Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 15 March 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Thérèsa retires, 1893

Mlle. Theresa

Mlle. Thérèsa (Emma Valadon, 1837-1913),
the popular French café-concert singer
(photo: Gaston & Mathieu, Paris, circa 1867)

'Thérèsa, the concert hall singer of paris, literary relative of Villon's Margot and Chaucer's Alisoun [Wife of Bath], retires from the stage after thirty years of fame. She is fifty+six and wealthy, and she is to resume, in a country town where she will be a rentière and good to the poor, her real name of Emma Valadon.
'Louis Veuillot, the terrible Catholic writer, devoted a chapter to her personality and to her talents in his most celebrated book, Les Odeurs de Paris [The Smells of Paris], in [1867]; Faure said that she was a great singer, ''in the first rank of artists of this epoch''; Séverine, that she reflected the popular mind of France; Armand Silvestre, that she was ''Le Chanson Vivante.''
'She is not - she never was - unprepossessing, for her eyes were intelligent, her smile was affable, and she realized that her virtuosity represented, at 5 per cent. interest, a capital of 3,000,000f. or 4,000,000f., but she could not pose for a figure of Psyche or of Salmaois. Her first songs were sentimental ballads, and she failed in them; her second songs were parodies, naïvely ironical, and they attracted the fashionable world of Paris, and she sang them at the Court of the Tuileries; her last songs were often tragic.
'She composed words and music of her most popular humorous songs, "Le Sapeur," "La Femme à Barbe," "C'est dans le Nez que çà me Chatouille," and "La Gardeuse d'Ours," about which the courtiers of the Second Empire were enthusiastic because they were gay, and which the enemies of the Government applauded because they were revolutionary. Thérèsa appears, in the notes of historians who explain great effects by little causes, as one of the little causes of the empire's downfall.
'After the war with Prussia, in the course of which she nursed the wounded on the battlefields and sang the "Marseillaise," she made Paul Déroulède's name popular by singing his military poem, "Le Bon Gîte," and gave a new life to an ancient legend of France, in which a very young recruit goes to the war "for love of a blonde," and expiates with his life the crime of killing the Captain, whom she prefers. In this and Jules Jouy's "La Terre," which recalls the best works of Paul Dupont, Thérèsa won her latest triumphs. All the popular actors of Paris, from Mounet-Sully to Milly-Meyer, played at her last performance at the Théâtre de la Gaieté.'
(The New York Times, New York, Sunday, 12 March 1893, p.13d)

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Nellie McCoy at
Keith & Proctor's 23rd St Theatre,
New York City, week beginning
Monday, 3 September 1906

Nellie McCoy

Nellie McCoy (fl. early 20th Century),
American dancer and musical comedy actress

(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1905)

'Nellie McCoy made her reappearance in vaudeville in a new act, in which she is assisted by four ''Gibson girls.'' While the girls did not by any means justify their billing, they made a satisfactory background for the sprightly Miss McCoy, who is a gingery little person and a hard worker. There is no dialogue in the act, the performance consisting of three songs with changes of costume and scenery. The opener is ''Where Broadway Meets Fifth Avenue,'' and was not much to speak of, musically or lyrically. The star looked very fetching in a black jet dress with pink chiffon underskirts and slippers of the '61[i.e. 1861] period. A Dutch ditty called ''Little Steinie'' followed, the girls wearing Hollandish make+ups, with Miss McCoy as a boy. The wooden shoes made a good big noise when the dancing happened and helped to bring the little troupe back for their final offering, which was called ''Togo Sam.'' It is a tuneful little Japanese song and gave Miss McCoy a chance to disguise herself as a Japanese lantern. The act is neatly presented and will please the average audience.'
(The New York Dramatic Mirror, New York, Saturday, 8 September 1906, p.14a)

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Rosario Guerrero at the Orpheum,
Oakland, California, October 1909

Rosario Guerrero Rosario Guerrero

Rosario Guerrero (fl.1895+1912), Spanish dancer

(caricature, left: S.H. Sime;
photo, right: W. & D. Downey, London, circa 1900)

'Rosario Guerrero, the Spanish Pantomime Dancer, the Oakland Orpheum. 'The sensation that was promised to come with the performance of Rosario Guerrero materialized at the Oakland Orpheum yesterday. Guerrero is a Spanish woman. They call her the greatest pantomime artist in the world. She is more than that. She is a dancer of extraordinary skill and possessed of a temperament that would maker her, one might fancy, and ideal Carmen.
'When the curtain went up on the scene which showed a wood cutter's hut where the dancer was supposed to have taken refuge from a storm outside the crowd held its breath, expecting something strenuous. The anticipation was realized.
'When Guerrero burst into the room, a dazzling vision of sensuous loveliness, there were involuntary exclamations and when the dancer, in pantomime, went through her performance with the brigand in whose hut she had sought shelter, the crowd simply held its breath.
'An intensely thrilling story is contained in the play of ''The Rose and the Dagger,'' which Guerrero tells although er in pantomime. The finish of her performance, where she lures the murderous brigand into giving her his dagger for her rose, so that she is mistress of the situation, came as a splendid climax to the highly diverting drama. Others have attempted to imitate this bit of pantomime but the imitations were feeble distortions of the splendid original.'
(Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, Monday, 4 October 1909, p.16c/d)

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