Pollard's Opera Company

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Pollard's Opera Company was an Australian Operatic company

The company

A compny of young performers, originally founded by James Joseph Pollard as Pollard's Lilliputian Opera Company in Launceston, Tasmania, in May 1880, the business expanded, over the next thirty years as several members of the Pollard family operated troupes under the same or similar names, travelling through Australia and New Zealand, the British Colonies and later the Orient and North America.

On tour in South Africa

According to Boonzaier (1923) the youth company first toured South Africa as Pollard's Liliputian Opera Company [sic] (or "The Liliputians" as they were sometimes referred to) in 1898, appearing in the Opera House in Cape Town. Apparently D.C. Boonzaier (1923) was not impressed by their repertoire, referring to their performances of the various pieces as "mere travesties of pieces in themselves little above travesty".

The company toured South Africa once more from May to October 1903, under the management of the Wheeler Company, now billed as the Royal Australian Opera Company with Gertie Campion and Dan O'Connor as members of the ensemble. The itinerary included the Good Hope Theatre, Cape Town and His Majesty's Theatre, Johannesburg, from 11 July to some time in October)

The repertoire consisted of Djin Djin (Royle and Williamson), The Gay Parisienne (Dance), La Fille du Tambour Major (Offenbach), The Casino Girl (Smith) and La Mascotte ().

Djin Djin was performed as the opening production for the newly built His Majesty's Theatre in Johannesburg.

At the start of 1904 they also did The Geisha in Cape Town.




D.C. Boonzaier, 1980. "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. 406, 407, 414, 417

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