First Line of Chorus:
- Lutz, W. Meyer
- Concanen, Alfred
Alfred Concanen Collection
AlCon SL 00-045
Hopwood & Crew
Historical NotesNellie Farren (1848-1904) was an English actress and singer best known for her roles as the "principal boy" in musical burlesques at the Gaiety Theatre.
Born into a theatrical family, Farren began acting as a child. She made her professional adult debut in 1864 and joined the company at London's Olympic Theatre, performing in Shakespeare, contemporary comedies, dramas and musical burlesques. From 1868 to 1892, she performed at the Gaiety Theatre, which specialised in musical burlesque, becoming famous in the male and principal boy roles, which permitted an actress in the Victorian era theatre to show her legs in tights. Farren gained a large following among the theatre's mostly male audience.
In the 1880s, she created roles in the series of famous Gaiety burlesques with musical scores by Meyer Lutz, often written by Fred Leslie. Some of her most famous of these later roles were the title characters in Little Jack Sheppard and Ruy Blas and the Blasé Roué. She also became a co-producer of the Gaiety Theatre.
Wilhelm Meyer Lutz (1829-1903) was a German-born English composer and conductor who is best known for light music, musical theatre and burlesques of well-known works.
Emigrating to England at the age of 19, Lutz started as an organist and soon became a theatrical conductor. After serving from 1850 to 1855 as music director of the Surrey Theatre, Lutz conducted touring opera companies and composed some serious music and music for the Christy Minstrels. In 1869, he was engaged as the music director of the Gaiety Theatre, London, arranging and later composing a series of popular burlesques over the next 25 years. Lutz continued to compose songs into the 20th century.