Stuart, Leslie

Popular English Edwardian musical comedy composer, best known for 1899 international hit, "Floradora"

Price: $25.00

Description:
(Thomas Augustine Barrett, 1863-1928) English composer of Edwardian musical comedy, best known for the 1899 hit show "Floradora" and many popular songs. A Manchester church organist for 14 years, he taught music while composing church music and secular songs in the late 1870s. In the 1880s, he promoted and conducted orchestral and vocal concerts as "Mr. T. A. Barrett's Concerts". They featured popular orchestral music and selections from comic operas by composers like Sullivan and Cellier, and excerpts from English grand operas by Balfe and Wallace. Singers included Zelie de Lussan and Instrumental soloists included Paderewsi and Ysaye. He began focusing his composition on music hall, including songs for blackface performers such as "Lily of Laguna" , songs for musical theatre, pantomimes and London shows touring Manchester, and ballads such as "Soldiers of the King" (now sung as "Soldiers of the Queen"). Stuart wrote some 65 songs including, in addition to those mentioned above, "The Bandolero", and "Little Dolly Daydream." Stuart later campaigned against interpolation of new songs into musical theatre scores and for better enforcement of musical copyrights. In 1895, he began writing songs for George Edwardes's London shows at the Gaiety Theatre and Daly's Theatre. His 1st full musical comedy score was "Floradora" in 1899 which became an international hit, and its song "Tell me, pretty maiden", was a vaudeville standard. Other musical comedy successes followed, including "The School Girl" (1903), "The Belle of Mayfair" (1906) and "Havana" (1908). Of his later shows, only "Peggy" made much of an impact. By 1911, gambling debts made him bankrupt and he began to drink and have marital problems. Stuart's last years were spent partly in trying to achieve production of his musical play Nina, also known as The Girl from Nyusa. Unable to adapt to changing musical tastes, he was no longer in demand as a composer, although he had some success as a piano sketch artist in variety theatre. A bronzed plaster plaque of Stuart was placed in the Manchester Central library in 1939. A 1940 biopic, You Will Remember, with Robert Morley as Stuart, features several of Stuart's songs. His songs have been used in over a dozen other films. "Florodora" became one of the first successful 20th century Broadway musicals. The original 1899 London production ran for a very successful 455 performances. The 1900 New York production was even more popular, running for 552 performances. It was then produced throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. The show was famous for its double sextet and its chorus line of "Florodora Girls". SP, 3/4-length 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 b&w standing portrait photo in suit, hands in pockets, signed by Stuart with sentiment; identified in negative. Undated but ca. 1926.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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