Opera Scotland

Geisha 1896George Edwardes' Company

Read more about the opera Geisha

This touring company of one of the most successful musical comedies contained some starry names. The American Geraldine Ulmar had crossed the Atlantic bringing with her an established reputation in Gilbert and Sullivan, and then spent some time in the top team at the Savoy. Rutland Barrington had been one of the resident principals there for many years, and rarely worked outside London (and in this case missed at least the opening night in Dundee because of an unexpected recall to the Metropolis). Marie Studholme had established herself as a leading performer in musical comedy, by playing the lead in this team's first great success, A Gaiety Girl.

Perhaps our main reason for including this tour in the website is the presence in the cast of a young baritone, John Coates. Here he plays the romantic lead, Reginald Fairfax. Within a few months he began to retrain as a tenor, quickly gaining a prominent place in the British operatic world, especially for his Wagner, which he also sang in Germany.

The week before the company's arrival in Aberdeen, the city suffered the loss of its variety theatre, the People's Palace, in a catastrophic fire on 30 September, as a result of which seven people died and many were seriously injured. The entire proceeds of the matinee of The Geisha on Saturday 10 October (a sum of £56.30) were donated to the fund in aid of victims, along with the artistes' fees, which George Edwardes paid to them in the usual way. Livermore Brothers, proprietors of the Palace, themselves donated £50, and Aberdeen F C, admittedly a small enterprise in those days, £3 3s.

This cast is from the programme in the Dundee Central Library (Lamb Collection 252-16).

Performance Cast

O Mimosa San Chief Geisha

Geraldine Ulmar

Juliette Diamant a French Interpreter, attached to the Tea House

Andrée Corday

Nami (Wave of the Sea) an attendant

Ada Hollingsworth

O Kiku San (Chrysanthemum) a Geisha

Toby Claude

O Hana San (Blossom) a Geisha

Gertrude Carlow

O Kinkoto San (Golden Harp) a Geisha

Blanche Carlow

Komurasaki San (Little Violet) a Geisha

Maggie May

Lady Constance Wynne an English Visitor

Miss L Greenwood

Marie Worthington an English Guest

Lucy Golding

Ethel Hurst an English Guest

Bertha Staunton

Mabel Grant an English Guest

Madge Greet

Molly Seamore an English Guest

Marie Studholme

Reginald Fairfax an Officer of HMS Turtle

John Coates

Dick Cunningham an Officer of HMS Turtle

Ernest Snow

Arthur Cuddy an Officer of HMS Turtle

Henry Graus

George Grimston an Officer of HMS Turtle

Roland Cunningham

Tommy Stanley Midshipman from HMS Turtle

Fanny Dango

Katana Captain of the Governor's Guard

Herbert Fairleigh

Takamini the Governor's Agent

George Jamieson

Wun-Hi a Chinaman and Tea House Proprietor

Fred Wright jun

Marquis Imari Chief of Police and Provincial Governor

Rutland Barrington

Leedham Bantock (Dun)

Performance DatesGeisha 1896

Map List

Royalty, Glasgow | Glasgow

21 Sep, 19.30 22 Sep, 19.30 23 Sep, 19.30 24 Sep, 19.30 25 Sep, 19.30 26 Sep, 14.00 26 Sep, 19.30

Royal Lyceum Theatre | Edinburgh

28 Sep, 19.30 29 Sep, 19.30 30 Sep, 19.30 1 Oct, 19.30 2 Oct, 19.30 3 Oct, 14.00 3 Oct, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

5 Oct, 19.30 6 Oct, 19.30 7 Oct, 19.30 8 Oct, 19.30 9 Oct, 19.30 10 Oct, 14.00 10 Oct, 19.30

Her Majesty's Theatre, Dundee | Dundee

12 Oct, 19.30 13 Oct, 19.30 14 Oct, 19.30 15 Oct, 19.30 16 Oct, 19.30 17 Oct, 14.00 17 Oct, 19.00

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