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William M. Hutchinson was active in late Victorian times and for long afterwards in several forms of light music songs (He is Coming, Distant Lands, Dream Fancies) and piano solos while his operetta Glamour was toured in 1886. He also used the names Julian Mount and William Marshall.

Having begun in the late Victorian period, we will continue with another group of stage composers from that period. Most of them were again, "singletons": Tito Mattei, English, despite his Italian sounding name and his being referred to as "Signor", who had his La Prima Donna, said to be a model for G & Ss The Grand Duke (the two works were in fact based on an earlier original, The Duke's Dilemma, a short story by Tom Taylor which appeared in Blackwood's Magazine in 1853), put on at the Avenue Theatre in 1889 Mattei was a pianist and also composed more serious music; A H Behrend, a grandson of Michael Balfe (composer of The Bohemian Girl and many other mid-Victorian operas), theatre manager and the composer of Iduna, toured in 1889 (he also contributed to the 1896 musical, Shipped By the Light of the Moon); Wellesley Barton (The Burglar and the Bishop, (1893); Frank Congden (The Little Duchess, toured in 1897), and to show women sometimes composed operettas at that time, Jennie Franklin, whose Cissie was toured in 1890.

Michael Dwyer was quite a notable singer in operetta for years before his own show The Dukes Diversion appeared on the touring circuit in 1892; much later in 1908, he contributed songs to The Belle of the Ball.

We end with Alfred Lee, composer of many popular Victorian music hall songs. Most popular of them were Champagne Charlie, The Three Sailors of Bristol Citee and The Man on the Flying Trapeze. The New Electric Light and The Telegraph Girl, by their very titles, reveal their dates of publication. And When You Wash a Nigger White would not have been deemed "politically correct" a century after it was written!

Philip L Scowcroft

June 2001

with corrections courtesy Robin Gordon-Powell

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at

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