Sensational, brilliant, disastrous. Solicitor turned impresario Benjamin Lumley counted Napoleon, Count d'Orsay, Verdi, mendelssohn, and 'Swedish Nightingale' soprano Jenny Lind amongst his friends. Once dubbed 'the mysterious man', and a reluctant successor to actor-manager Laporte, he survived two turbulent mid-19th century decades of directing the Italian opera and ballet at London's Her Majesty's Theatre.Lumley's "Reminiscences of the Opera" (1864) give a rare insight, as well as providing interest for students of law, management, opera and theatre. Yet these are only part of his remarkable story.This is a new view of the 'Reminiscences', with lots of added detail about Lumley's life and death, his dedication to Mrs Grote, his fascination with light and colour, his vision of another world and his creative writing under a pseudonym.Susie Timms completes her eagerly awaited first trilogy on doyens of Victorian opera, which also comprises the first biography of her distant cousin the great soprano Titiens (Therese Tietjens), and the career of wheeler-dealer impresario Colonel James Henry Mapleson.This title is fully indexed. It features contemporary illustrations.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations; Dedication; Preface; 1 Reminiscences or revelations?; 2 Dedication to a lady; 3 Benjamin Lumley's London; 4 On the case; 5 Revolutionary kingdom; 6 The mysterious man; 7 Quicksands of enterprise; 8 Fables and firmaments; 9 Dancing with the fairies; 10 Compellors of storms and a legal miasma; 11 The turning point; 12 Treacherous deeds; 13 Will she turn up?; 14 The pendulum of fame; 15 An inundation of the unexpected; 16 Congress of all nations; 17 Gone away, like sylphs; 18 Board games; 19 The resuscitation season; 20 Managing the ladies; 21 Calling time; 22 Achievements; Index; About the author; Other titles by this author.
SUSIE TIMMS is a distant cousin of the great nineteenth century soprano Therese Tietjens (known as Titiens) and cousin to the twentieth century educational musician Freda Dinn (author of the Observer's Book of Music and more). Susie is also great-great-granddaughter of a London flute maker who was a contemporary of Benjamin Lumley. She is granddaughter of a banjo-mandolinist and daughter of a church organist. So it is hardly surprising that at a young age she became an accomplished guitarist, singer, composer and pianist, as well as a master class student of ballet. She has recorded for the BBC and appeared in many stage events including Victorian music hall. She has been an academic librarian, archivist, administrator, researcher, local historian, freelance cartoonist and business columnist and has been publishing variously for over thirty years.