Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

The Merry Widow Dinner – The Auckland Star – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner - The Auckland Star - Saturday 20th March 1909

 

The Merry Widow at Dinner

 How Miss Lily Elsie was selected.

 “The Merry Widow” was the guest of the evening on January 31 at the Hotel Cecil, London, at a dinner given in her honour by the O.P. Club. Of all the occasions on which the club, founded, by Mr. Carl Hentschell, has played the part of host to theatrical celebrities, that night’s dinner, both in numbers and interest, was the most successful. The president of the club, Mr. Max Pemberton, presided, and Mr. George Edwardes, as the foster parent of the ”Widow,” was, of course, present, and responded to the toast of this “Hit of the Century.” He confessed he was shy. On first nights, the only time when he made speeches, what he said did not matter, because some kind friends In front were cheering and other kind friends were booing, and nobody heard a word, ‘He had had many experiences of girls—the “Shop Girl,” the “Gaiety Girl,” and others—’but this was his first widow, and would probably be the last. ‘Be confessed it was not an easy task to settle on the people to play the widow or her lover. Prima donnas for light opera had never, been plentiful in England. He had to choose a lady not so much for what the public had seen of her as for what he hoped, they would see her do. The lady he need not name. The authors and composer said: “Who is this lady? We have not heard of her.” He replied: -“Come and see her.” They came, and there was no more trouble.

Mr. Max Pemberton, who in the course of his speech had described musical comedy as a “secondary school for the instruction of peers” and “the simplest expression of elemental emotion,” was followed by Mr. Mostyn Pigott, who proposed continued prosperity to “The Widow,” a toast to which both Miss Lily Elsie and Mr. Joseph Coyne, responded. As a memento of the dinner, Mr. Plgott, on behalf of the O.P. Club, presented to Miss Elsie a silver Jewel casket with tortoise-shell top, and inlaid with silver.

 

 

January 12, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow Dinner – Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner - Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Monday 28 December 1909

 

The O.P. Club has arranged a function which should prove absolutely unique, to celebrate the success of an opera which has created a world’s record. A “Merry Widow” dinner will be held on Sunday, 31st of January at the Hotel Cecil. Mr George Edwardes, Miss Lily Elsie, and Mr Joseph Coyne will be the guests of the evening, and invitations will also be extended to the members of the Daly’s Theatre Company. The President Mr. Max Pemberton, will be in the chair.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow Dinner – Derby Daily Telegraph – 1908

The Merry Widow Dinner - Derby Daily Telegraph - Monday 21 December 1908

 

Mr. Carl Hentschel announces that the O.P. Club with a view to celebrating the great success of the world famed “Merry Widow,” intend holding a “Merry Widow” dinner on Sunday, January 31, and as this dinner is bound to be very popular, arrangements have been made to hold it at the Cecil Hotel, so that the club can accommodate a very large number. Mr George Edwardes has accepted, not only on behalf of Miss Lily Elsie and Joseph Coyne, invitations to be the guests of the evening. It is also the intention of the club to invite the principle members of the company. Tickets can only be obtained by members of the O.P. Club. Quite apart from this function, the O.P. Club are holding a ladies concert next Sunday. On January 2 there will be a New Year’s dance for children, and on January 17 Mr. Rutland Barrington will address the members.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow Dinner – Stamford Mercury – 1909

The Merry Widow - Stamford Mercury - Friday 05 February 1909

 

“Merry Widow” Dinner – On Sunday night at the Hotel Cecil, the members of the “O.P.” Club celebrated the success of “The Merry Widow” musical comedy. The company numbered over five hundred. Mr Max Pemberton (president of the club) presided, and the guest of the evening was Mr. George Edwardes, a welcome being given also to the artists who have shared the honours of the record run. Mr. Max Pemberton, in proposing the toast of the evening, said Mr. George Edwardes’ splendid secret was success. Speaking of the many phases of musical comedy, he caused loud laughter by remarking that one was the establishment of a secondary school for the instruction of peers. Mr. George Edwardes responded. Mr. Mostyn Pigott proposed “The Merry Widow,” and Miss Lily Elsie replied in a modest little speech. On behalf of the “O.P.” Club, Mr Mostyn Pigott presented her with a silver jewel casket as a memento of the success of the comedy.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow Dinner – The New Zealand Herald – 1909

The Merry Widow - The New Zealand Herald - Saturday 20th March 1909

 

 George Edwardes and the Prima Donna

 Mr. George Edwardes told a good story at the “Merry Widow” dinner, illustrative of the difficulties with which managers have to contend. “I was once negotiating with a lady to go to India as prima donna, and I thought I would approach the question artfully. We were nearly agreed – the difference between us was a paltry £100 a week, I offered her £100, and she asked me for £200 a week. I began to tell of the glories of India, how the lady would win the hearts of all the Princes, of Jams, and Rams, and Dams – (laughter) and Nabobs. I said, “As is their custom, they’ll send ropes of pearls to tie up your dresses, elephants with trunks full of emeralds – (laughter) and diamonds enough for a skirt” and skirts were skirts in those days. I said, “What is a miserable hundred quid a week by the side of that?” Well I thought I had impressed the lady. She promised to think it over. She did. Next day I got a note: – “Dear Mr. Edwardes, – Give me my terms, and you keep the presents”.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow Dinner – The O.P. Club – 1909

The missing names from the top table “C” are I believe Frank Boor and Max Kalmann.

The Merry Widow – The Times – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner – Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner – The New Zealand Herald – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner – Stamford Mercury – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner – Derby Daily Telegraph – 1908

The Merry Widow Dinner – Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner – The Auckland Star – 1909

Mr Carl Hentschel – O.P. Club

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow – The Times – 1909

The Merry Widow - The Times - Monday 1st February 1909

The Merry Widow Dinner – Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – 1909

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, The Times, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Merry Widow Dinner – Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – 1909

Merry Widow Dinner - Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Monday 01 February 1909

“Merry Widow” Dinner

At the Hotel Cecil, London, last night, (31st January 1909)  the members of The O.P. Club celebrated the success of “The Merry Widow” musical comedy, the company numbering over five hundred. The guest of the evening was George Edwardes, a welcome being given also to the artists who have shared the honours of the record “run.” Mr. Max Pemberton, president of the club, proposed the toast of the evening, “The hit of the Century.”

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Merry Widow, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments