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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 504

updated
Saturday, 12 May 2007

song sheet cover for L. Wolfe Gilbert and Richard Fall's song
'O Katharina!'
from the 1925 edition of Nikita Balieff's entertainment,
Chauve-Souris,
as produced at the 49th Street Theatre, New York, on 14 January 1925

'O Katharina' from <I>Chauve-Souris</I>, New York, 1925

song sheet cover for the song, 'O Katharina!'
from the 1925 edition of Nikita Balieff's entertainment,
Chauve-Souris, 49th Street Theatre, New York, 14 January 1925

(published by Leo Feist Inc, New York, 1924;
artwork by Andrei Hudiakoff)

The central caricature in the design of this song sheet is a portrait of the Armenian vaudevillian Nikita Balieff (1877? -1936) whose bat-shaped eyebrows are a reference to the title of his successful series of entertainments known as Chauve-Souris. For further information, see Wikipedia.

'O, Katharina!' written by L. Wolfe Gilbert, with music by Richard Fall, was introduced to American audiences in Chauve-Souris by Darian Birse, 'a Russian grand opera singer,' in Russian peasant costume. The song was something of a hit that year and was recorded for the Victor label (19628-A, mx 32227-3, 3.2mb) by Billy Murray on 19 March 1925.

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