The Sir Thomas Beecham Opera Company - Page 3

Historic Opera
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Baritone Robert Parker appeared in the world premiere of The Perfect Fool (1923) as the Wizard. [Bombings of World War I] "The first raid on London's theatre district occurred on an October night in 1915. In Faust at the Shaftesbury, Robert Radford was singing Mephistopheles not in red, according to English tradition, but, after Maurel's fashion, in black. During the first act Zeppelin L. 15 hung over the roof of the Waldorf Hotel, coned in searchlights, a pretty spectacle against the stars. She dropped nineteen bombs .... The Shaftesbury went unscathed." (Source: Reid, Charles. 1962. Thomas Beecham. An Independent Biography. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.) [During World War I]  "Mobile anti-aircraft guns parked near the theatre during a Pagliacci. Their fire made counter rhythms to the bass drum beats which herald the strolling players' entry. Shrapnel rattled on the stage roof. [Donald] Baylis urged the singers to carry on." (Source: Reid, Charles. 1962. Thomas Beecham. An Independent Biography. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.) Robert Radford: English bass (Nottingham, England: 13 May 1874 - London, England: 3 Mar 1933). He made his operatic debut at Covent Garden (1904) as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni. He sang in the first English Ring Cycle in London. He created Abbott Tunstall in Angelus (Naylor). In 1921 he became a founder, along with Thomas Beecham, of the British National Opera Company. Later he became its director. Doris [Gwendoline Annie] Lemon (1891-?) sang with the Beecham Opera Company and the British National Opera Company in the 1920s, mostly in small roles, with the exception of an occasional Musetta and Gretel. She was married to William Michael, who also sang with both companies. Frederick Ranalow (Dublin: 7 Nov 1873 – London, 8 Dec 1953) was educated at the Royal Academy of Music. He took many parts in the Beecham Opera Company, but his claim to fame is that he played the role of Macheath (the Beggar's Opera), captain of the gang of robbers over 1400 times. He also appeared in several films.
Mullins Townend  Parker Buckmann
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