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Print Collection

  • Object:

    Silk playbill

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    8th July 1891 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company
    London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company
    London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company
    Victoria (Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India) (designers)
    Wilhelm II (German Emperor and King of Prussia) (printers (people))
    Augusta Viktoria (printers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed ink on satin weave

  • Museum number:

    S.201-1981

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This silk programme was produced for the state visit of Their Imperial Majesties the German Emperor and Empress to the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, 8th July 1891 where they saw an evening of acts from four different operas, Wagner's Lohengrin, Gounoud's Romeo and Juliet, Gluck's Orfeo,and Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots. The playbill is lavishly illustrated with images including those of the Emperor and Empress; Queen Victoria; the Prince of Wales and his wife Alexandra; an image of a scene from Lohengrin on stage, and images of the Royal Italian Opera House, Covent Garden, where the event took place, and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, both of the theatres of which Augustus Harris was the lessee at this date.

Wilhelm II (1859-1941) seen at the top of this programme with his wife Princess Augusta Viktoria whom he had married in 1881, was one of Queen Victoria's grandsons and the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 1888 until 1918.

The programme is printed with all the names of the performers who appeared, including the Australian soprano Dame Nelllie Melba (1861-1931), the leading lyric soprano at the Opera House from 1888, and the Canadian soprano Emma Albani (1847-1930) who had been awarded the title of Hofkammersängerin in 1882 by Kaiser Wilhelm l when she had performed the role of Elsa in Lohengrin in German before him at the Berlin Royal Opera in 1881.

This programme must have been printed at the last minute, since according to a review in The Musical Times, 1 August 1891: 'A curious historical interest was lent to the occasion however by the withdrawal from the performance of the French artists and the consequent remodelling of the programme.'

Physical description

Silk playbill for the state visit of Their Imperial Majesties the German Emperor and Empress to the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden. The playbill is printed in black printing ink and illustrated with with images including the Emperor and Empress of Germany Wilhelm 11 and Princess Viktoria in joined ovals surmounted by cherubs holding a crown (top centre), Queen Victoria in an oval surnmounted by a crown (left), the Prince of Wales Albert Edward and Princess Alexandra in an oval surmounted by Prince of Wales' feathers (right), an image of the production of Lohengrin on stage, and images of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Royal Italian Opera. Fringed on the right and left sides. Backed on canvas-covered card.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

8th July 1891 (published)

Artist/maker

London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company
London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company
London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company
Victoria (Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India) (designers)
Wilhelm II (German Emperor and King of Prussia) (printers (people))
Augusta Viktoria (printers)

Materials and Techniques

Printed ink on satin weave

Dimensions

Height: 57.7 cm, Width: 46.6 cm

Object history note

The cast lists are printed in blue lettering. For Act 1of Lohengrin, conducted by Signor Mancinelli, Elsa di Brabante was played by Mlle. Eames, Ortruda by Mlle. Giulia Ravogli, Federico di Telramondo by M. Tschernoff, Enrico l'Uccellatore by M. Edouard de Reszke, L'Araldo del Re by Signor Abramoff, and Lohengrin by M. Jean de Reszke. For Act 1V of Gounod's Romeo and Juliet, conducted by Signor Mancinelli, Juliette was played by Mlle. Melba, Gertrude by Mlle. Bauermeister, Frere Laurent by M. Edouard de Reszke, Capulet by Signor Franchescetti (sic) and Romeo by M. Jean de Reszke. For Act lll of Gluck's Orfeo conducted by Signor Bevignani, Orfeo was played by Mlle.Giulia Ravogli, L'Amore be Mlle. Bauermeister, and Euridice by Mlle. Sofia Ravogli, and for Act lV of Meyerbeer's Les Hugenots conducted by Signor Bevignani, Valentina was played by Madame Albani, Conti di San Bris by M. Edouard de Reszke, Conte di Nevers by M. Franceschetti, and Raoul di Nangis by M. Jean de Reszke.

Descriptive line

Silk playbill for the state visit of Their Imperial Majesties the German Emperor and Empress to the Royal Italian Opera, Covent Garden, 8th July 1891, playbill is illustrated with images including Queen Victoria, Wilhelm II and Augusta Viktoria, and images of the theatre.

Materials

Silk (textile); Printing ink; Card; Canvas; Satin

Techniques

Printing

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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