Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 8 March 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Frank Patterson's
International Opera Company
on tour in the United States, 1884,
in Johann Strauss's
The Queen's Lace Handkerchief,
with Fanny Wentworth, Marie Hunter, et al

Fanny Wentworth

Fanny Wentworth (1860-1934)
English actress and entertainer

(photo: unknown, probably London, circa 1897)

The Academy, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wednesday, 20 February 1884.
'The Queen's Lace Handkerchief [Das Spitzentuch der Königin, first produced at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, 1 October 1880] will be seen here to-morrow night. The opera is one of Strauss' best in the comic line, and gets a fine interpretation from Frank Patterson's company. The cast is as follows: The King, Fanny Wentworth; the Queen, Marie Hunter; Donna Irene (The Queen's Confidante), Madeline Lucette; Marquise de Villareal, May Campbell; Don Cervantes, Paul Arthur; Count Villaobusy Rodrique (Minister, Head of Regency) Willhelm Frank; Don Sancho de Avelianeda Villapinguednes (Tutor to the King) George Gaston; Don Quixote, Alexander Gray; Marquis de la Mancha Villareal (Minister of War) Thomas Martin.'
(The Daily Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tuesday, 19 February 1884, p.3c)

'The Queen's Lace Handkerchief.
'A very large, fashionable and critical audience witnessed the first presentation of Johann Strauss' comic opera of the above title, last evening, at the Academy. We may preface our notice of the entrainment that every time an operatic or dramatic composition scores a hit in New York, a gang of barn-stormers are sent out styled with a pretentious advance flourish of trumpets, the ''only authorized and original company,'' ''under the personal direction,'' etc. Mr. Townsend Percy, who adapted the libretto of the opera and has a proprietary right in its production in America, is not with the company, though so advertised on the house-bills. But this is the smallest bone we have to pick, and we mentioned it merely as an example of the untruthfulness to put it mildly of the ''snap'' managers. In the category of ''country snaps'' may be placed Patterson's party, who did the Queen's Lace Handkerchief last night. The opera is a beautiful composition, though by no means equal to the Merry War. The great Vienna composer's work was so badly treated last night that we wish to hear it again by a first-class party. There were but two encores, and those to the doctors' chorus in act II, and to an interpolation, ''Some Day,'' sang by Miss Wentworth in the last act. The principals of the company are weak. Miss Fanny Wentworth, know hitherto as an English burlesque actress and one of Mike Leavitt's importations, has the best voice of any in the company, and this used not be taken for extravagant praise. Miss Marie Hunter, heard here in Lecocq's Heart and Hand, did not appear to advance, and sang out of tune and time. The same may be said of Miss Lucette, who essayed Donna Irene, though she is am ambitious young woman and worked hard to please. A party names Arthur made a terrible fizzle of Cervantes. He will do for a chorus singer. Geo. Gaston, as the King's tutor, and T. Martin, as the minister of police, were comical, and relieved the monotony. A person named Frank was offensive and boisterous as the prime minister. The chorus was the best feature of the entire presentation. The orchestra was very queer, consisting of three pieces, and of course the beauties of the instrumental score were not developed. Altogether, we may pronounce the company decidedly inferior to any that has been here this season.'
(Fort Wayne Daily Gazette, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Thursday, 21 February 1884, p.7a)

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Prof. Herrmann's
Transatlantic Vaudeville Company
at Decatur, Illinois, during a tour
of the United States, 1890,
with Katie Seymour, Trewey & Williams,
Le Petit Freddy, Eunice Vance,
the Pinauds, et al

Katie Seymour

Katie Seymour (1870-1903)
English actress, dancer and singer

(photo: Walery, London, circa 1890)

'A Great Hall Show.
'The management of the Opera House take pleasure in announcing the appearance of Prof. Herrmann's Transatlantic Vaudeville company, which will begin a short engagement in this city to-night. This organization since its opening in New York city in August has achieved a success that has proved almost fabulous, and a single instance may be quoted in their two weeks' business in Chicago, where the receipts reached nearly $22,000. Trewey, the absolute master from whom every artist for a decade past has more or less copied, and Gus Williams, subduedly, but effectively humorous, led their associates in a performance that is highly entertaining. The new audacious Pas de Quatre as illustrated by four beautiful gaiety dancers eccentriques, the Misses Rose Reed, Katie Athol [née Catherine Phoebe Mary Athol, i.e. Katie Seymour], Annie Allen and Louise Thompson win the hearts of all lovers of fancy skit dancers. The Athos, in their ingenious spider-web act, entitled ''The Spider and Fly,'' in which one appears as the spider in a very ingeniously constructed web of rope, while their performance concludes with a wonderful exhibiton of contortions. Le Petit Freddy, the wonderful infant phenomenon, who will not be seven years old until next December, and who speaks English, German, Franch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and in fact almost every language that is spoken in the world, and sings in 11, can tell the cube root of 11, imitates Bobby Newcomb, and the leader of an Italian orchestra. Miss Eunice Vance, the little London girl who sings ''Little Tottie Coughdrop.'' For this song Miss Vance is fetchingly attired in a costume of modest black, which she exchanges for a pretty Quakeress dress, in which she does a characteristic quarter girl of the demure, ''Plumes and Prisms.'' Next comes Herr Tholen, from the Paris Hippodrome, who is charged with electricity and reads by the radiance of his phosphorescent head. This artist is accompanied by a singing dog, Boulanger; Dainty Katie Seymour dances like a fairy or butterfly; Ross and Fenton, the clever character sketch artists; last but not least, come the marvellous Pinauds. they make music out of everything, from a train of cars to a German pipe and change their costumes at least eight times during the short duration of their acts. Taking it all in all, Herrmann's Grand European Vaudeville Company ought to be a ''feast for the eye and ear.'' The entertainment is said to be clean and wholesome throughout.'
(Decatur Daily Republican, Decatur, Illinois, Friday, 28 March 1890, p.1c)

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© John Culme, 2008