Florence Calzado

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Florence Calzado (fl circa 1860s)[1] was a singer and actress.

The name is a stage name used by the singer and actress Florence Beverley.


According to the blog Out of the In Bottle[2], virtually nothing seems to be known about either Florence Beverley or Florence Calzado (her stage name for a while - she is also referred to Floraette Blanche Beverley on at least one occasion). While in South Africa she was billed as a "serio-comic vocalist" and is also described as an accomplished "comic (burlesque) actress".

Having linked up with violinist Horace Poussard, whe apparently became his "wife", having had a child by him. She definitely joined forces professionally with Poussard, the manager Robert Smythe and the latter's wife, the soprano Amelia Bailey, to found the Poussard-Bailey Opera Company and undertake a 4-year "Grand Tour" of India and South Africa.

The blog further mentions that she later listed herself as a widow, and goes on to marry a miner named Samuel Paynter Thomas Cornish in Hill End NSW. After that nothing more seems to be heard of her.

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

Coming to South Africa with the Poussard-Bailey Opera Company in 1867, she was billed as Florence Calzado and gave more than 150 performances in most of the major centres of the country.

She also appeared as a comic actress for their company when they did the occasional theatrical piece, as well as appearing for other companies on occasion, including playing" Sarah Blunt" om a production of Poor Pillicoddy (Morton) for Le Roy's Original Company in Cape Town on 28 May 1867 (her first appearance as actress in the city). She and Amelia Bailey were apparently adept at transformation roles, and this talent seems to have been exploited in productions of pieces like In Love with a Waltz (Moriot), The Painter and his Model (Anon.) and The Fancy Ball (Anon).

According to Bosman (180, p. 273), Wacht-een-beetje ("wait-a-bit"), a satirical song about various political and social matters current in the Cape Town during the late 1860s, was originally intended for performance by Calzado.

In November 1868, the company temporarily broke up when the two men, the manager Robert Sparrow Smythe and the violinist Horace Poussard left for England and France, while the two singers, Amelia Bailey and Florence, stayed at the Cape until June 1869. Now billed as Calzado-Bailey, they undertook a private tour in South Africa during May, inter alia performing in the Mutual Hall, Cape Town, in a concert that also included songs by James Leffler and "Tragic Recitations" by T. Brazier. (inter alia presenting concerts in the Mutual Hall, Cape Town),

Thereafter they sailed directly back to Melbourne to rejoin the rest of the company and reconstitute the Poussard-Bailey Company.



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. 222-5, 243-6, 273, 294.

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