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The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, October 31, 1897, Image 13

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1897-10-31/ed-1/seq-13/

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Have you seen the opera? has been a
not uncommon question during the past
ten days. The form of the inquiry suffi
ciently indicates what is uppermost in
the minds of those who are not musi
cians, but who are simply music lovers
and who go to the opera as much for the
sake of what they can see as for what
they can hear.
Outside of the professional devotees
of music whose exacting standards are
varied with each individual, there is a
large class of music lovers who do not
pose as Cognoscenti, hut who like the
opera because they admire good singing
and lovely costumes and beautiful stage
Bettings, and feel entranced when the
power and the sweetness* of the chorm?
is accompanied by the wonderful har
mony of a large and well-trained or
chestra. This latter class of people is
not accustomed to analyse its sensa
tions, but It is influenced as much by
the eye as by the ear, and as It is numer
ically the stronger, its standard must be
respected. It demands that Faust
shall not only sing as the composer re
quires, but the singer must look, dress
and act so as to produce the dramatic
effect of the character. It signifies noth
ing to the average opera-goer that the
representative of Verdi's Leonora be
able to sing divinely; he will criticise
her for her adiposity, or because her
Bkirt hangs too short in front, or be
cause of some inconsistency of costume.
Such people demand too much. The
first purpose of an opera company is
complied with its members can sing
and sing adequately to the demands of
the score. That they should be assisted
by a competent orchestra goes without
But why Inject all these attempts at
histrionic art, anil clap-trap theatrical
devices that deceive nobody. Why
should the singers be compelled to ap
pear in attire that not only in many
cases reveals their physical defects, but
Is generally incorrect and often absurd.!
All that the true musician wants If!
music. He can listen to an opera will,
closed eyes and enjoy it more than wher
demands are made upon his credulits
by beinp compelled to witness the gyra
tions of a yellow legged nigger minstrel
«... r»Hipii ()t sino- he never so o«
the efforts of a heavyweight prima
donna to personate a consumptive hero
ine, even if she have the sweetest voice
under heaven.
In oratorio music, the audience is al
ways satisfied that the parts of the
earthly, and of the heavenly, personages
shall be sung by people in ordinary even
ing dress. No one wants it otherwiso.
There is then nothing incongruous to
Interfere with the elevation of the
theme, as there would be if the singers
were to assume to character the parts
by painting and lining their faces and
dressing up in fancy costumes under the
direction of a stage manager.
It may be considered a revolutionary
Idea, but this Is an age of change, and
I want to say that the existing method
of present Italian opera is all wrong
from the dramatic standpoint. With
such rare exceptions as only serve to
prove the rule, the lyric artist is never
able to personate adequately his or her
role, Judged by the dramatic standard.
If this be the case, why not adopt the
oratorio method, discarding all attempts
at personation, save such as are con
veyed in the inspired music of the com
poser himself. The tone may be fiery,
or soft, and may be interpreted accord
ing to the composer's intention, but why
spoil all by Inadequate acting and poor
and shabby stage setting? The prevail
ing practices in the representation of
Italian opera are a hollow attempt at
humbug, deceiving nobody and spoiling
the enjoyment of those who wish to have
the music undefiled.
The admirable work that Is being done
by the new stock company playing at
the Burbank is meeting with kindly en
couragement. The players are really
equal in ability to the average travel
ing company that comes here from the
east, the difference being that the trav
eling company, playing in one or two
pieces, is letter perfect and knows the
business through the drill of many re
hearsals, while the local stock company
is at a disadvantage in being obliged to
furnish a change of bill each week. In
the latter case the work is immensely
hard, as, while a piece is being played at
night, another one is being rehearsed
by day. Few people have an idea of the
hard work that has to be done by the
principals In a local organization of this
The success of the company is natur
ally attracting the attention of other
managers. I hear that Frawley is ang
ling for Blakemore, the clever comedian
of the cast, and inducements from other
sources are being held forth to Miss
Truax and Miss Henry. It is to be hoped
that the management here will contrive
to keep the company up to its present
standard of excellence.
♦ ♦ -f
I think it would be an excellent plan
for the Orpheum management to pub
lish a time table showing the hour and
! minute at which each turn begins. This
■ plan is followed elsewhere and is the
means of attracting a class of patrons
| who, having seen the whole show, do not
j want to spend another entire evening,
: but would willingly drop In again to see
a favorite dancer or singer if the visit
could be made at the precise time when
the turn comes on.
♦ ♦ -t
"Ermuni, the spectacular dancer, has
added to her other productions that of
the snow dance. The effect is produced
by lights, and while she is dancing in
mid-air the snowstorm rages." This
dance is said to be original and will, it
is threatened, be protected by law. it
may, however, have been anticipated
by Papinta who, on her late visit here,
was studying upon the details and ar
rangement of a snow dance as a contrast
to her celebrated fire dance.
♦ ♦ ♦
Here is a hint for any old theatrical
scribe who delights in hysterical slop.
A Johannesburg paper, speaking of the
performance of Madge Ellis, a variety
actress, said: "She aroused the audi
ence to an epilepsy of enthusiasm." This
way of describing an appreciative audi
ence rather lays over any similar at
tempts that have appeared in Califor
nia papers, yellow or otherwise.
Thomas W. Keene has secured a new
play, "An American Emperor," based
upon the life of Aaron Burr.
John Drew and his company will play
the second act of "Rosemary" at the
opening of the new Astoria hotel on No
vember 1.
Henry E. Dixey signed last week to
tour as a prestidigitateur, under Edward
L, Bloom's management, using the para -
phemalia of the late Frederick Bancroft.
Olga Nethersole, whose London season
will begin next month, has been request
ed to appear in "Denise" before the
Prince and Princess of Wales at Sand
George C. Boniface and Nonna Ferner
are rehearsing a new sketch by George
Moore, a promising young author of
New York city, which they expect to
produce shortly.
The Dramatic Mirror is authority far
the statement that Joaquin Miller, "the
poet of the Sierras," who has been in
Alaska as a. newspaper currfuponilml,
will make his debut as an actor In "Th >
Heart of the Klondike," at the Stnrthr
tttrr oil November 8.
Frank E. Perley states that Mme. Mod
jeska has made arrangements with n
Warsaw publisher to undertake a com
plete Polish translation of Shakespeare's
dramatic works. Her translations of
"As You Like It" and "Twelfth Night"
have already been published.
The project to dramatize Hall Caine's
latest novel, "The Christian," does not
seem to meet with much favor in Eng
land, while in this country where the
dramatisation of "The Manxman"
failed so dismally, this latest story of
his has not even scored a big success
with the reading public.
Mrs. Leslie Carter will appeal- in a
new play in New York early next sea
son. The character, which she will
originate, will be entirely different from
that of Maryland Calvert, in which she
has made such a great success. Mrs.
Carter is also studying the part of Ca-
Scene from "Under the Red Robe," at
the Los Angeles
mille, but has not decided when to ap
pear in it.
Jessie Bartlett Davis, it is said, will
star next season in an operatic version
of one of the Sardou plays, probably
"Gismonda," although the negotiations
are not yet closed. The composer has
been engaged, and the entire Fanny
Davenport outfit will probably be used.
If "Gismonda" is not selected, it may
be "Cleopatra" or "La Tosea."
Green Boom Gossip
A rumor that the Kelcey-Shannon
company was soon to close is denied by
the company's representative. •
The Chicago Green room club, of
which Mansfield is an honorary mem
ber, gave last week a banquet in honor
of his success in "The Devil's Disciple."
Alida Cortelyou, who has just closed
with the London Lyric revival of "Tho
Sign of the Cross," will not go to Austra
lia with the Wilson Barrett company,
but will open next Saturday as Lady
Sybill in "The Sorrows of Satan," for a
brief tour of England.
Here is a very Interesting item from
the program of Koster and Blal's:
"Cleo de Merode'a complexion ia of the
type known to the French 'mot.' It is
as clear as old ivory, colorless with the
pallor of perfect health and transparent
as porcelain. Best of all, it is her ver
itable own."
Two well-known Dutch comedians
stood up in a Boston variety theater re
cently and denounced a team of German
drolls on the stage, who, they claimed,
had stolen the best things in their act.
The men on the stage retaliated by ac
cusing the disturbers of having injured
another team in the same way several
years ago.
Otis Skinner played a brief engage
ment at the Davidson theater, Milwau
kee, presenting "Prince Rudolph" tj
thoroughly pleased audiences. Mr.
Skinner's work as Prince Budolph is
reported as a magnificent portrayal,
clear and true in conception and master
ful and exact in enactment. Maud Dur
bin appears to great advantage in the
role of Princess Edora, playing the part
with exceeding grace and dignity.
Stars on the operatic and dramat'c
stage sometimes complain of the bo
numbing effect upon their intellects pro
duced by the constant repetition of one
part. Joseph Jefferson must by this
time be able to play Rip in his sleep.
But the record of Charles Majilton is
the most notable, for he claims, during
Sarah Tiuax and Guy B. Post at the
his eighteen years of travel in England
to have played his part in "Round the
Clock" iiSSO times, it is quite impossible
to conceive the degree of cerebral im
becility to which suoh'damned iteration"
must have reduced a normally active
brain. —N. Y. Musical Age.
Among the Dramatists
The New York Dramatic Mirror says:
R. A. Barnet's new musical comedy,
"The Queen of the Ballet," with music
by Edward Corliss, Alfred Norman and
George Lowell Tracy, will be produced
by the Boston Cadets at the Tremont
theater on February 7.
Howard P. Taylor has just completed
a five-act melodrama, as yet unnamed,
dealing with the Klondike gold fever.
The first act shows a scene at a San
Francisco wharf upon the departure of
a steamer for the gold Holds. The sec
ond act develops the story on board I lie
steamer, and the third act shows ChM
coot pass and an avalanche. In th?
fourth act the action Is removed to Gold
Bottom,on a tributary of the Yukon. The
scene of the last act is in New York city.
He has also in contemplation a play
based upon the recent thrilling escape
of the Cuban girl, Evangelina Cisneros,
from the Spanish prison.
Mrs. Wheatcroft has arranged with
Theodore Burt Sayre to present two ro
mantic one-act plays from his pen dur
the winter. The first is called "In My
Lady's Chamber," and is a romantic epi
sode of France in the days when Henry
of Navarre made war upon Henry 111 to
enforce the payment of the dowry of his
wife, Marguerite of Valois. The other,
"At the Grenville Arms," is a love story
set in the somber frame of the common
wealth of England, dealing with the ad
ventures of a Puritan officer and his
friend, a rollicking cavalier. The same
episode forms the prologue of Mr.Sayre's
new drama written for Wilton Laoka> c,
who has purchased his recently complet
ed military play, "Charles O'Malley."
The first of this series of pocket dramas,
"The Wife of Willoughby," is in the
repertoire of Daniel Frohman's Lyceum
company, and the second, "On the
King's Highway," is being elaborated
for a prominent star.
Modjeska's Flans
Madame Helena Modjeska contem
plates returning to play again in the
land of her birth. Of this matter she
said recently to a western reporter: "I
shall never leave America unless I hold
in my hand the permission from the
Russian" government. My losses were
very heavy the last time on account of a
refusal to allow me to play in Warsaw.
Of course, I can appear in Austrian Po
land, but it would scarcely be worth
while unless I could go to the larger
cities. It is possible that the feeling cre
ated by my speech during the world's
fair has been dispelled by this time. It
was not against the emperor that I
spoke, but the officials who perpetrated
such cruelties against the men and wom
en of my country. At any rate, I mean
to apply for permission to play at War
A Dramatic Library Lost
The library of Dr. Alfred Hennequin,
president of the New England college of
languages, destroyed in the recent fire
at Detroit, was one of the finest collec
tions of dramatic literature in the coun
try. Among the works lost were the
prompt-hooks of nearly all of Plxere
court's. Scribe's, Hugo's. Dumas', Do
Vigny's, Ponsard's, Augier's, Dumas
flls', Feuillet's, Sardou's, Gondinet's,
Coppee's and other noted French dra
matists' best plays. Nearly all the plays
produced in Paris at the Theater Fran
cajs since February 25,1830, when Victor
Hugo's Hernani won the battle between
the classicists and the romanticists.
were in the rare collection of plays. Be
sides French dramatic works. Dr. Hen
nequin's library contained rare edition;;
of plays in Italian. Spanish and German;
among others annotated editions of
Calderon's "ill Magico Prodigioso," and
Goldoni's "Le Donne Curiose." the an
notations being marginal and supposed
to have been made by the authors.
Coming Attractions
vance Announcement.) It has been the
lot of few plays to score such universal
regard and recognition in New York as
"Under the Red Robe," which ran near
ly the whole of last season at the Em
pire theater and which is now on tour
for the first time. Charles Frohman
will present this beautiful romance at
the Los Angeles theater next Wednes-
day evening, November 3d, for
four nights and a Saturday mat
inee. The company interpreting the
play, which is a dramatination by Ed
ward Rose of Stanley Weyman's thril
ling novel "Under the Red Robe," is a
uniformly good one, including such well
known players as Mary Hampton. Wil
liam Morris. Giles Shine. William Par
! num and some twenty others.
■ This is one of tho most successful play:
| Mr. Frohman has ever directed, and il
i earned upwards of $Su,ooo for him ir.
New York the past season. Mr. Rosi
has succeeded in transferring the char
acters in ail their fullness of interest
i from page to the stage, anc!
! has also carried thither the charming
j atmosphere which surrounds the peo-
I pie in the book. The characters per
fectly fit the members of the company to
I whom they have been allotted and the
I result is a finished performance which
! has drawn the most liberal praise from
\ the critics wherever the play has been
i presented thus far this season. So
strong is the demand for "Under the
Red Robe" in New York that Mr. Froh
man intends to present it again there
this season for an extended run. "Un
der the Red Robe" has done fully as
I large business "on the road" as it did in
New York. The story deals with the
I time when the great Cardinal Richelieu
was in the height of his power and held
I the lives of almost all the French citi
! Zens in his grasp. The hero, Gil de
! Herault, is sent on a spying mission by
I the cardinal and ordered to bring one
of the French rebels before that worthy
a prisoner. But Gil contrives to fall in
j love with the rebel's sister and he re
turns to the cardinal and tells him he
' cannot do his bidding, albeit knowing
that his own life will be the forfeit.
Hut, Renee de Cocheforet, Gil's sweet
heart and sifter of the man he was sent
to capture, has herself paid a visit to
the great cardinal and pleaded for her
lover's liberty, which after a succession
of stirring scenes is granted and the
lovers are happily united. William
Morris, an excellent actor with an at
tractive stage presence, plays the part
of the hero, and Mary Hampton that of
the heroine. The sword duel in the
play between the hero and an adversary
is declared to be one of the best, ever
seen on a stage. Mr. Morris' superb
work in this has caused him to take rank
with the best romantic actors.
♦ ♦
Announcement.) Commencing tomor
row night another of William Gillette's
great successes will be put on at the
Burbank by the Broadway Theater
company, "All the Comforts of Hume,"
a companion piece of Gillette's famous
play, "The Private Secretary."
The chief characters are Mr. Theo
dore Bender (Harry D. Blakemore), an
elderly, henpecked husband, in whom
the fires of youth are not yet extinct,
and who considers the meeting with a
real live actress the acme of earthly
bliss; Mr. Alfred Hastings (Maurice
Drew) the scapegrace nephew who is
left in charge of hla uncle's house and
who proceeds to rent out the rooms to
all kinds and conditions of people,
thereby getting into no end of trouble,
and affording a vest amount of amuse
ment. Harry F. Adams will assume the
character of the uncle, Mr. Egbert Pet
tibone, an elderly gentleman with an ex
tremely jealous disposition and a young
and pretty wife, with whom he imagines
every man she speaks to is trying to
make love. The part of the wife, Rosa
belle Pettlbone, will be taken by Ida
Banning. Nan Mifflin comes on as
Josephine Bender, the wife of Theodore,
and the way she looks after him shows
that she is pretty well acquainted with
the weakness of her other half. Marie
Blossom for this occasion will be a
blossom of another sort; she will be just
a boy, Tom McDow, a protege of Alfred
Hastings. Helen Henry will be Evange
line Bender, the charming daughter of
the Benders, and with whom Alfred the
nephew rashly falls in love. Guy Bates
Post will be seen as Christopher Dab
ney, a broken down music teacher.
Maurice O'Connor as Judson Langhorne.
Charles P. Clary as Victor Smythe, who
Is in love with Emily Pettibone. The
part of Emily will be played by Ouida
Marion. East but not least, Sarah
Truax will assume the role of Fift Ori
tanski, an actress from the Opera Com
ique, with whom Mr. Bender becomes
much smitten.
The piece will hold the boards for the
entire week.
♦ ♦ ♦
ORPHEITM. — (Advance Announce
ment.) The Orpheum boards will be en
livened by three new features this week
which give promise of strengthening the
bill to a degree of excellence even great
er than the customary high standard of
the house. The principal attraction
will be the prince of monologue comed
ians, Press Eldridge. known in theatri
cal parlance as the ''commander in chief
of the army of fun." This in Mr. Eld
ridge's first visit to the Pacific coast,
he having played the last three weeks
in San Francisco, where he has been re
ceived with greater enthusiasm than
any other comedian appearing there.
Another novelty, though of a different
kind, will be the great musical act of
Weston and Herbert. This team is well
known to the patrons of the theater as
they have appeared here once before,
some sixteen months ago. They have,
however, made a distinct change in their
comedy and introduce some new musical
instruments in their act, so that while
their faces will be remembered, their
work will be comparatively new. The
Smith family will remain with us one
week longer, but will be augmented by
another trick rider, Mr. E. J. Baisden,
well known in Los Angeles. Mr. Bais
den is conceded to be one oX the best
trick bicycle riders in the United States
and on next Monday night when he
joins forces with the Smith family some
thing startling may be expected in the
way of bicycle riding. This week will
be Mr. Baisden's farewell to Los Ange
les, as he leaves for a tour of the United
States and Europe as a member of the
Smith family. The best of last week's
bill will be retained. Mr. A. L. Steele
I will be heard upon his two cornets, Miss
Eleanor Montana will offer new vocal
selections, Mr. J. J. Welch will be seen
in his eccentric dancing and that emi
nent comedy team, O'Brien and Havel,
in their pleasing entertainment, "The
Newsboy's Courtship."
There will be the usual Wednesday,
Saturday and Sunday matinees.
An Accident to J. M. Barrie
An accident, happily unattended by
serious consequences, occurred one
nofnlng last week to Mr. Barrie, tho
uithor. Mr. Barrie was directing the re
learsal of a play founded on his book,
The Little Minister," at the Haymark
■t theater, and was sitting on a plat
form, when the handrail round the plat
'brm against which Mr. Barrle's chair
.vas leaning gave way, and he fell back
yard into the orchestra stalls. Medical
ild was summoned Immediately, and
although Mr. Barrie was unconscious
for some time nothing more serious is
ikely to ensue than shock to the system.
-Pall Mall Gazette.
I Grey I
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i) equally good people who look younger. *
(•) He thloks they are more liable to get gj
ye sick and tired, and that they are ril>t W
t») likely to be ro active. Grey haired peb- 8
3j pie are at a discount in all occupations ®
(•) und In society as well Only tne rich ®
(•) can afford to have grey hairs. ®
£ Mrs. Nettie Harrison's *
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js| Restores the Natural Color to the hair. !«
}*: You can apply it yourself, and no one 2
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6 Who treats ladies for all blemishes or S
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(ij celebrated LOLA MONTEZ CRflJfB and <S
Si rtrs. Nettie Harrison 1
m Dermatologist '*
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Limited —
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ana Chicago
LoS Angeles, El Paso, Ft. Worth
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Mondays and Thursdays,
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From Los Angeles
Tuesdays and Fridays,
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The superb service, that for the past three
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_L California and tho great Southwest." IVW a VUpy '
? —Review of Review*. At all Newsdealer! <'
Land of Sunshine !
By Frederick Webb Hodge. ( '
By H. N. Rust. I I
Sketched by Eye Wltnuses. ( I
By Bertha 8. Wilkins. '
# By the Editor. ( I
II By Charles Frederick Holder. . )
] I By T. S. Van Dyke. ( . '
S Is the flpcond of the serleß of which CLIMATE, in the October number, was tho i\
first. Those who have read the latter and enjoyed its rare illustrations and keen .
I [ logic will be prepared for the treat in store in the November number and subse- i'
m quent editions. Everyone should possess themselves of the entire series beginning t \
with the October, »i) 7. edition, but to Insure this you should subscribe now before k
W October and November numbers are out ot reach. $1 a year, profusely illustrated, ( '
0 Address F.A.PATiEH, Business Manager Land of Sunshine Publishing Co., ( I
A 501-3 Atimson Building. Los Angeles. A

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