Opera Comique

Definition

Theater

  • A former London theater in Aldwych that was opened in 1870.The following year, a group of actors from the Comédie-Française,all refugees from the Franco-Prussian War, performed there under Edmond-François-JulesGôt. The theater continued to appeal to international performerssuch as the Italian actress Adelaide Ristori, who visited in 1873,but its French name made London theater-goers suspicious and the venueoften remained unused. From 1877 Richard D'Oyly Carte andhis comedy Opera Company produced a series of works by Gilbertand Sullivan at the venue; The Sorcerer (1877) was followedby HMS Pinafore (1878) and The Pirates of Penzance (1880).Patience (1881) had its premiere at the Opera Comique but transferredto the Savoy Theatre, which D'Oyly Carte opened later thesame year.

    After a period during which it was closed for redecorationthe theater presented the young Marie Tempest as Lady Blanche in TheFay o' Fire. It enjoyed little subsequent success, however, andbecame a venue for special performances and try-outs. It was partiallyrebuilt in 1895, closed in 1899, and demolished in 1902. see alsothe Rickety Twins.

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