alt="Front page Sydney Morning Herald 1928" />
When renovating my doctor's office I came upon some old Sydney newspapers.
Imagine my surprise in finding a series of opera reviews from 1928! This was a visit from an Italian company in collaboration with the Melba - JC Williamson Company. Some were printed the day after the performance, something which rarely happens these days. Also, reviews were anonymous then, yet these are opinionated, reflecting some interesting mores of the day. This was not a travelling company of 'unknowns'!
I am grateful for some details kindly provided by Bob Rideout of the USA:
Dates of Melba-Williamson season:
- Fille was the second night of season (Mon 9th July) and review appeared in next day's paper.
- next night was Thais.
- Saturday 21st July night was Butterfly and review Mon 23 SMH.
- Wednesday matinee? Trovatore Sat Aug 25th, review on 27th SMH.
- Mon 27th was Hoffmann.
- Tues 28th was Turandot.
- Wed 29th August matinee Hoffmann; night: Manon Lescaut;
- Thursday 30th 1928 Il Trovatore;
- Friday 31st Rigoletto;
- Sat 1 September matinee: Hoffmann; evening: L'Amore Dei Tre Re.
Monday 27th August
The cast of to-night's performance of "Tales of Hoffmann" at Her Majesty's Theatre includes Toti Dal Monte, Enzo de Muro Lomanto, Apollo Granforte, Aurora Rettore, Giuseppi Satariarno, and Luisa Banetti.
To-morrow night: "Turandot" will be presented. The management announced this as the last evening performance of the opera. On Wednesday afternoon, the opera is "Tales of Hoffmann;" on Wednesday night, "Manon. Lescaut;" on Thursday night, "Il Trovatore;" on Friday, "Rigoletto:" and on Saturday afternoon, "Tales of Hoffmann." Next Saturday night, Montemezzi's romantic opera, "L'Amore Dei Tre Re" will be presented for the first time in Sydney.
"THE ROBBERS" The enterprise of Mr. Alfred Gordon Kalmikoff in producing for the first time in Sydney Schiller's great drama "The Robbers" at the Majestic Theatre, Newtown, was rewarded on Saturday by large audiences at both the matinee and evening performances. 'The Robbers' is a play so full of conflicting emotions that if cannot fail to have a strong appeal.
The plot, which centres around the family of the aged Count Maimilian, portrays the most different in character between the count's two sons, Charles and Francis. The latter wishing to get his elder brother disinherited, intercepts a letter which Charles has written to his father pleading for forgiveness, and reads a forged letter to the Count, making it appear that it was sent by an old friend giving instances of Charles' misdeeds. The count, broken-hearted, asks Francis to send a firm letter to Charles, but not to drive him to despair. Francis, on the contrary, writes that his father had cursed him, and does not want to see him any more: Charles, broken hearted, becomes the chief of a band of robbers.
The part of Francis was taken by Mr Kalmikoff, who in that difficult role found plenty of scope to show his versatility. His interpretation was perfect, and be invested the character with an impressive realism that *pleased* the audience. He achieved a <snip>