatrical managers now take the child actors in their companies Into partnership, and thus evado tho re- strictions of tho child labour law.
The London Hippodrome has boen con- verted into a gorgeous theatre. It was to have been re-opened this month with irr. Charles Hawtrey in a high-class
One of the principal autumn attrac- tions in New York will be "The Fires of Fate," by Sir Arthur Connn Doyle, Mr. Froh man having secured the American rights of it.
One of tho most delightful novelties seen in London lately has been tho City of Rome Children's Opera Company. Their repertoire of oporas i% both "Ancient and Modern." For the first week "Lucia di Lammermoor" held the boards, and then the ever - popular "Geisha" performed in Italian. As a company, tboy are wonderfully clever, considering the chorus nnd principals are only boys and girls, many of them tiny youngsters. All take their work most seriously, while tho soloists have already acquired the usual eccentricities associat- ed witfh grand opera stars.
A good story is told of Mr. Hugh 3. Ward, tho clever young actor-manager. While exploring the ruins of a temple in ancient Shanghai, ho remarked to- a mem- ber of his party that ho would like to know what a certain inscription meant. "If you will allow the privilege I will enlighten you," «aid a voice from tho throng which had gathered round the tourists. . The speaker, a Chinese gentle | man, not only gave an eloquent and in-
teresting discourse upon the history of the temple, hut also escorted the party abound the ancient city. Upon making Ins adieux, Mr. Ward asked for the Chinese gentleman's card, and, to show his appreciation of the services ho had rendered, subsequently addressed to him an invitation to the theatre. The reply was.addressed to Mr. "Hugo Joke Ward," in splendid humour, and gave many curi- ous reasoDB why the Chinese preferred lo go to the theatre and pay. Mr, Ward WTote, "Your name shall go down to history ns the first man who ever refused a pass to tho theatre. I havo played all over America, England, and engage- ments in Paris. Australia, New Zealand, India, and the Far East, but I have come to China to experience this uniquo sen- sation. -I can now understand how the Chinese were civilised centuries before the Christian era."
In her young days no momber of her family over suspected Clara Butt of pos- sessing unusual talent. One day, when a girl of fourtoon (relates a writer in "Woman at Home"), she was singing her lustiest in a little back roora, whilst a neighbour was drinking tea rfith ner mother in the drawing-i-com. "Wlint a magnificent voice your son has, Mrs. Butt!" remarked tho neighbour. "My daughter, you mean," wns her inothor's reply, and somehow it entered her head for the fiTKt time that the child's voico was magnificent;,- Soon Clara was sent to study at the Royal Collego of Musio, and she sang In 1802 as "Orfeo" before the King, then Prince of Wales, and mado hor name at a stroke. ;
An audionco of 16,000 persons recently witnessed nt Boston the costliest theatri- cal performance over given in the United States. A combination of Mr. Charles Frohman's "forces" in London and New York presented an English version of Schulet's "Maid of Orleans" in the Sta- dium at Harvard University. Tho per- formance, arranged by the University for the benefit of its German museum, was tho crowning feature of Graduation Week. Months of preparation and an immense outlay had been lavished 'on
Ibis single representation. Thirteon hun. dred persons took part. During tho inter- vals between the minor scenes a concealed orohestra of a hundred musicians played Beethoven's "Eroica Symphony." Tho hugo Stadium, a reproduction of the Coliseum, was divided in halves by a curtain, one-half being the stage and the other the auditorium. The result was a great area, in which, in the battle scene, horfcman charged and troops manoeuvred in as near nn imitation of real war as possible. It was an open secret that tho supernumeraries of the play were largely recruited from the Harvard undergradu- ates. They entered into the spirit of the contending forces so thoroughly that it Sfecmed possible at times that tho wrong army might win. Tho immensity of the stage somewhat strained the voices of the actors, though these improvod as the per- formance progressed. But the play re- solved itself chiefly into a serieB of beau- tiful pictures, beginning with the little lonoly figure of the Maid coming over the hill of Domremy to listen to the mystic voices of the twilight, and ending with tho historically inaccurate spoctaclo of tho armour-clad Joan of Arc dying beside a spring on the battlefield upon the shield of hor captain.