Reginald Somerville

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Reginald Somerville (1867 – 8 July 1948) was an English composer and actor. He is known for writing many drawing-room ballads such as "God Sends the Night", "Yestereve", "Zaida: A Song of the Desert" and "The Lark and the Nightingale", as well as a handful of operas. Biography[edit] Somerville received musical training under the Italian tenor and teacher Giulio Moretti.[1] He co-wrote music with A. McLean and G. W. Byng for the musical farce, A White Silk Dress, opening at London's Prince of Wales's Theatre on 3 October 1896.[2] In collaboration with the librettist Guy Eden, he wrote The 'Prentice Pillar, a romantic opera in one act in 1899.[3] Somerville's "The Ballad of Thyra Lee", a dramatic scene, premiered in 1900, was given at a Royal Philharmonic Society concert in May 1903.[4] Also 1903, he played opposite Marie Studholme in The School Girl. In 1909, his opera The Mountaineers was premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London. It had a two-month run and a provincial tour in late 1910.[5] After the First World War, Somerville wrote Antoine, an opera that he considered his best work,[6] which was produced at the Lyceum Theatre, London, by the Carl Rosa Opera Company. The plot of the opera featured a blind sailor who has his sight miraculously restored only to discover his wife eloping with a rich lover.[7] He also wrote both the music and lyrics for a three-act opera titled David Garrick, which was founded on T. W. Robertson's well-known comedy of the same name. It was premiered in 1920 by the Carl Rosa company and then presented under Somerville's management in the West End, substantially re-written to suit the light-music audience.[8] Critics were divided on the merit of Somerville's music. The Illustrated London News remarked that the score "halts between the methods of the lyric and the grand-opera stage, and would have been all the better for cutting out all the connections with the latter."[9] A week later, the critic continued, "He has no great gift of melody. ... Worse than the orchestration is the handling of the ensembles, if one may call them ensembles."[10] The work was revived in 1932.[citation needed] In 1924, he wrote The Love Doctor, a "musical show with a story", which was toured on the Moss' Empires circuit and played in London at the Chelsea Palace Theatre in 1925.[citation needed] Somerville's work as a composer dried up with the advent of sound films in the mid-1920s, and he took to teaching, but he became ill, ran into debt and was 야동

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