Vagabond King, The 1959

NAPIER OPERATIC SOCIETY

PRESENT

The Vagabond King

NAPIER MUNICIPAL THEATRE
8th to 15th AUGUST

HASTINGS MUNICIPAL THEATRE
17th to 19th, 21st and 22nd AUGUST

Scene from Act 1 – The Fir Cone Tavern

Lady Mary (Pat Chapman), Olivier le Dain (Rob Robertson) watched by Pages, Court Ladies and Courtiers

NAPIER OPERATIC SOCIETY (Inc.)

1959 OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY.

PATRON:   J. HARRIS, Esq.

PRESIDENT:   E.A.G. COLLIER, Esq.
VICE-PRESIDENT:   P. COX, Esq.
HON. LIFE MEMBER:   C.W. WHITE, Esq.
HON. SECRETARY AND TREASURER:   R.H. WIMSETT, Esq.
HON. AUDITORS:   OLDERSHAW & SUTHERLAND.
HON. SOLICITOR:   W. WILLIS, Esq.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:   MESSRS C.D. COX, R. HULL, A. JOHNSON, L. SALVIGNY, H. MARSH, S. TOBY AND R. WRIGHT.

Historical Notes

The Opera deals with one of the many turbulent periods in the history of France.The episode, if true, would have taken place on the 16th of July, 1465, the date of the siege of Paris by the Duke of Burgundy. Considerable research has been under taken to make Properties and Costuming and the presentation authentic. Prints of the period show that some of the furniture in the King’s Palace was of two heights. The King sat on a level some four inches below the Queen – he had a gammy leg.

King Louis XI was a peculiar mixture of piety and ruthlessness, and from boyhood was cruel and tyrannical. When he contemplated a dastardly deed he donned a special hat having around the crown little figures of the apostles. When the populace saw him wearing this hat they cringed in terror. The Scottish Lion is prevalent on emblems of the Duke of Burgundy. Many of the French nobles had similar emblems featuring the Scottish lion. There was a strong friendship between Scotland and France, both enemies of the hated English. Louis XI was the first European monarch to employ foreign mercenaries, in this case Scotch Archers. He could not trust his own people. His companion, Tristan L’Hermite, scarcely leaves him for a moment. Tristan was noted as being the finest swordsman in France. In the dialogue we have “as a mad maid saved my father’s throne.” Louis is, of course, referring to Joan of Arc, one of the greatest figures to ever cross the stage of history.

The date of the death of Francois Villon is not known. He was banished from Paris on the 24th January, 1664, for the robbery of a monastery. He was not quite the hero as painted in this production. Villon was the greatest poet ever produced by France and ranks with Milton, Shelly and others. Born Francois Moncorbier, his widowed mother abandoned him when he was ten. A kindly relation, a parish priest named Guillame Villon adopted him and Francois changed his name to Villon. The priest intended him to train for religion and enrolled him at the University of Paris. Villon graduated B A. at 23 and M.A. at 26. Unfortunately he favoured the haunts of the underworld. His beautiful poems are still published even to this day.

We cannot locate the character Huguette Du Hamel in French history. Is the author borrowing a period of France of more recent times? We refer to George Sands, the lady friend of the pianist Chopin. George Sands, the most prolific novelist of France, adopted a man’s name, always dressed as a man and smoked cigars.

You will notice that in the opening chorus the girls sing in English, but the men in Latin. The composer thus gives us a very strong hint that Latin was spoken by the masses in ancient Paris.

These are but a few of the many facts in the historical background of this production.

Robert Houston as Francois Villon, Grace Tough as Katherine de Vaucelles

The Story of the Vagabond King

Francois Villon is a poet, pickpocket, vagabond and dreamer. His satires are always getting him into trouble, but his “bonne bouches” was the love sonnet he sent to Katherine, Louis’ protegee. Touched by his emotion, she visits the “thieves’ kitchen,” of which Villon is the leader, and asks him to prove his devotion by killing Thibaut, a rascally courtier who is planning to betray Louis to the Burgundians, then besieging
Paris. Burgundy has promised her hand and lands to Thibaut in return for this service,and Villon consents to kill the traitor. Mad Louis and his minister, Tristan, visit the underground tavern in disguise and witness the satire and mockery Villon pours on the King’s head and what he would do “if he were King.” The King has Villon and his followers arrested following an unsuccessful attempt on Thibaut’s life, and Villon
is installed in the Palace as Grand Marshal. Superstition is paramount in Louis mind, and when the stars foretell how he will be saved “by one rising from the depths” he gives Villon powers of King for a day, after which he is to be publicly hanged. Katherine falls in love with Villon, not recognising in him her previous adorer, and Louis in his fantastic way agrees to save Villon’s life, providing he wins her hand. Villon cannot consent to subterfuge and reveals his real self to Katherine, who resents the slight the King has paid her in baiting her with a vagabond. The Burgundians, believing that Paris is en fete, attack the walls, but Villon and his army of beggars drive them back, and he is hailed by the populace to be a better ruler than Louis. True to his bargain, Villon walks to the scaffold, and is on the point of being hanged when the play reaches its climax.

Miss EVA MOORE

Eva Moore, the producer of “The Vagabond King,” needs little introduction, as she has successfully produced Musical Comedies and Musical Plays for many societies throughout New Zealand. This is her 113th production, a record surely for amateurs and professionals. In addition, her war efforts were outstandingly numerous, producing Gilbert and Sullivan operas for the Armed Forces, compering and producing camp concerts at Trentham, producing for the Wellington Musical Comedy Company, who raised praiseworthy sums for patriotic funds. This is merely a brief resume of some of her many activities, but as can be gathered, her whole life, like that of her sisters, has been devoted to the theatre. Hector Bolitho once referred to the Moore sisters as “The Royal Family of the Australian Theatre.”

Peter Cox as Louis XI

The King’s Archers.

NAPIER OPERATIC SOCIETY (Inc.)

Proudly Present

The Vagabond King

BY ARRANGEMENT WITH CHAPPELL & CO. LTD

Produced by Eva Moore.

Music by Rudolf Friml.

Book and Lyrics by W.H. Post and Brian Hooker.

Based on Justin Huntley McCarthy’s Romance, “If I Were King.”

The Cast

RENE DE MONTIGNY   RON STEEL
CASIN CHOLET   ALLAN PAYNE
ROGATI   HOWARD MARSH
MARGOT   MAIA ALEXANDER
ISABEAU   MAUREEN CROWLEY
JEHANNETON   MARISE McDONALD
JEHAN LE LOUP   BRIAN ATHEA
HUGUETTE DU HAMEL   DOREEN MUDGEWAY
GUY TABARIE   KIT TILTON-MIST
TRISTAN L’HERMITE   DEREK BELCHER
LOUIS XI   PETER COX
FRANCOIS VILLON   BOB HOUSTON
KATHERINE DE VAUCELLES   GRACE TOUGH
THIBAUT D’AUSSIGNY   ROD HULL
CAPTAIN OF SCOTCH ARCHERS   BOB WRIGHT
AN ASTROLOGER   STAN TOBY
LADY MARY   PAT CHAPMAN
NOEL LE JOLYS   YORK DAVIS
OLIVIER LE DAIN   ROB ROBERTSON
TOISON D’OR-BURGUNDIAN, HERALD   BRIAN ATHEA
STANDARD BEARERS   G. SUTTON and J. HEADFEN
THE QUEEN   MONA FAUCHELLE
THE APACHE DANCER   RUTH POSNER
THE BISHOP   NOEL CHARLES
THE HANGMAN   BRIAN SELLAR
MASTER OF THE HUNT   ROBIN NEWTON

The Jean Ballantyne Ballet, with Ruth Posner.
Tavern Girls, Tavern Men, Rabble, Scotch Archers, Court Ladies, Courtiers, Dancers, Pages

The part of Katherine de Vaucelles will be played by Hazel Lutman on the evening of the 11th August and the Matinee of the 15th August.
The Committee reserves the right to alter the Cast at any time through sickness or for any other reason.

Synopsis of Scenes

PARIS, 16th JULY, 1465.

Act 1:   The Fir Cone Tavern.
Act 2:   Scene 1, The Court that night.
Scene 2, The Court next morning.
Act 3:   The Masque
Act 4:   A Street in Old Paris.

Orchestra

Musical Director: Cedric White   Hon. Pianist: Win Quarrie
Violins: Enid Dunn (Leader), G. Wade, A. Wilson, M. Williams, D. Alexander, R. Lee.
Cellos: J. Palmer, C. Finch.   Bass: D. Smith
Flutes: E. Hocking, A. Clark.   Oboe: M. Neal.   Clarinet: H. Bush.
Trumpets: K. Keough, C. Girvan.   Trombone: D. Robinson.
Tympany, Drums and Effects:    J. Seton.

Production Personnel

Stage and Lighting Director   Cedric Wright
Assistant Stage Manager   Les Woodfine
Hon. Prompts   Mavis Steel and Jillian Davies
Properties   Noel W. Tolhurst
Wardrobe Mistress   Hazel Collier
Hon. Pianist   Win Quarrie
Assistant Pianist   Jessie Anderson
Make-up   Elizabeth Johnson
Call Steward   Sylvia O’Leary
Publicity and Programmes   Gwyn Ace, Ian Cox, J.S.Henney and Peter Cox
Secretary-Treasurer   Rodney Wimsett

And the Executive Committee

Scenery designed and constructed by Will Conroy, of Wellington. Wigs by Isobel Johnson. Wardrobe produced at the Society’s workroom from the designs of Molly Cook.

Musical Numbers

ACT 1:

1.   Overture
2.   Opening Chorus   Ensemble. Soloist: Rene de Montigny.
3.  Love for Sale   Huguette and Chorus.
4.  Apache Dance   The Ballet. Soloists: Ruth Posner and Robin Newton.
5.   Drinking Song   Tabarie and Male Chorus.
6.   Song of the Vagabonds   Villon and Chorus.
7.   Some Day   Katherine.
8.   Archers’ Chorus
9.   Only a Rose   Katherine and Villon.
10.   Finalitto   Principals and Chorus.

ACT 2

11.   Entr’acte
12.   Opening   King Tristan and Astrologer.
13.   Hunting   Noel and Ensemble.
14.   Hunting Ballet Soloists:   Ruth Posner and Heather Bentley.
15.   Reprise – Only a Rose
16.   Scotch Archers’ Song Captain of Archers.
17.   To-morrow   Villon and Katherine.
18.   Finale   Principals and Chorus

ACT 3

19.   Entr’acte
20.   Opening   Nocturne Ensemble
21.   Ballet (Tarantella)
22.   Reprise of Nocturne
23.   Serenade Tabarie   Olivier and Lady Mary.
24.   Huguette Waltz   Huguette.
25.   Ballet
26.   Love Me To-night   Katherine and Villon
27.   Finalitto   Principals and Chorus.

ACT 4

28.   Entr’acte
29.   Opening – Te Deum
30.   Victory March   Chorus
31.   Finale   Principals and Chorus.

Acknowledgements

Hi-Light Studios (Photography). McWilliams Wines (Small Barrels).
The Daily Telegraph Co. Ltd. John Collier (Heraldic Banners).
The Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune. Raphael Studios.
McDonald’s Wines Ltd. (Large Cask).

Credits

Assistants to Property Master: N. Hatton, Rod Ingle, L. Fleming, A. Plested, T. White, F. Barton, Miss M. Spriggs, Mr J. Reeve.

Assistants to Wardrobe Mistress: Mesdames M. Salvigny, K. Cox, C. Rae, M. Cox, E.Carson, A. Durie, J. Anderson, Millinery: E. Monrad.

The Society wishes to record its gratitude to those who worked for so many months to make this production possible, particularly Hazel Collier (Wardrobe) and Bob Wright (Stage Construction).

CEDRIC WHITE

Has directed the musical side of the Society for many years. He was a member of the original “Kiwi” Concert Party and remained in England under the Government Bursary and passed through the Royal Academy of Music. He was a member of the Savoy Orchestra. He then moved to Paris and enrolled at the National Conservatoire and was in the Alhambra Theatre Orchestra. On his return to New Zealand he toured with the J.C. Williamson organisation, but eventually settled in Napier, where he is in practice as a Public Accountant.

JEAN BALLANTYNE

Choreographer and Ballet Mistress for the Napier Operatic Society, has, with her dancers, been associated with the Society for their last six productions.
Miss Ballantyne, who has a Studio in Hastings, trained with well-known teachers in England, on the Continent, in Australia and New Zealand. In the course of her career she has been closely associated with Amateur Theatre, and has been responsible for numerous Children’s Recitals. Her Senior Ballet toured the Hawke’s Bay area for the Community Arts Service in 1947.

RUTH POSNER

Is a Dancer who graduated from the London College of Dance and Drama and has studied with Martha Graham and Anna Sokolov. She toured Israel for three years with a group of American dancers, giving Modern Dance recitals, and left professional engagements in West End of London shows and Television to come to New Zealand. Recently arrived in Hastings, she is at present teaching Modern Dance for Jean Ballantyne.

Members of the Corps de Ballet

Soloists: Heather Bentley and Ruth Posner, with Angela Horrocks, Christine Kelly, Lynn Hawley, Norah Glew, Staveley Keenan, Lynette McCutcheon, Glenda Burling, Margaret van Asch.

Ladies of the Chorus

Robin Athea, Vicky Barton, Desley Bennett, Joselyn Cook, Maureen Crowley, Glenis Cullen, Betty Evetts, Elaine Fletcher, Valerie Fleming, Lois Hulbert, Justine Headifen, Diane Holmes, Jeanette Heaven, Valerie Hunter, Robin Hallgarth, Colleen Hannan, Pam Urwin, Eileen James,
Janice Longley, Kerry McDonald, Marise McDonald, Patricia McLaren, Jeanette O’Connell, Jill Plested, Barbara Ray, Josephine Rae, Alison Ritchie, June Sang, Frances Smith, Janice Sharples, Elaine Smith, Gay Sutton, Jacqueline Stone, Suzanne Tiffen, Eve Weir, Patricia Young.

Gentlemen of the Chorus

Brian Athea, Charles Bongenaar, Graeme Bowes, John Collier, Noel Charles, York Davis, Russell Drieberg, Ray Falvey, Ron Giles, Bob Hartley, Trevor Jones, Allan Johnson, Alan Jones, David Joseph, Garth Laurent, Norman Lumsden, Howard Marsh, Lyndsay Martin, Roger McCarthy, John McKinnon, Ross McGregor, Robin Newton, Allan Payne, Barry Parker, Derek Pryce, Robin Rae, Peter Sullivan, Stan Toby, Bruce Wilton.

Supernumeraries

J. McPherson, John Minnett, Kelvin Thompson, Bruce Gemmell, Douglas Montague, Ivan Dyer, Richard Aslin, Peter Gilder, N. Tolhurst, N. Hatton, L. Woodfine, R. Ingle, A. Plested, T. White, Ivan Dyer, Paul Kelly, Bruce White, Nick Paxie, Louis Barga.

Huguette du Hamel, played by Doreen Mudgeway

Tristan l’Hermite, played by Derek Belcher

Rod Hull as Thibaut d’Aussigny

Guy Tabarie, played by Kit Tilton-Mist

From left to right: Margot (Maia Alexander) Guy Tabarie (Kit Tilton-Mist), Huguette Du Hamel (Doreen Mudgway), Rene de Montigny (Ron Steele)

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Printed by The Daily Telegraph Co., Ltd., Tennyson Street, Napier

Original digital file

CoozeL814_TheVagabondKingProgramme.pdf

Business

Napier Operatic Society

Date published

1959

Format of the original

Booklet

Accession number

814/1959/46432

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