Anna Hickish

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Anna Hickish (1875-1943) was a soprano and actress.

Also referred to as Annie Hickish by Boonzaier (1923).


Born in the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin[1] in 1875, the daughter of Frank R. Hickish and Theresa Pittat. Nothing much has been found of her early years in the USA, but she seems to have relocated to England at the start of the 20th century, her name appearing as "Etelka" in The Fortune-teller (Smith and Herbert), at the Shaftsbury Theatre, London , in 1901, and at Covent Garden, London, in 1902 as "Michaela" in Bizet's Carmen (1902), "Nedda" in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, "Venus" in Wagner's Tannhäuser, "Ann Chite" in Benedict and Oxenford's The Lily of Killarney.

In 1904 she doubled in the role of "Lady Patricia Vane" in The Cingalee, or Sunny Ceylon (Tanner and Monckton) at Daly's Theatre,

For a while she appears to have been a member of George Edwardes's touring company between 1905 and 1907, inter alia appearing in South Africa. UK appearances for the company included The Lady Dandies (The Merveilleuses, /Hood) at The Grand theatre in Leeds (1907),

In 1908 she was brought back to her home-town aboard the Lusitania to perform at the original La Crosse Saengerfest and was billed as an "world-renowned opera diva".

She died on 14 June 1943.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

She was a member of the original South African cast of Veronique (Vanloo and Duval) when presented by the Wheeler Company in 1905 (opening in the Opera House, Cape Town on 11 September, revived in the first half of 1906) and played the lead ("Catherine Upscher") in The Duchess of Dantzic (Sardou/Hamilton) opposite Wybert Stamford a "Napoleon", when it was first performed in South Africa by the Wheeler-Edwardes Gaiety Company, opening in the Opera House, Cape Town, on 28 May, 1906.


Terry Rindfleisch. 2008 "Behind the scenes: La Crosse Concert Band to bring 100-year-old song back to life", Crosse Tribune, 22 July[2].

J.P. Wearing. 2013. The London Stage 1900-1909: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. (Second, revised edition, p. 423). Scarecrow Press, Google E-book[3]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 425, 435

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