Original New Zealand Cast
Friday, March 21st, 1890.

Sir Richard Cholmondeley

Mr. Tom Grundy

Colonel Fairfax

Mr. C. M. Leumane

Sergeant Meryll

Mr. H. M. Imano

Leonard Meryll

Mr. W. Johnson

Jack Point

Mr. William Elton

Wilfred Shadbolt

Mr. Howard Vernon

Elsie Maynard

Miss Clara Merivale

Phoebe Meryll

Miss Fannie Liddiard

Dame Carruthers

Miss Mabel Mackay


Miss May Pollard


Of the large number of operas collaborated by Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan 'The Yeomen of the Guard', which was last night performed at the Princess Theatre, for the first time in the colony, by Messrs Williamson, Garner, and Musgrove's opera company, is the only one that has been produced in New Zealand with in anything like reasonable time from its first night in London. Our experience has hitherto been that of being introduced to the operas years after the date they were first played - after, perchance, the incidents in which their origin was found had ceased to interest or amuse the public mind. In the present case, however, Messers Williamson, Garner and Musgrove have laid the people of New Zealand under an obligation by presenting to them within 18 months from the occasion of its first production at the Savoy Theatre, this, the most recent but two of Gilbert and Sullivan's operas.

In more than one respect 'The Yeomen of the Guard' differs materially from any of the previous productions of the authors. So far as Mr. Gilbert's share is concerned, there is the noteworthy departure that the opera has more than the semblance of a plot. It is not, like most of its predecessors, a baseless fabric, but it is based on quite a possible story.

(There follows a lengthy description of the opera.)

The dialogue is clever and amusing, but the music is very fine. It is distinctly of a higher class than Sir Arthur Sullivan has put into any opera of his composition that we have previously seen, and there are some gems in it which are entitled to rank with some of the work of our classical composers. It is never heavy and always enjoyable to the listener, although it taxes the skill of the orchestra, and will, we believe, be better liked the more one hears it. The way in which the opera is mounted is most admirable, nothing being left undone to give the best effect to the production. The dresses are appropriate and archaeologically correct, and the scenery, painted by Mr. Brunton, is capital.

When we say that the principal performers were in full sympathy with the audience from the start - the number of encores was large for a first night, when the music is unusually unfamiliar to the bulk of those present - it may be gathered that the performance was a success, and so it was - a great success.

Mr. Elton bore off the chief honours of the evening. He enacted the part of the jester - quite a Shakespearian jester - with wonderful fidelity, and proved that, whether as a jester 'merry, wise, quaint, grim, and sardonic, one by one, or all at once', or as ' the merryman, moping mum, whose soul was sad and whose glance was glum', he is an actor of great ability. The duet with Elsie, 'The Merryman and his maid' was one of the best numbers of the evening, and a couple of verses of it had to be repeated. Mr. Elton has also two richly comic duets with Mr. Vernon, which will be among the favourites of the opera. Mr. Leumane, as Colonel Fairfax, was in excellent voice and pleased his audience throughout. His principal solo, 'Is life a boon', is set to lovely music and Mr. Leumane, who sang it with feeling and taste, might have had an encore had he felt so inclined. Mr. Imano had not, in the character of Sergeant Meryll, anything like the scope that was offered in preceding pieces for the display of his vocal powers, but what he had to do was well done. His memory, however, played him false in the course of the dialogue in the first act.

Mr. Vernon's disguise as Wilfred, the head jailor and 'assistant tormentor', was so complete that he was absolutely unrecognised on his first entering the stage. The character is a very different one from most of those in which Mr. Vernon has before played here, but he has a knack of suiting himself to any costume. He shared with Mr. Elton the honours of the two duets already mentioned while his comicality during Phoebe's ballad, "Were I thy love," was in part responsible for the recall, though Miss Liddiard, it is true, sang it in capital style. Miss Merivale appeared to good advantage as Elsie as she has done during the season, and, while acting in an unconstrained way, sang very effectively. The recitative and ballard "Tis done-I am a bride" deserves to be specially mentioned, and in the trio "A man who would who a fair maid" and quartette "When a wooer" lent able assistance. Miss Liddiard's Phoebe was a consistently good performance, regarded from every point of view. Her acting is always most credible, and her singing of the ballad, "When maiden loves," with which the opera opens, of "Were I thy bride" (encored), and of her share of the concerted music, was much appreciated.

The audience was a large one, the downstairs part of the house being crammed full, and the opera went without a hitch from first to last.

'The Yeomen of the Guard' will be repeated tonight, and until further notice.

Otago Daily Times. Saturday March 22th, 1890.

The attendance at the Exhibition yesterday fell short of making the grand total of half a million, since the opening, by 629. The cash admissions were 1526, season tickets 1256, and passes 199 making a total of 2581.
There was a novel attraction at the exhibition last evening, in the shape of a spelling bee in the concert hall, which however did not attract a very large audience.

News of a sad boating fatality by which three lives were lost came to hand from Onehunga today, although the accident happened at 4 o'clock on Thursday. Miss Lyell, a girl of 14 years, Miss Cooper, and two lads named Lyell and Dempsey embarked on a fishing excursion with Captain Daniels, leaving Onehunga wharf at 8 o'clock. At that time there was a strong breeze from the N.E. and the boat was soon off Onehunga, near Manuaku Heads, where Captain Daniels resolved to cast anchor and fish. After a time the wind increased, and as the boat dragged her anchor the sail was again set and they went to Kakamatua Bay. After a luncheon anchor was again weighed, and the party started for Onehunga between 3 and 4 o'clock, on the way the wind came treacherously from the high land, but there appeared to be no danger until a sudden squall sent the boat on her beam end, the mainsail being fast, and though she again righted she sank in a few moments. Miss Cooper went down with the boat, and was not seen again. The two boys seized the oars, and tried to assist Miss Lyell, but she became exhausted, and, letting go the oar, was also drowned. Captain Daniel was some distance off, clinging to an oar, apparently in a strong current, and in a few moments threw up his hands and sank. The two boys swam ashore, a distance of 300 yards, very much exhausted. They walked along the beach for two miles and were taken in by a settler, and next day they rode into Onehunga and related the occurrence.

Timaru, March 21.:
A firm of ironmongers was summoned today for a breach of the Poisons Act in selling without the label "poison" parcels of a patent scrub exterminator which contains arsenic. The prosecution arose out of the recent death of an infant, which got at and ate some. The information was dismissed on the grounds that the preparation was not mentioned in the act or came under the general form of a preparation of arsenic. The person who took charge of the parcels for the firm was not told by the sellers that the stuff was poisonous.
Otago Daily Times. Saturday March 22nd, 1890.

Wellington December 16th, 1890
The San Francisco mail service will be quickened by two days both ways next month, and subsequently making the time 33 days each way from London to Auckland, and 35 days from London to Dunedin. No extra charge will be made for the acceleration which is made by shortening the journey accross the Atlantic one day, and the overland journey by another day. The contractors offer that, if a six or 10 years contract is guaranteed they will accelerate the service further by two days without additional charge making the time one calendar month (31 days) each way between Auckland and London.



The next attraction which Mr. R.S. Smythe will introduce to the New Zealand public will be the Rev. Charles Clark, the celebrated lecturer. Many years ago this gentleman made a tour of New Zealand under Mr. Smyth's pilotage, and was an immense success, his lectures being attended by crowed audiences in all the cities of the colony. Mr. Smythe left for Melbourne on Thursday last, and will just reach there in time to meet the Rev. Charles Clark on his arrival in the Victorian capital from Europe. After going the rounds of the chief cities in Australia, the rev. gentleman will come on to New Zealand.
Miss Amy Sherwin, who, with Miss Minna Fischer and Mr. F. Clutsam, proceeded to Europe on the disbandment of her concert company, is reported (says the Angus) to have made successful appearances in "Les Hugenots" and "Faust" at the Berlin Opera House. Miss Fischer is taking lessons in vocalisation on the Continent, with a view of settling in Melbourne as a teacher, and Mr. Clutsam, who is an excellent pianist from New Zealand, has taken up his residence in London. He has produced a gavitte which has been favourably noticed.
"Malvolio", in the Tasmanian Colonist, states that the fare for the Royal Comic Opera Company, now performing in Dunedin, from Launceston to Maoriland was no less than £1343. Big business is wanted to cover such heavy expenses.
Mrs Langtry has been suffering from a severe cold, which has caused her a great deal of inconvenience. It is also to be regretted that the nasal affliction, which has been so stringly denied, is a very real one, and though it has not as yet affected her appearance, it causes her serious trouble and annoyance. She intends to open the St. James' Theatre in a very magnificent and expensive manner, and no effort will be spared to attract the aesthetic approval of the audience. Whether she will succeed in winning the ear of the public is another question, but it would certainly have been more conducive to her success if she had elected to appear with a tried and popular actor instead of a raw amateur whose name is barely known outside a few dramatic clubs. Mrs Langtry will therfore have to depens on herself alone. On the other hand, however, she will reap all the honours if she scores a success
The much discussed production of "Die Meistersinger" at La Scala, Milan, has taken place with somewhat equivocal results. Indeed, it is difficult to comprehend the notices which have come to hand, for we are told that the overture was applauded, and the finale of the second act encored. The Athenæum says that to those familiar with the work these statements are astounding, as there is no legimate opportunity for applause after the overture, and a repetition of the street disturbance in the second act would surely be deemed an absurdity even by a Milanese audience.
Mr W.S. Gilbert recently addressed the following characteristic letter to a London journal: - "I am much indebted to your dramatic critic for his very flattering remark upon the literary qualities of 'The Gondoliers'; at the same time, I think I may be allowed to defend my word 'coyfully'. Your critic takes exception to it because one cannot be full of 'coy'. That is quite true; but is it a conclusive argument against the use of the word? We use the term 'Manfully', though one cannot be full of 'man'. We use the word 'bashfully', though one cannot - at least I don't think one can be full of 'bash'. If your critic really wants to catch me tripping let hime turn to the duet of the Duke and Duchess in Act II, where we will find 'musn't' made to do duty as a rhyme to 'doesn't'. This is simply atrocious; it exceeds the bounds even of doggrelic license. But it shall not occur again.

Otago Witness. Thursay March 27th 1890.

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