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Dorothy is a comic opera in three acts with music by Alfred Cellier (1844-1891)[1], with a libretto by B.C. Stephenson (1839-1906)[2].

The original text

The story of a rake who falls in love with his own fiancée, when he meets her in disguise.

First produced at the Gaiety Theatre in London on in 1886, gradually becoming a great success. The opera toured in Britain, America and Australia and enjoyed numerous revivals until at least 1908.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1890: Performed in the Exhibition Theatre, Cape Town, in January by an opera company managed and directed by Edgar Perkins. The company included R.S.V. Gregg, E. le Hay, Dennis Coyne, Frank Wheeler, Harry Miller, Ada Bemister, Carrie Nelson, Harriet Wood, and Ella Bankhardt. Musical direction was by James Hyde.

1893: Performed as the opening production in the new Opera House, Cape Town, on 31 August by the Lyric Opera Company under the management of A. Bonamici and Edgar Perkins and directed by Duncan Young, with Leonora Braham of the Savoy, London, in the lead. The rest of the company consisted of A. Gourlay, R.S.V. Gregg, H.T. Davies, Fred Coyne, F.N. Carter, W. Roe, Sophie Harris, Katie Herbert and Trixie Gilfillian. Scenery was by Mr Maltby, Mr Ryan and Mr Thorne.

1902: Performed in the Opera House, Cape Town, in January by the Mouillot-De Jong Company as part of their new season. The company included Frank Celli, John le Hay and Katie Seymour.

1910: Performed in the Opera House, Cape Town, in July by an opera company "under the personal direction of Mr Frank Wheeler".


D. Edwards. 1897. The Cape Town Guide. Cape Town: Maskew Miller (Digitised 2011)[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, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 389, 397-8, 412, 434

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