Original New Zealand Cast
Thursday, Sept 15th, 1892.

The Duke of Plaza-Toro

Mr. George Lauri

Luiz

Mr. William Rosevear

Don Alhambra

Mr. Howard Vernon

Marco Palmieri

Mr. Henry Bracy

Giuseppe Palmieri

Mr. Sydney Deane

The Duchess of Plaza-Toro

Miss Elsie Cameron

Casilda

Miss Florence Young

Gianetta

Miss Flora Graupner

Tessa

Miss Violet Varley

REVIEW OF THE NZ PREMIERE OF 'THE GONDOLIERS'

The large and excellent Comic Opera Company which J.C. Williamson has sent over to amuse and delight the inhabitants of this colony, made their bow to an Auckland audience, and opened their New Zealand tour in the Opera House last night receiving a welcome as enthusiastically hearty as it was thoroughly well deserved.

It is true that, of late, the people of this city have had an almost an operabundance of amusements submitted to them, the demands upon their patronage having been consequently numerous, but if this had been so in far greater degree there could still be little doubt with regard to the prospects of our present entertainment. With a company so strong numerically and so talented individually triumphant success must always be assured, and no matter how near to satiety the theatre-going public may have approached, their power and brilliancy is certain to prove irresistibly attractive.

It is not too much to say that almost every member of the vast combination, and unquestionably, each of the principals, is an artiste in his or her own particular line, and that in every respect - musically, dramatically, and otherwise - the company is one of the best that has yet visited the colony. The tour they have just begun will include the principal towns of New Zealand, and it may safely be assumed that, at its conclusion, the feeling throughout the length and breath of the land will be one of sincere gratitude to Mr. Williamson, and to the ladies and gentlemen whose acquaintance we owe to his enterprise. If their opening performance is a fair sample of their capabilities, Auckland and the places to be afterwards visited have, indeed, a treat in store.

But their genuine merit is not the only claim, great as it is, which this company have upon the public. To their credit must also be added, the fact that they in their repertoire several famous operas never previously produced in New Zealand. In this category is the opera in which they appeared to a crowed house last night, and with which they won the unqualified admiration of their very large audience.

"The Gondoliers" is the latest production of Gilbert and Sullivan, and although it is decidedly one of their best, and has attained a celebrity equal to any of its elder brothers, last night saw its first presentation on a New Zealand stage. It is almost a pity that the pleasure of hearing it has been denied us so long, but now that we have the opportunity it is our duty to ourselves to make the most of it.

(There follows a lengthy description of the musical numbers and a brief outline of the plot)

The interpretation of the opera by the company deserves nothing but commendation. Mr. Howard Vernon, who was accorded a most cordial reception, is in his element as the Grand Inquisitor, and acquits himself accordingly. He sings with all his customary power, and his acting is vivacious and amusingly effective.

Miss Graupner and Miss Varley, both of whom are new to the colony, are really excellent as Gianetta and Tessa. These ladies sing sweetly and dance with nimble grace, and would be a valuable acquisition to any comic opera company.

Miss Elsie Cameron and Miss Florence Young, also strangers to New Zealand, appear as the Duchess and her daughter respectively, and make the most of their music and parts.

The Gondoliers are represented by Messrs. Henry Bracy and Sydney Deane, and both gentlemen have, by their first appearance here last night, already won their way to public favour by the merits of their performances.

Mr. George Lauri is admirably suited as the Duke, and besides singing well, dances most gracefully. The part of Luiz, the rightful Monarch of Barataria, is judiciously entrusted to Mr. William Rosevear, and other characters have suitable representatives.

The chorus is powerful and excellently trained, and a most efficient orchestra is under the able directorship of Mr. Leon Caron, and with all the attractions already named, there are also those of charming dresses, appropriate scenery, and appointments that are perfectly complete.


In short the opera is one of the best emanations from the Gilbert-Sullivan authorship, and is treated by the Williamson company according to its deserts.

New Zealand Herald. Friday Sept 16th, 1892.

NEWSFLASH: DR. BAKEWELL ON CHOLERA

A lecture was delivered in the hall of St. Patrick's Literary Institution by Dr. Bakewell last night on "Cholera! Its history, Symptoms, and Mode of Transmission".
About fifty ladies and gentlemen were present, and the lecture was listened to throughout with marked attention.

New Zealand Herald. Thursday September 15th 1892.

MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC

The Italian Concert Company's season closed on Wednesday. Yesterday the company left for Gisborne.
The Royal Comic Opera Company opened at the Opera House on Thursday evening.
The Grattan Riggs dramatic season at the Opera House closed on Monday evening.
McLean's Young Australian Company has concluded a very successful fortnight's season at the Wellington Opera House, and are coming North overland.
Will's Surprise Party, which is said to be a very clever and compact little company, have closed a successful season at Christchurch.
Davy's Bright Lights have been doing a splendid business in Wellington, The company have reached its seventeeth week, and stillplays to good houses.
The Foli season concluded at Dunedin on the 3rd inst., and the company have appeared at Oamaru. They are now at Christchurch. They were accorded a most enthusiastic reception during the Dunedin season.
The Montague-Turner Opera Company is touring New South Wales.
The Alabama Minstrels, with Billy Emersion, the Prince of Minstrels, are appearing at the Garrick Theatre, Sydney, and are described as "a very clever company."
The Ovide-Musin Concert Company opened at Adelaide on August 23.
The Bland Holt Company are now playing "The Trumpet Call" in Adelaide. Miss Harrie Ireland has replaced Miss Kate Bishop, the latter lady returning to Sydney. They have had overflowing houses in the popular parts of the house, and partly good attendances in the dress circle.
Charles Friohman has engaged Lottie Collins, of "Tr-ra-ra-Boom-de-ay" fame, to appear in America from September 1st to the middle of December at a salary, it is said, of £250 a week.
The new building of the Royal College of Music will not be opened till next year, when it is hoped, the ceremony will be undertaken by the Queen.
An extraordinary concert-room phenomenon has appeared in San Francisco, in the person of a man named Kellogg, who warbles with his voice, which is of great power and richness, like a bird. It is stated that he has a peculiar throat formation, and that he has possessed the gift of bird-like song from childhood.

New Zealand Herald. Saturday September 17th 1892.

Back to the main review listings Return to 'Down under in the 19th Century'