The Sir Thomas Beecham Opera Company - Page 4

Historic Opera
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Figaro was the company's biggest success of the war years. Conducted by Beecham, it was set, not in Spain, but in the France of Louis XVI, with elaborate costumes to match. Spoken dialogue, some of it from Beaumarchais's original play, replaced the secco recitative. No fewer than six stage-rehearsals in costume were held to enable the women in the cast to grow accustomed to their towering wigs and hugely wide farthingale skirts. Source:  Thomas Beecham: An Obsession With Music, by John Lucas. Page 141. Clytie May Hine (1887-1983) was an Australian soprano. She trained at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide. At the Royal College of Music in London she furthered her vocal studies. She made her debut (1911) at Covent Garden as Freia in Das Rheingold. She sang with the Beecham Company during the war years. She appeared as Nedda, Santuzza, Musetta, Elsa, Desdemona, and the countess. In 1920 she and her husband (the cellist John Mundy) left Britain for the U.S. and settled in New York. She retired from singing in the late 1920s and became a singing coach. Among her pupils were Alfred Drake, Nanette Fabray, Celeste Holm and Kathleen Ferrier. Miriam Licette: An excellent chronology of Miriam Licette’s career was compiled by Charles A. Hooey. It can be found at the following webpage: Sir Thomas Beecham, English musical conductor and opera impresario, sprang a sensation here today by announcing that he intended to shake the dust of England from his shoes forever and go to live in the United States. Sir Thomas, who lost a fortune trying to make grand opera pay in his native land, made bitter comments on England and the English people when he disclosed his intention of making the New World his home. "England is finished, not only musically but every other way," he told newspaper representatives. "The only thing for everybody to do is to give up and go to America. I am off very soon. I am going as a guest and will conduct the Philadelphia orchestra.... He fired this parting shot at England: "There is no hope for this country in any way. We are an imperial race like the Romans and work is distasteful to us. I suggest that we put our entire industrial population on doles, import Chinese and Japanese workmen and pay them the difference between the dole and what we would pay ourselves if we chose to work, and then the country would be run without our having to soil our imperial hands." NY Times: 5 Nov 1926.
Envelope Sample
Mr. Frederick Ranalow, as Figaro, was alert and fluent, and besides singing admirably, displayed conspicuous ease in acting. He is one of the most valuable assets of the Beecham Company....Miss Tyas (Cherubino) has a pretty voice of not much power. She sang the celebrated 'Voi che sapete' in Italian with much grace. The Muscial Times - 1 Aug 1917, p. 371
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