Hebden Bridge Light Opera Society

The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd

Tag: 1920s (page 1 of 2)


Photo of Katinka sheet music

Rounding off the 1920s, was the Society’s production of the operetta Katinka. Drawing once more on the early 20th century English fascination with the orient – Russia, this time – this tale concerns a boorish Russian Ambassador to Austria. He marries Katinka, despite her reluctance. He is also already married, so the search is on for his first wife, Olga, so that his bigamous marriage to Katinka may be annulled. In a sub-plot, the wife of the man helping Katinka to escape is mistakenly smuggled into a harem for safekeeping, then ends up working at a café in Vienna where the dénouement occurs.

Composer: Rudolf Friml
Libretto: Otto Harbach
Year composed: 1915

The Quaker Girl

Photo of Quaker Girl sheet music

Another James Tanner musical comedy was 1928’s production. Prudence, the The Quaker Girl of the title, is cast out after drinking a glass of prohibited champagne. Later on, in Paris, her plain grey clothing becomes the height of fashion. This three-act show enjoyed a successful West End run and countless revivals by amateur operatic groups up to the 1990s.

The Hebden Bridge Light Opera Society put on a further production of The Quaker Girl in 1949.

Composer: Lionel Monckton
Libretto: Adrian Ross, Percy Greenbank
Book: James Tanner
Year: 1910

The Earl And The Girl

For the 1927 production, the Society chose two act musical comedy The Earl And The Girl, by Seymour Hicks. This was another successful West End show, with a Broadway run featuring additional songs by Jerome Kern, amongst others. The plot concerns the confusion over the heir to Hole Hall, with the usual mix-ups over identity and even some circus performers! As usual, in Act Two, everything is satisfactorily resolved.

Composer: Ivan Caryll
Libretto: Percy Greenbank
Year: 1903

The Mousmé

1925’s production, The Mousmé, was part of the turn of the century fashion for the oriental, although it didn’t quite achieve the popularity of other operettas of that genre. Despite an initial lavish staging – including an earthquake – it only gained modest success.

Composer: Lionel Monckton
Libretto: Howard Talbot
Year: 1911

Our Miss Gibbs

Photo of Our Miss Gibbs sheet music

In 1925, the Society revived another James Tanner compiled musical play, Our Miss Gibbs. Like the preceding year’s A Country Girl, this had been a major West End success. Although it only had a short Broadway run, it was revived in the UK in 2006 and was a favourite of amateur operatic societies until the 1950s.

Hebden Bridge Light Opera Society gave this show another outing in 1947.

The titular heroine, a Yorkshire lass, works selling sweets at “Garrods”, a London department store. Despite the attentions of every flash young beau in town, Miss Gibbs has eyes only for a bank clerk. Discovering he’s an earl in disguise, she spurns him as out of her social league. Meanwhile, her cousin, Timothy is in London playing euphonium in a competition at Crystal Palace. He manages to get accidentally mixed up in the theft of the Ascot Gold Cup. Eventually, the shenanigans are resolved and the earl’s father, who is the owner of the cup, is so pleased that he is happy for his son to marry Miss Gibbs.

Composer: Lionel Monckton, Ivan Caryll
Libretto: Adrian Ross, Percy Greenbank
Book: James Tanner
Year: 1909

A Country Girl

photo of a country girl sheet musicA Country Girl was 1924’s Society production.

James Tanner wrote the original A Country Girl, or Town And Country, as a musical play in two acts. It had a very long initial run in the West End, followed by success on Broadway and many revivals. It was a popular show with amateur operatic societies up until around 1960.

The story’s a complex tangle of concealed identities, a missing Rajah and the usual misunderstandings and “amusing complications ensue”.

Composer: Lionel Monckton, additional songs Paul Rubens
Libretto: Adrian Ross, Percy Greenbank
Book: James Tanner
Year: 1902

The Lady Slavery

The 1923 production was The Lady Slavery, an operetta farce.

Composer: Gustave Kerker
Libretto: George Dance
Year: 1896


In 1922, the Society put on a production of Phillida, or Love On The Prairie, a two act comic operetta featuring cowboys!

Composer: Chastey Hector
Libretto: Stanley C West
Year: 1920

The Drum Major

In 1921, the Society put on a production of The Drum Major, an operetta in two acts.

Composer: Edward F Johnston
Libretto: Maude Elizabeth Inch
Year: 1912


In 1920, the Society produced Pocahontas, a comic operetta in two acts.

Composer: Edward F Johnston
Libretto: Fred Edmonds
Year: 1916

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