THIS PAGE FIRST POSTED 20 OCTOBER 2016
LAST MODIFIED Wednesday 8 February 2017 16:30
George Loder and Emma Neville
Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)
THIS PAGE IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION
To cite this:
Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney),
"George Loder and Emma Neville",
Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):
http://sydney.edu.au/paradisec/australharmony/loder-george.php; accessed 29 March 2017
(George LODER; George Patrick Henry LODER)
Pianist, flautist, vocalist, conductor, composer
Born Bath, England, baptised 14 November 1816
Arrived (1) Sydney, NSW, 8 July 1856 (per Horizont, from San Francisco, 27 April)
Departed (1) Sydney, 24 September 1857 (per Electra, for London)
Arrived (2) Melbourne, VIC, 17 January 1862 (per Voltigern, from London, 4 October 1861)
Died Adelaide, SA, 15 July 1868, in the "54th year of his age"
http://trove.nla.gov.au/result?l-publictag=George+Loder+1816-1868 (TROVE public tag)
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1517879 (NLA persistent identifier)
(Miss Emma NEVILLE)
Born England, c.1833
Arrived Melbourne, VIC, 17 January 1862 (per Voltigern, from London, 4 October 1861)
Died Adelaide, SA, 5 December 1867
http://trove.nla.gov.au/result?l-publictag=Emma+Neville+d1867 (TROVE public tag)
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1585556 (NLA persistent identifier)
Loder was son of George Loder (1794-1829), "musician", and his second wife Mary Cook, and was born at Kingsmead Terrace, Bath; he was brother of pianist and composer Kate Loder (1805-1904), nephew of Bath violinist John David Loder, cousin of the well-known composer and conductor Edward Loder (1813-1865), and presumably also cousin of another musician George Loder, of Bath, who died in 1829 at the age of 25.
He had reportedly moved to the United States by 1836, living first in Baltimore. His song I love the world right well appeared in The New Yorker on 23 June 1838. In the mid 1840s he was principal of the New York Vocal Institute, and member of the Philharmonic and Vocal Societies of which he was a founder. His The New York Glee Book (1844) contains several of his original part-songs. By 1852 he was in San Francisco, whence he sailed for Australia in 1856, having been called on to take over the musical direction of Anna Bishop's tour after Bochsa's death (Loder had previously been Bishop's accompanist, and had conducted for her and Bochsa).
On his arrival in Australia, the last nights of Bishop's Sydney opera season was still being conducted by Charles Packer, so Loder teamed up during his first month in the colony with another former Californian associate, Miska Hauser. With Hauser and local musicians including Edward Deane and William Paling, he played contrabasso in Mayseder's Grand Sextette in Sydney on 4 August. Loder's "opportune arrival in Sydney, and experience in musical direction are fortuitous circumstances", Hauser then advertised in mid August, to his announcement of a series of "three classical chamber concerts, by subscription ... to include the compositions of Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and other great authors: Miska Hauser will be assisted by Mr. George Loder, a distinguished conductor and author, recently arrived amongst us, and whom we hear will have the entire Management of all the details of the series." The program included Beethoven's C minor Quartet ("a composition judiciously chosen as giving to a general audience a better idea of the peculiar idiosyncracies of the great author than perhaps any other"), Haydn's "Emperor", and Onslow's "God Save the Queen", inciting the Herald to add "One word of Mr. Loder. The excellent arrangement of the programme, and the conduct of the whole of the performances, show him to be an artist of superior taste, and a gentleman long required in Sydney; and we venture to predict that he will command the same position here as he has maintained in other parts of the world, and that upon his return to Sydney his efforts to cultivate the growing taste for classical music will receive a satisfactory reward."
Meanwhile, Loder, billed as "Principal Director of the Philharmonic Sooiety of New York, and late Musical Director in America for Jenny Lind, &c, &c.", also conducted concerts for Clarisse Cailly, before taking charge of Bishop's company (including Coulon, Laglaise, and another import from San Francisco, flautist Julius Siede) for her Melbourne appearances in September. The company then moved on to Adelaide in December, back through Melbourne to Tasmania in January 1857, Melbourne (an old friend, Stephen Massett, in his memoirs, noted he had a "good dinner" with Loder there on 3 March before going on to the Philharmonic concert to hear Bishop and Hauser), and finally Sydney again in June.
Loder composed several works during this first tour. At the end of her concert at the Hobart Theatre Royal in January 1857 Bishop, as "the pupil", and Loder as "the music-master", performed his comedy The Celebrated Singing Lesson. In December 1856 in Adelaide, and again in February 1857, Bishop introduced a "new song, for the Voice and Flute", The Sea Nymph, composed expressly for her by Loder. In Sydney in August 1857, Loder had two new works of vastly contrasted natures; at the Royal Victoria he arranged the music for a "new local extravaganza", entitled The Lady Killer, or The Devil in Sydney, by James Simmonds (including excerpts from Ernani and Lucretia Borgia); while at a grand oratorio at St. Mary's, Bishop and company performed a "Motette (In Canone), composed for this occasion" by Loder, Regina Apostolorum. The oratorio program also included a Grand Aria für Flute, composed and performed by Julius Siede.
When Bishop sailed for South American in September, Loder and Bishop's agent Rees sailed instead for London to make preparations for her projected English return tour, her first London appearance in ten years duly taking place, with Loder conducting, on 13 December 1858, to considerable acclaim for Bishop. Her reception was "enthusiastic beyond measure", though Loder received mixed reveiws. Davison in the The Musical World, who took a special interest in the event perhaps not least for his pupil and future wife's (Arabella Goddard) participation, repodruced the Morning Herald's opinion: "The conductor, Mr. G. Loder, did not seem to have much control over his orchestra, except in a somewhat lugubrious overture of his own composition, "suggested" (according to the programme) by Scott's "Marmion," but which we are rather inclined to think must have been "suggested" by certain inspirations of Carl Maria von Weber, composer of the opera of Der Frieschutz, &c. This overture, at least, went well; but all the other pieces with which the band had to do - and, beyond all, the unfortunate Concert-stück [Weber, with Goddard] - the less said the better", while noting even-handedly that the morning papers differed with "regard to [the merits] of Mr. George Loder's overture, which they pronounce extremely clever, and which we were not fortunate enough to hear."
Loder married his second wife, the young singer Emma Neville in London on 19 January 1860, and his new romantic "opera" Pets of the Parterre (libretto by J. Sterling Coyne) opened at London's Lyceum in November 1860. In the 1861 census he was listed as "composer and vocalist, 42, Mornington Road, Pancras, London". That year, too, he developed a new "Lyric dramatic entertainment", The old house at home (the title from the ballad, The old house at home, from his cousin Edward Loder's opera Francis the First), for himself and Neville to perform (the text by Mark Ibberson Jervis).
This was the first piece the Loders performed on arrival in Melbourne in February 1862, though the Argus found that Loder was unable to sustain the interest of the audience between Neville's appearances. A second piece by Loder, The Rival Prima Donnas, was introduced later that month in Ballarat, with Neville opposite Emma Henderson. When Anthony Reiff left Australia in September 1863, Lyster engaged Loder to conduct his English Opera Company (Emma Neville also joined the company), which he did until early 1866. Loder and Neville had settled in Adelaide by mid 1866, and were active in the local concert scene there. They last appeared together at Pauline Wienbarg's Adelaide concert in November 1867, and Emma Loder died suddenly of typhus fever on 5 December. Loder introduced several songs "expressly composed" for Neville in his concert programs, as well as other occasional pieces.
Only three printed Australian works survive, including the The Prince Alfred Waltz, issued for the prince's visit to Adelaide in 1867 (for which Loder directed the music), and his song Oh! Boyhood's Days which T. H. Rainford later popularised and which was published posthumously. At Loder's funeral, a Dirge by Loder's former friend, also recently-deceased, the Adelaide clarinettist-composer, Theodor Heydecke, was played by a quintet from Schrader's Band. In 1866, Loder made the published piano arrangement of Heydecke's Finnigan's Wake Polka.
Loder had died after a long illness at Adelaide on 15 July 1868, aged 52, of phthisis alcoholism, tuberculosis worsened by the consumption of alcohol. He may well have decided to return to Australia partly for health reasons. However, in other respects, Australia did not live up to its Loder's expectations, as an obituary related:"The telegraph announces the death, yesterday, at Adelaide, of Mr. George Loder, the well-known composer of music, and at one time the conductor of the Lyster opera troupe here. Mr. Loder had an excellent reputation in London, and arrived in Australia some years ago in company with Mrs. Loder ... to give musical and dramatic entertainments. In these they were less successful than, perhaps, they had a right to expect. Their last engagement was played in Adelaide, where Mrs. Loder died some time ago; and for months past Mr. Loder has lingered in gradually declining health, a victim of broken hopes and spirits."
Documentation (to 1857)
"SAN FRANCISCO", The Musical World (3 July 1853), 466-67
"ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 July 1856), 4
"CLASSICAL MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 August 1856), 4
[Advertisement], Empire (16 August 1856), 6: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60252153
"ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 August 1856), 4
"MISKA HAUSER'S CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 August 1856), 5
[Advertisement], Empire (1 August 1856), 1
"MISKA HAUSER", Dwight's Journal of Music (24 January 1857), 135: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=D2QPAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA135
[Advertisement], The Courier (29 January 1857), 2
[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Mercury (4 February 1857), 2
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 August 1857), 1
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1857), 1
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1857), 1
"GRAND ORATORIO", The Sydney Morning Herald (20 August 1857), 8
"ROYAL VICTORIA", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August 1857), 8
"THE DRAMA. THE ROYAL VICTORIA", Bell's Life in Sydney (29 August 1857), 2
"DEPARTURES", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1857), 4
"DEPARTURES FOR ENGLAND", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 October 1857), 10: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13001400
[George Loder], "Recollections of California & Australia (By a Musician)" [parts 1-20]
The Musical World 36 (27 March to 4 September 1858)
Go to TRANSCRIPTION of Australian episodes below
[Advertisement]: "THE SWEDISH NATIONAL SINGERS", The Athenaeum (10 July 1858), 56
"MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", The Musical World (18 December 1858), 804
"EXETER HALL - MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", The Illustrated Magazine (25 January 1859), 52
"LYCEUM", The Players (10 November 1860), 149
[2 advertisements], The Musical World (31 August 1861), 560
Australia, 1862-68, and after
"ARRIVED, JAN. 17", The Argus (18 January 1862), 4
[Advertisement], The Argus (31 January 1862), 8
[News], The Argus (3 February 1862), 4
[News], The Argus (3 February 1862), 5
"NEWS AND NOTES", The Star (28 February 1862), 2
[Advertisement], The Courier (14 August 1863), 1
"THE LYSTER OPERA COMPANY'S CONCERT", Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (12 November 1864), 2
THE LYSTER OPERA COMPANY'S CONCERT. The first concert given by the Opera Company at the Provincial Hall, on Thursday evening, could not be characterized, even by the surliest of critics, as anything short of an unqualified success ... The third part of the concert, consisted of a miscellaneous selection of popular ballads, and other morceaux, commencing with a fantaisie for the orchestra composed by its talented leader, Mr. George Locler, introducing " The Minstrel Boy " and two other Irish airs, with solos for the flute, clarionette, and cornet-a-pistons, executed with infinite taste and skill by Messrs. Creed Royal, Lundborg, and Hallas, and concluding with the three airs played at the same time, affording a curious example of skilful arrangement.
"SOIREE MUSICALE", South Australian Register (16 April 1867), 2
... Mr. Ellard was assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Loder, and Mr. R. B. White ... in the charming air, "Dove Sono" from Mozart's opera "Le Nozze di Figaro", Mrs. Loder exhibited the distinguishing qualities of her powerful voice to advantage, the feelings which the piece is designed to express being well displayed ...
[News], The Argus (16 July 1868), 4
"DEATH OF MRS. GEORGE LODER", South Australian Register (6 December 1867), 2
[Obituary], The Era (22 February 1868)
From our own correspondent: Mrs. George Loder (late Miss Emma Neville) died of typhus fever on the 5th [December], after a short illness. She was formerly a member of Lyster's Opera Company, and afterwards visited Adelaide, accompanied by her husband, Mr. George Loder, in an entertainment, entitled "At Home" and "Odds and Ends", since which time she has remained in Adelaide, teaching music and singing. I believe she was formerly a member of Mr. Buckstone's company at the Haymarket, as a comedy actress. We have had none her to equal her, and her place will not be easily filled up in the Profession.
"MR. GEORGE LODER", South Australian Register (16 July 1868), 2
Our readers will regret, if they are not surprised, to hear of the death of Mr. George Loder, the musician, in the prime of life. The event took place on Wednesday morning at about 11 o'clock. The immediate cause of his death was phthisis, but Mr. Loder has suffered a great many months from general debility and the prostration of his ordinary physical powers. It will be remembered that he was formerly of Lyster's Operatic Company. Few men, comparatively speaking, to be able to wield the baton with equal skill. His accomplishments as a pianist were also of a very high order. Unquestionably the secret of his success was the fact that he was a lover of music for its own sake. His taste was refined and highly cultivated, and he entered into the study of music as a science and its practice as an art - not merely intellectually, but with the entire force of his being. He detested the charlatan. He could not endure to witness the slaughter of the creations of genius so often effected by incompetent performers. He had not sympathy for the mere cold-blooded mechanical manipulator. To his cultivated ear the voice of music spoke to life and beauty, and his heart beat responsive to its utterances. We refer to him now, as he was before the death of his accomplished wife, which occurred December 5th 1867. Since that event Mr. Loder has been the shadow of his former self. He has now "joined the great majority". We here repeat the sketch of his great professional career, which we published about a month ago as follows: "Mr. Loder was born in 1816, and is the brother of a famous lady formerly known in England as Kate Loder, the eminent pianist; but now the wife of Sir Henry Thompson. Mr. Loder was the chosen accompanist of Madame Bishop in her ballads at Julien's [recte Jullien's] concerts many years ago. He also conducted her and Bochsa in New York at the entertainments entitled "Boscha's voyage Musicale". At these concerts Madame Bishop was the principal vocalist, Boscha the harpist, and there was a full band and chorus. At San Francisco Mr. Loder was conductor of the opera company with which Miss Catherine Hayes and Miss Thillon were associated. Subsequently he had been professionally engaged in the Australian colonies, where his abilities are appreciated by those best able to form an opinion upon the subject." We may add that Mr. Loder was one of the originators of the Musical Society of London [?] and subsequently the conductor to the New York Philharmonic Society. We understand he has no relations in the colonies, and that the sister already mentioned is his only surviving relative."
"OBITUARY", South Australian Register (18 July 1868), 6
"IN MEMORIAM. GEORGE LODER", South Australian Register (21 July 1868), 2
"GEORGE LODER. DIED 15TH JULY, 1868", South Australian Register (23 July 1868), 2
"SOUTH AUSTRALIA: FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR. G. LODER", The Mercury (28 July 1868), 3
Vera Brosdky Lawrence, Strong on music: the New York music scene in the days of George Templeton Strong, volume 1: resonances, 1836-1849 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988/1995), many refrences
Gyger 1999, 89, 99, 100, 102, 129, 131-32, 138, 221, 249, 251
Louisa M. Middleton, "Loder, George", Dictionary of national biography (1893)
Loder, George (1816-1868), Obituaries Australia (from South Australian Advertiser, 18 July 1868, 6, see above)
Lorna Cowan (et al.), "Loder, George"
Andrew Clarke, "Musicians in late Georgian Bath - a social perspective"; BRLSI- Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, posted 20 April 2010
Musical works (composed and/or performed in Australia)
The sea nymph ("new arietta, composed for MADAME ANNA BISHOP ... with obligato accompaniment for two flutes")
[Advertisement], South Australian Register (8 December 1856), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49755691; [Advertisement], The Hobart Town Mercury (4 February 1857), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3242820
The celebrated singing lesson (comedy)
[Advertisement], The Courier (29 January 1857), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2457664
The lady killer, or The devil in Sydney ("new local extravaganza", words: James Simmonds)
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1857), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12999075; "THE DRAMA. THE ROYAL VICTORIA", Bell's Life in Sydney (29 August 1857), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59867212
Regina apostolorum ("offertor[i]um quartette" "motette in canone")
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 August 1857), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12999075; [Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1857), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12999556
The old house at home
Words of the songs and description of the personations, in the new and original entertainment, The Old House at Home: written and composed by Frank Ibberson Jervis and George Loder (Melbourne: W. H. Williams, Printer, [1862?])
[Advertisement], The Courier (14 August 1863), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3165053; songs from it had been published in London in August 1861, see [Advertisement], The Musical World (24 August 1861), 544
In the morning (ballad); The silver-toned bugle (hunting song)
[News], The Argus (3 February 1862), 5: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5709393
The matin call (Spanish Aria)
[Advertisement], The Argus (7 July 1862), 8: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5717806; "THE MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY: II", The Argus (13 January 1879), 6: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5928151 [recte, concert was on 8 July 1862]
In the early morn (tyrolienne)
[News], The Courier (22 September 1863), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3165835
Another pretty morceau (which the bills say was "composed expressly for her," and of which we have no doubt, bearing in mind the well earned reputation of her able coadjutor, Mr. Loder, as a composer) was a tyrolienne entitled "In the early morn."
A warning to maidens (composed for her by Mr. George Loder)
"THE NEWS OF THE DAY", The Age (25 July 1864), 5: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155018174
She sang, "A Warning to Maidens," composed for her by Mr. George Loder, and the famous Scotch ballad, "Caller Herring," with great applause.
Solo for bass-clarionette (composed expressly for Herr Lundberg [John William Lundborg])
"THE OPERA", Otago Daily Times (8 September 1864), 5
... Between the second and third acts Herr Lunderg played a solo on the bass clarionette, composed expressly for him by Mr George Loder. He received an encore ...
"THE LYSTER OPERA COMPANY'S SECOND CONCERT", Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (15 November 1864), 3
... The miscellaneous portion of the programme commenced with a grand solo (with orchestral accompaniments) for the bass clarionet, an instrument which we understand has lately been resuscitated and improved, and which certainly possesses magnificent capabilities, for it extends over four octaves, that is one octave below the ordinary B flat clarionet. The solo, composed by Mr. George Loder, the very accomplished conductor of the company, is well calculated to display the compass of the instrument, and was admirably executed by Herr Lundborg, whose performance was frequently interrupted by the loudest applause ...
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1865), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13102724
Oh! boyhood's day, words by Frank Younge, esq., music by George Loder, as sung by T. H. Rainford [of the Weston and Hussey's Minstrels] (Melbourne: W. H. Glen, n.d. )
Overture (Irish) (replacement overture for Benedict's The Lily of Kilarney)
Probably same work as Irish Fantasy, above; "MARITANA", The Mercury (16 February 1866), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8837697
The return of spring (arietta for the pianoforte)
In The Illustrated Melbourne Post (18 February 1866)
Come all you young men what do live at a distance (comic song in the character of Tilly Slowboy; the music ... composed expressly for [his wife])
Grand concert stuck (composed by Mr. Loder; orchestra)
Grand masonic waltz (composed NZ, 1864)
"LYSTER'S OPERA COMPANY", Daily Southern Cross (9 December 1864), 4
Ox Wednesday evening Rossini's Italian opera of "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella) was given by this company, before a crowded house, under the patronage of the D.P.G.M , W.M., officers, and brethren of all the the masonic lodges in Auckland and Onehunga ... During the evening the orchestra performed a grand masonic waltz, composed expressly for the occasion by Mr. George Loder, with variations for flute, clarionet, and cornet, which was rapturously received.
"THE MONTHLY POPULAR CONCERTS", Bunyip (8 December 1866), 3: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130960468
Next came a Grand Concert Stuck composer by Mr. Loder. This was performed by Mr. Loder, assisted by the orchestra, it was a fine piece of music certainly, but it was far too long, and became very tiresome, as it was the last piece in the first part. I left before it was over an adjourned to the Hotel for refreshments . . . The second part began with a grand "Masonic Waltz", composed by Mr. Loder. I did not see anything beautiful in it.
Our united fatherland (grand march for full orchestra) "composed expressly for this occasion"
[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (6 December 1866), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28793489
The constant heart (song; with corno-Inglesi obligato)
[Advertisement], The Argus (16 February 1867), 8: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5786245; [News], The Argus (22 February 1867), 4: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5786720; [News], New Zealand Herald (10 September 1877), 2: https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH18770910.2.9
The Prince Alfred Waltz (Australia's greeting) composed by George Loder (Adelaide: G. H. Egremont Gee, 1867)
[Advertisement], South Australian Register (4 October 1867), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39174884; "TOPICS OF THE DAY", The South Australian (30 October 1867), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28802074; [News], The Argus (4 November 1867), 5: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5782479; [Advertisement], The Argus (6 November 1867), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13161382; "NEWS OF THE WEEK", South Australian Weekly Chronicle (9 November 1867), 4: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91259254; "THE SUBSCRIPTION BALL", South Australian Weekly Chronicle (9 November 1867), 6: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91259277; "NEW MUSIC", The Southern Argus (16 November 1867), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article96869186
Finnigan's wake polka composed by Th. Heydecke, arranged for the pianoforte by George Loder (Adelaide: G. H. Egremont-Gee, n.d. )
[Advertisement], The South Australian Advertiser (6 December 1866), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28793489
A fresh supply of this very popular polka.
O'er the salt sea foam (vocal quintette)
"THE ROYAL VISIT. THE CIVIC BANQUET", South Australian Register (11 November 1867), 3: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39193798
"The health of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh." The toast was received with three most hearty and enthusiastic cheers, and when the cheering had subsided the following quintette, written aud composed by Mr. Loder for the occasion, was sung:
"O'er the salt sea foam,
From thy island home
Thou hast come, to a far-off shore;
Ring out the cheer
That tells thou art here,
As in song our greetings pour.
Oh! welcome, welcome, Royal heart!
May ev'ry hour delight impart;
For through the wide world
Where floats unfurled
The Red Cross Banner o'er the strand,
Not one will greet,
No hearts will beat
More loyally warm than in this sunny land.
While above us mildly beaming,
See the Southern Cross is gleaming;
Emblem bright of our redeeming,
Shedding Peace, and Joy, and Love.
When thy pilgrimage is over,
When no more on earth a rover,
Then around thee may there hover
Happiness for thee above.
Then welcome again
From the billowy main,
Where the wild waves heave and roar;
Here rest awhile,
And thy toils beguile
On this far-off Southern shore."
Overture, The tale of two cities
"BENEFIT TO MR. GEORGE LODER", South Australian Register (6 June 1868), 3: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39175301
The programme was a most inviting one. It was introduced with an overture composed by Mr. Loder himself for Dickens's "Tale of Two Cities," and which was played on the pianoforte by the author and Mr. Lascelles.
"MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", The South Australian Advertiser (6 June 1868), 3: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31978937
Stars in your beauty beaming (song; "George Loder's last song")
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (11 March 1870), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13201881; "NEW SONG", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 March 1870), 5: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13202148
NEW SONG. - A song of considerable merit, entitled "Stars in your beauty beaming," the words by Mr. Henry Hoffmann, and the music by the late Mr. George Loder, has just been published. The words were originally written in German, and with a translation in English are printed under the notation. The composition of the music is essentially of the German school, and is very striking in construction. It is adapted to the baritone register, and to place this beyond doubt we presume is the reason why it was written in the bass clef; certainly, when transposed to a higher key, it is less effective. The music is worthy of the composer, whose ability was not confined to his office of conductor. The words, as translated, have a poetic spirit. With an orchestral accompaniment this song would prove highly effective, from the opportunity offered for introducing excellent passages for stringed instruments.
"Music and the Drama", Australian Town and Country Journal (26 March 1870), 11: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70458401
Edward Loder's opera Giselle, or The Night Dancers, was first produced in London in 1846, and in Sydney at the Royal Victoria, by the Howsons, Guerin, Ximenes, and Carandini, in November 1847. A duet from it, Peace to the Dead, was also performed separately in Australia.
[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 February 1847), 1: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12895369; "THE DRAMA", Bell's Life in Sydney (20 November 1847), 2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59767130
[George Loder], "Recollections of California & Australia (By a Musician)" [parts 1-20]
The Musical World 36 (27 March to 4 September 1858)
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=dIgPAAAAYAAJ (largely DIGITISED)
https://archive.org/stream/musicalworldvol01unkngoog (partly DIGITISED)
[Part 1] (27 March 1858), 199
[missing from Harvard Google exemplar; PAYWALL availability)
 (10 April 1858), 236
 (24 April 1858), 259-61
 (1 May 1858), 276-78
 (8 May 1858), 293-94
 (22 May 1858), 332-33
 (29 May 1858), 347-48
 (5 June 1858), 365-66
 (12 June 1858), 380-81
 (26 June 1858), 404-05
 (3 July 1858), 419-20
 (10 July 1858), 436-38
 (17 July 1858), 454-55
[Google not digitised; PAYWALL]
 (24 July 1858), 468-69
[Google not digitised; PAYWALL]
"RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA" , The Musical World (31 July 1858), 486-87
RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA. BY A MUSICIAN. (Continued from page 469.)
After having been in California about a year, during which period we met with continuous success in our concert speculation, I began to think of returning to New York, for my homesickness was getting almost too much to bear. But Fate decreed otherwise. Miss Catherine Hayes made her appearance one fine day in the early spring of 1853, and created a new furore, and as the party I was with left for Lima and Valparaiso, I willingly accepted an engagement as her conductor.
She arrived at a happy period. Trade, which for the last year had been seriously depressed, was now active; real estate had gone, and was going up (a healthy sign). Miss Hayes's success was unequivocal, and the fickle San Friskyones soon forgot the song of the American Thrush in the notes of the Swan of Erin; a most abominable appellation, as I take it, for swans only make a horrid noise like the trial of a bad bassoon-reed; and even geese have no claim to belong to a musical family, except when, as described by a facetious cook, "you roast him alyve," (which process is ingeniously described in an old work much antecedent to Mrs. Glasse,) and when the living bird is brought to table, and you proceed to carve him, "he maketh a ryghte pleasaunt noyse, which is myghtye agreeable." Money now tumbled in fast upon me, for the Swan had brought no opera scores, and she wished to give operatic scenes in costume, so that I had plenty of work to do in arranging and scoring, which labour brought a liberal return upon the lady's part. I therefore made up my mind to settle permanently in California, and having already assisted much in the elevation of orchestral music in New York, was not at all disinclined to become the pioneer of good music upon the shores of the North Pacific. Miss Hayes, after a most triumphant reception and tour through the State, left for South America in May, 1853. Another celebrity arrived in this month; Mrs. Catherine N. Sinclair, a lady who from her great talent as an actress, and capacity as a manager, was admirably fitted to lead the theatrical taste of the community. A superb theatre was erected for her (the Metropolitan, lately destroyed by fire), and having opened the San Francisco Hall, during the building of the Metropolitan, the company was formed, engagements were made with foreign artistes, and the Metropolitan was opened on December 24th, 1853, with a fine company, Mrs. Sinclair, manager; Mr. J. B. Booth, stage manager; Mr. Fairchild, scenic artist; and your humble servant, as musical director. My orchestra was small, but efficient; and upon Madame Anna Thillon's arrival in January, 1854, her operas were exceedingly well done, although she cut the score to ribands. The opera company consisted of Thillon, Miss Julia Gould, Messrs. Hudson and Bentler, tenors; and Messrs. Leach and Statdfeldt, bassos; the chorus (most excellent) by a German society. Madame Thillon's success, both in an artistic and pecuniary sense, must have been very gratifying.
The next musical arrival was Madame Anna Bishop, who, during her stay, did the work of about twenty prima donnas, but, I regret to say, without the pecuniary reward that her great talents, both as a singer and actress, entitled her to, not from want of appreciation or support upon the part of the people, but from the injudicious speculations of her manager, Bochsa, and the general commercial ruin that enveloped the state during a great portion of her stay. Miss Hayes returned from South America in May, 1854, but from the latter cause, this time did not make money; and she sailed for Australia in August, where she made a large fortune, which I sincerely wish she may live long to enjoy. An Italian Opera Company arrived in November, 1854, consisting of Madame Barili Thorn and Madame Bedei, prime donne, Mrs. Voorhees, contralto; Signor Scola, tenore, Signor Lauzoni, baritone, and one of the best artists and good men I ever knew; Signor Leonardi as basso. The operas produced were Ernani, I Due Foscari, Nabuco (with military band on the stage, and grand ballet), I Lombardi, Norma, Lucrezia, Sonnambula, Favorita, II Barbiere, and others, as the people say, "too tedious to mention." Verdi was, of course,  the favourite, and when I used to see that poor little Barili tearing herself to pieces in his demoniac service (causing her death not long afterwards) I used to long for a "Society for the prevention of cruelty to singers." But things had now taken a turn, business was bad, and the opera season was a failure, and with the exception of a slight change in affairs upon the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams, who were amazingly successful, Mrs. Sinclair's term of management expired with severe pecuniary loss to herself, a loss she might have avoided, had she, like some managers, closed after her first success, and dishonestly ignored her future engagements. I have thus rapidly sketched the musical and dramatic growth of the country from my arrival in 1852 to my departure in 1855, and have, of course, anticipated many recollections which would be pleasing to the reader, and some, I grieve to say, which recall a time of the greatest misery to myself.
I previously mentioned that I determined to remain permanently in California, and had sent for my dear wife, and my three boys; had built me a house in a beautiful valley, "convaynient to the city," planted a garden with lots of roses and geraniums, not forgetting a patch of vegetables, bought a comical horse and still more comical dog, and waited with much anxiety the arrival of the steamer which contained all I held most dear on earth. I used to while away the time by "pottering" about the house, and wondering how my darling would be pleased with my endeavours to make her a happy and comfortable home, till, as the time grew near, I got into a perfect nervous fever, and used to pass my spare time upon Telegraph Hill, in company with many other anxious hearts which awaited their dear ones' arrival. On Sunday morning I had watched until nearly three o'clock, when a heavy fog from the sea obscured the bay, and I thought of turning m for a short snooze, but could not have been asleep an hour, when I was awakened by my brother-in-law, with the horrid intelligence that the Tennessee had in the fog gone ashore nine miles or so to the north of the Heads, and that the news had been brought to the city by some sailors, who had escaped from the wreck in a whale boat, and found their way, by miracle, into the Bay. I tore distractedly, into the streets, and soon found one of the sailors, "Are Mrs. L., and the children on board? "They are, sir, safe and well; the passengers are being landed, and no lives are lost." I cannot describe the unutterable feeling of thankfulness to God that I experienced, nor the longing desire I had to be with them. A large party of husbands, brothers, and friends, was soon collected, and the steam-ship company having placed a steamer at our disposal, at nine at night we crossed the Bay to Sancelito, and from thence were to make our way, as best we could, on foot to the wreck, which was reported as being somewhere up the coast. Jolly old Jack Martin, the marine reporter, headed the party, and I am ashamed to say that several of the husbands felt their courage ooze away as we landed in utter darkness upon the shore, and they declined the perilous enterprise. Old Jack had provided himself with a lantern and a bottle of brandy. Away we plunged, sixteen in all, "through bog, fen, flat," up mountains, down precipices, every now and then coming across herds of wild mustangs, who, with a sound between a shriek and a snort, rushed across our path like a torrent. Our only hope was to keep our faces to the wind, for the sky was clouded, and no friendly star aided us. We did not know where the wreck lay, and when at length half dead with fatigue from scrambling among the rocks, and soaked with perspiration, we arrived at the head of a ravine of about a mile in length, we could scarcely believe our senses as we saw upon the shore an encampment of tents, and the huge rolling bulk of the devoted vessel heaving and tossing in the surf, and made visible by the height of enormous fires that the men had made from the ribs of stout vessels lost upon the beach. We descended the ravine, and shall I ever forget the joy of that wild reunion? My dear one safe and well, and my boys so grown, and nothing lost, not even a shoe wet! How we laughed and cried, as I heard how the little one had kept watch on a peak of rock looking for his Faver, who he said "was sure to come and fetch him;" and how my wife had philosophically calmed the terrors of the other ladies by the cheering idea that "If they were worth seeking, their husbands would be sure to find them;" and had very coolly turned into bed in the sand, where they looked like a lot of sardines in a box.
Was the joy of this meeting so soon to be turned into sorrow? I can scarcely write it, but from that time my dear one drooped. The slow but sure disease, consumption, had already set his seal upon her loved and loving form, and as I watched her daily sinking, and in agonies of pain - for over a year her torture never ceasing - while she bore her misery with a resignation and a courage that were marvellous to behold, I felt that if I could have poured my heart's blood at her feet to give her one moment's ease, how freely I would have done it. I need write no more. I soon was alone. Alone in this great world, with all its loneliness, but I was like a living corpse upon the earth; my heart was buried with her in that narrow grave, and I was desolate.
(To be continued.)
"RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA" , The Musical World (7 August 1858), 499-500
RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA. BY A MUSICIAN. (Continued from page 487.)
It may well be conceived, that after my affliction, I could bear no very good feeling towards a country which had so cruelly repaid my admiration of its beauties. I positively loathed the place; even my pretty house, that I had taken such pride in, was to me but a remembrancer of grief, and pain, and long night watches, uncheered by the faintest ray of hope. I found that, under these feelings, not only my bodily, but my mental health was suffering, and that if I remained I should become a madman. I therefore girded up my loins for another departure, and wishing much to see England, to which I had only paid a flying visit the year our good little Queen was crowned, thought I would take Australia on my way, and thus finish my tour of the New World before I began to rummage the old. But, as it is not very polite to leave a friend's house without a good-bye, I must just say a few words, if only to give some of my readers a proper idea of what sort of a place California really is. Truly the ignorance of people in England generally about even the very geographical position of this new land has been to me since my return perfectly incomprehensible. They go poking about up the Rhine and sweating through Egypt; they rummage nasty mummy pits and get gobbled by insects in Alexandria; they air their exceedingly domestic French at Paris, and talk flippantly when they return of Rue this and Rue that, and think themselves so knowing, while they cannot tell whether a new nation destined at some future period to play a noble part in the world's history, is upon the Atlantic or the Pacific, or have the remotest notion of its natural products or political position. They know that gold comes from there, because they see it in the papers; but, sir, they have scaled the Pyramids (and of coarse cut their d - d names there), they have become intimately acquainted with the dirty German gambling courts, and the filthy stews of Paris, and much good it has done them. Let any sensible man, who has taken the beaten paths of tourists upon the Continent (in the way tours are generally taken), tell me truly if the only feeling he has upon his return is not that of ennui, perhaps combined with the pleasing sensation of having spent a great deal of money to very little purpose. Well, then, as to position, California, that is the centre of the state, is about the latitude of Florence, and has a most lovely and healthful climate, never overpoweringly hot, and free from frost and snow, except in the mountains, free also from electric phenomena and epidemic diseases; the soil is of unparalleled fertility, and its natural productions various and valuable. This fine land, since its first visit by Sir Francis Drake, and its settlement by the Jesuit missionaries, was sparely inhabited by Spaniards, Mexicans, and their descendants, who employed their time in raising cattle, for the purpose of denuding them of their outer covering, which was sold to the hide drogers of Russia, America, and England. (I may mention, en peasant, that a very interesting description of the place at this period can be found in Dana's Three Years before the Mast, which is well worthy perusal.) At last the grand discovery of gold at Captain Sutter's Mill at Coloma gave at once an impetus to emigration, and proved the opening wedge to the future prosperity of the country, but it was but the wedge; the true wealth of the land lies in her crops of "wa-a-a-vy corn" (as Dr. Boyce hath it), in her coal mines, her leather, her wool, her timber, her salted meats, her tobacco, her quicksilver, and last, not least, her wines; of which, believe my prophetic words, this country eventually will be the queen, as many German and French wine growers have, at great trouble and expense, imported the vines fitted for the various soils and differences of climate, and are already making most exquisite wines, which though now too new to arrive at perfection, give ample promise of future excellence in their richness of flavour, and exquisite bouquet. It may readily be imagined that the first immigration would not be of the most steady or puritanical description; men with broken fortunes, broken hearts, but yet with some hope left, men of bad principle, men of no principle at all, men of energy, men of vice, men of blood, and the floating scum or riff-raff of the American and European large cities, flocked here en masse, and the consequences might readily have been foreseen.
A large party of ruffians, who rejoiced in the pleasing application of "the hounds," spread dismay among the peaceably disposed by robbing their tents, and maltreating and murdering all who were disposed to object to their delicate attentions. This state of things could not last long, and the respectable inhabitants banded together, and after some hard fighting succeeded in dispersing this horde of ruffians. The place for a time was peacable and thriving, and a city sprung up as if by magic; but as fast as built seemed devoted to destruction. Five times was the infant settlement afflicted with the horrors of a conflagration, until the inhabitants were almost in despair, until the reason was discovered - these fires were the acts of incendiaries.
To the horror of the people it was discovered that a regular gang of robbers and incendiaries existed in their midst. The sheriff of the county, a pugilist named Belcher Kaye, was the Grindoff of these "Miller's men," and he was the master spirit who enrolled all their operations; at length one of the gang was detected in the act of robbery, and then sprung up that famous league of men, "The Vigilance Committee," whose acts and motives have been so thoroughly misunderstood, particularly in this country, where it is too much the fashion to look with a jaundiced and prejudiced eye upon the proceedings of other nations, whose motives of action do not exactly square with our notions of strict propriety.
This committee was composed of the men of peace of all nations, merchants, lawyers, doctors, professional men, and even clergymen. The law was powerless, for the officers of the law were in the pay of the thieves, and any attempt at legal proceedings was net only worse than useless, but entailed upon the unfortunate complainant the vengeance of the band of ruffians. This committee bound themselves by oath to administer justice without fear or favour, and they did it. They solemnly tried and executed two men who were escaped convicts from Van Dieman's land; they expelled all who by the confessions of the executed men were mixed up in their nefarious projects. Belcher Kaye escaped to Callas, and for four years and upwards the State was purged, and the administration of the law went on in its usual and legitimate channels; but the supineness of the people in general in non-attending to their political duties (a serious fault in a Republic), again caused trouble. State, county, and municipal offices got into the hands of needy and desperate adventurers; the ballot-boxes were stuffed, that is filled with false votes to ensure the election of some creatures of their own, and to such an extent was this practice carried, that, during my stay, at an election, the ballot box of the eighth ward was found to contain four hundred more votes than there were inhabitants, women and children included. This state of things could not last; and it was some few weeks after my departure that the storm burst. A murderer, one Cora, had been pardoned a wilful and deliberate murder by the Governor (it was rumoured upon political grounds), and a near neighbour of mine, Mr. James King, the Editor of the Bulletin, was deliberately assassinated in broad daylight by a man named Casey. This was the last feather that broke the camel's back, the Vigilance Committee (never disbanded), again sprung into being, and in a week ten thousand men armed and equipped with rifles, muskets, pistols, and artillery, commenced a thorough purgation of the State; the Governor asked the assistance of General Wool to assist him with the Congressional troops, which the General wisely declined, as no overt act had been committed against the general government, and he dared not interfere in their domestic quarrels. So they, the committee tried and hung Cora and Casey, expelled the scoundrels who had been a curse to the State so long (one of whom, a fighter named Yankee Sullivan, was so frightened at the idea of being returned to Van Dieman's land, that he committed suicide), and at the close of their labours deliberately resigned their self constituted powers into the hands of the authorities.
These troubles, though they look very shocking upon paper, never interfered in the slightest degree with the spread of  civilization. A magnificent catholic chapel was built, churches of every denomination sprung into being, and all were furnished with good choirs, the masses being often performed with full orchestra, while a very good choral society was formed, and despite the eruption of the political volcano, society could with ease be found in which all the graces of the most cultivated city in Europe or America were practised.
And so with my parting benediction I prepared to leave a land in which I had gained so much - and lost so much. So farewell California - it may be but for awhile; and my next chapter will find me again upon the wide Pacific en route for the great English colonies.
(To be continued.)
"RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA" , The Musical World (14 August 1858), 515-516
RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA. BY A MUSICIAN. (Continued from page 500.)
I Have no doubt but that, after the last chapter, my readers will be as glad as I was to leave California, and take passage with me to the Southern Dorado. And so imagine yourself upon a fine ship, well appointed, a fast sailer originally, but commanded by a slow and sure Dutchman: it was like yoking a race-horse to the plough. Our captain, though a good and kindhearted man, had the bump of caution so tremendously developed, that I verily believe, if it had not been for our continually bullying him to make sail, we should have been to this day knocking about the Pacific like a modern Vanderdecken I have since been ass enough to sail with another native of the land of fog and herrings for a commander, but if ever I do again, I'm a Dutchman myself. In twenty-four hours from our departure, we struck the north-east trade winds, which bowled us along merrily down to three degrees to the south of the equator, which distance we made in fifteen days, and should undoubtedly have had a very quick passage to Sydney, if our captain had the gumption to sail his vessel. But no, we were kept poking about in the South Pacific till all patience was exhausted, and we thought we should never arrive at our destination.
The voyage was pleasant enough; the sunsets were gorgeous in the extreme, and the moons unimpeachable; the vessel was comfortable, the victuals excellent, and the passengers, mostly connected with the musical and dramatic profession, agreed about as well as they usually do, and we expected to make a very humdrum and stupid passage, when an incident occurred which threw a gloom over us all, and rendered the latter part of our voyage quite dreary.
Among our passengers were a gentleman [John Deane (1820-1893)] and his wife [Annie Perrier], musicians, who were returning to their native land, Australia. They had a most lovely little girl of about seven months old: she was the pet of the whole ship, and in the warm tropical latitudes used to lie in a hammock on deck, and kick up her little legs, and crow with delight. We were not very far from the Navigator's Islands. It was a dead calm, and extremely hot, and all the passengers had been enjoying themselves upon the poop with song and jest, assisted by a decoction of my invention, the principal ingredients of which were Scotch whiskey, sugar, and lemon syrup; and I had retired at midnight to my virtuous pillow, when I was awakened by a friend who begged me instantly to rise, as the baby was dead or dying. We had no doctor on board, and I was generally looked up to as that functionary, and a few moments brought me on to the poop, where I found the little darling quite dead. Every effort was made to restore animation, but in vain. It seems that she had been left in the berth asleep, and the evening being so very calm no danger was apprehended, but the little pet had by some means got the pillow over her head and was smothered in her innocent sleep. But then came the awful scene. After the bustle incident upon our efforts to restore animation was over, a deathlike stillness seemed to close like a pall around us, a low convulsive sob from the agonised mother alone breaking the solemn silence, when with an awful yell like some wild beast in fearful agony, the father, who had been vacantly gazing at the corpse of his first born, sprung to the bulwarks, and had he not been restrained by the giant arm of the first mate, would have dashed himself into the sea. Those around seized him; but he was perfectly frantic, and for three hours experienced a succession of epileptic fits which were horrifying to witness. While in the paroxysms it took five strong men to hold him, although he was a very small and slight man. The convulsions were at last broken by the use of strong spirits of ammonia, and then I calmed the poor broken-hearted fellow with a strong dose of brandy and water, and an enormous pipe, and succeeded in getting him into a sound sleep, from which he did not awake until noon of the next day, weak and sore from his struggles, but apparently tranquil; but for several days we never suffered him to be alone. The calm still continued, and it was impossible for us to make the Island of Eowa (the nearest land) where we wished to bury the little innocent, and we had to resign it to the fathomless ocean; the carpenter made a little coffin, which was loaded heavily to sink it. And here I must relate a little trait of our captain, which really endeared him to us all, despite his dawdling propensities. He had some flowers in pots, which were a great delight to him and his dear little wife, and just before we closed the coffin lid, he cut up every one of his plants to decorate, in his own country's sweet and poetical custom, the sleeping infant: that man had a heart, and God bless and prosper him, wherever he may be.
The sad ceremony over, up sprung the wind, and until our arrival at Sydney we were favoured with squalls, which, in the Southern Ocean, blow in circles, so that a smart captain takes advantage of a lull in the wind to edge away into the outer ring of wind, and get into another serial maelstrom. But as our Batavian friend was not au fait to these artful dodges, our further progress was anything but satisfactory; for we were seventy-six days on a voyage that should have been accomplished at the most in fifty-five, and when we arrived in Sydney there was not a pint of water on board, and as to the grog, that had "gin eout," as the Yankees say, three week before. I did endeavour to manufacture a cocktail out of spirits of wine, red pepper, and lavender water, but it was a horrid failure, and I became a son of temperance perforce. At Sydney they have an original method of piloting vessels into the harbour, which consists of the simple plan of letting them come in themselves, and then, when you are comfortably anchored out of danger, and you fire about a dozen guns, a pilot will condescend to come on board, that is, if he is not at his dinner, or supper, or tea, or smoking a pipe, or taking a nobbler (Anglice, a glass of grog). I may be wrong, but it was always my impression that pilots were required to take ships into a harbour, and no doubt the New York pilots are very wrong, too, when they come out to sea from three to four hundred miles to meet vessels. But it is like everything else in this colony, the demon of slowness possesses the whole land, and it is not until some fearful disaster, like the wreck of the Dunbar, occurred, that people began to think that the harbour was not properly lit, and that if the pilots had suitable vessels they might be induced to go outside, and not be lying "under gingerbread hatches at home." It was night when we arrived and passed through the dark frowning heads, that like gigantic portals guard the enchanted gardens within. We had been lying on and off, and firing guns to rouse the pilots, but bless you, it was of no more avail than Mrs. Bond's invitation to "Dilly, dilly, come and be killed." So one of our passengers, an American captain, who had been wrecked upon one of the Pacific Islands, volunteered to take us in, which he did with the greatest ease. We then cast anchor, and the pilot came on board. "We heard ye firing outside," said he. "Then why the didn't you come to us?" says we. "Oh! I was at my tea," says he; with which very satisfactory excuse we had to be content. And it's a fact he deliberately went home again, as he said his old woman (meaning, I presume, his wife) objected to sleep alone. He, however, favoured us with his company next morning at eight o'clock, and performed the difficult act of pilotage by hitching on to a steamer, which towed us up a distance of seven miles to our destination alongside Pinch Gut Island (that's a sweet name, delicate reader, is it not?) No description can give an adequate idea of this beautiful haven: from the sublime entrance from the sea, every movement of the vessel gives you a new phase in the landscape; the swelling hills and craggy cliffs are crowned with beautiful villas; the bays are alive with fast-sailing yachts; wherever the eye falls new beauties meet it. Hundreds of coves, where vessels of large tonnage can lie with perfect ease, trend off on every hand, and form bays and rivers of exquisite beauty, whose banks are lined with beautiful gardens, rich with the golden wealth of oranges.
Reader, if you never were out at sea for three months, you have never enjoyed the greatest luxuries that the world can give, which in my experienced opinion are mutton chops and porter. It is really worth while going round the world by way of getting up a proper appetite: as for me, I positively revelled in them. Sydney and the Australian colonies in general are much better known - through the medium of the many books that have been written for the purpose of inducing emigration,  - than the wild Pacific coast I had just quitted; and I shall content myself with merely making such observations upon music, matters, men, and manners, as appeared to me new or odd, or to counteract the too highly coloured accounts of those who had a personal and pecuniary interest in peopling the colonies; - too often, I am afraid, at the expense of the misdirected emigrant.
Music is well and thoroughly cultivated in Sydney - indeed there are very few houses without a pianoforte; but orchestral music is at a very low ebb, and I had, after a twelvemonth's absence, while upon a tour in the more southerly colonies, great difficulty in procuring a perfectly efficient opera orchestra. I stayed in Sydney about six weeks, enjoying the lovely scenery around, and being perfectly enchanted with the lovely Botanical Gardens, which are in the centre of a park four miles in circumference, and with a beautiful little bay washing their green swarded shores. These gardens are public property, and are kept in most exquisite order. At the time of our arrival the winter (so called) was just over, and the blossoms of the apple, peach, and pear, mingled in strange luxuriance with the fruit of the banana and plaintain, and the flowers of the orange and camelia Japonica. The country also produces most exquisite native flowers, the names alone of which would fill a large volume. For example, the colony of Victoria alone possesses thirty thousand indigenous varieties of plants, some of the most curious of which are the Banksia, a gigantic kind of bottle brush, which, by-the-way, can be seen growing at Kew Gardens. The Moreton Bay fig (or caoutchouc-tree) also grows in Sydney to an enormous size.
Being desirous of seeing the other colonies of Victoria, South Australia, and Van Dieman's land, I accepted an engagement with Madame Anna Bishop, and departed for Melbourne at the commencement of the Australian summer, which begins in October, at which place I hope next chapter to receive my myriad readers. (To be continued.)
"RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA" , The Musical World (21 August 1858), 531-32
RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA. BY A MUSICIAN. (Continued from page 516.)
From Sydney to Melbourne is a sea passage of about five hundred miles to the southward, which we made in a very swift steamer, the Telegraph. The coast is visible the whole distance, and the two principal points, Capes Howe and Otway, stand out in bold relief against the horizon. The steamer was a very swift one (that is, swift for the colonies, where the majority of the boats are worn out old screws from the Clyde), and we arrived at Melbourne in forty-eight hours. The harbour (Port Philip) is very large and commodious, but possesses none of the natural beauties of Port Jackson (Sydney), and the city has altogether an air of newness strongly resembling those extra ordinary towns in the great west of America, which spring up as if by magic. Many of the public buildings and large stores, banks, &c, &c, are noble piles, but the majority being of a dark blue stone, of volcanic origin, give the city a prison-like appearance. The streets are laid out principally at right angles, alternately wide and narrow, and named accordingly, as for example, Great Bourke-street, Little Bourke-street, Great Lonsdale-street, Little Lonsdale-street, and so on with the dittos to the end of the chapter (or rather municipality). Its rapid growth is of course, in a great measure, owing to the discovery of the Victoria gold fields, but has been greatly accelerated by the presence of Americans, whose go-ahead propensities have inoculated their steadier neighbours, and the consequence has been that the colony of Victoria has progressed in a much, greater ratio than her sisters New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Indeed, to such an extent has the "curse of gold" infected, Midas-like, the land, that the great Australian staple, wool, was for a time neglected for the evanescent prosperity induced by the auriferous discoveries; and while her slower sister, New South Wales, was quietly plodding along, Victoria (like California) has had to pass, and is still passing, through the period of mercantile depression consequent upon over-trading, and the neglect of the natural staple products which alone are the true wealth of a nation. And to this unpleasant condition she has been brought in a great measure by the ridiculous conduct of merchants and manufacturers at home, who would persist (spite of the entreaties of their correspondents in the colonies) in glutting the markets with every description of wearing apparel, hardware, &c., &c., which were sent on consignment; the consignees had, in order to pay freight charges, &c., &c, to force goods into the market at nominal prices, and very often articles of excellent manufacture could be bought at a discount of fifty per cent, below the Loudon manufacturer's rates. And while I was in Melbourne there must have been an impression at home that the colonists fed upon leather, for there were boots and shoes enough to give every man, woman, and child in the colony a pair daily for a twelvemonth to come. Now I think we have had quite enough of political economy (or wastefulness as the case may be), and let us indulge in a little mewsic, as a delicate gentleman of my acquaintance calls it.
The good people of Melbourne are great lovers of music, more especially when placed before them in an operatic form. They possess three theatres - the Royal, the Princesses, and the Olympic - or Coppin's Iron Pot as it is called, being built of corrugated iron, and well calculated, from its materials, during the hot summer months, to sauté an audience. The Princess's was originally an amphitheatre, ninety-two feet in width; and was altered into a theatre, or opera-house, for our opera season, in 1857. The Royal is a handsome theatre, of which Coppin is the lessee, but the exterior is unfinished, and as the entrance is through a large saloon used as a promenade by the vilest of the vile of both sexes, in which the most disgusting scenes continually occur, it is not to be wondered at that the theatre is not generally patronised by the élite of the inhabitants. Mr. Coppin is also the proprietor of Cremorne, a very pretty establishment some three miles from the city, in the district of Richmond, upon the pretty Yarra-Yarra River, and is frequented much by the same description of ladies and gentlemen as the London establishment of the same name, and the High Jinks carried on there upon  gala nights after midnight, beggar all description. Concerts are given in a little room, holding about four hundred people, called the Mechanic's Institute; and in the Exhibition Building, one of those glass cucumber frames called into being by Sir Joseph Paxton, and about as badly adapted for sound as the Crystal Palace, St. James's Hall, the Thames-Tunnel, or any other similar establishment in which music and poetry, like the babes in the Tower, are smothered. When will architects be convinced, by practical experience, that a segment of a circle is not the shape for the ceiling of a hall intended for musical purposes? and that a lot of kneeling, fat, indelicate cupids, the colour of dairy-fed pork (as at St. James his Hall), can by no possibility assist vibration? Rot your stencilled ceilings and Venetian red walls, say I! Give me rather a "Plain Brick Playhouse," as old Cobbett said (or rather as Horace and James Smith said for him), where you can hear a fiddle or two without swearing at the architect. Our stay at Melbourne this time was very short, as we only gave a concert in the cucumber frame for the benefit of the hospital, which, I am happy to say, was nobly responded to by the music-loving people of Melbourne. Our next destination was across the Bay to Geelong, the second city in point of population in the colony of Victoria. Here we played an opera season of a mouth with excellent success, much to our astonishment, for the town looks as if it had taken a spell of forty winks from Rip Van Winkle's long nap. From thence we were to penetrate "into the bowels of the land," yea, even unto Ballarat, a distance by coach of ninety miles. The coaches are square waggons of American manufacture, mounted upon leathern springs, and are well adapted for the heavy work they have to undergo in travelling the exceedingly rough roads leading to the gold regions. They are owned and driven by Americans, and I have often beheld good English whips quite astonished at the apparently reckless, though really careful Jehu-ism of the drivers as they dash forward at a fearful pace through the half burnt woods and over the ragged mountain courses which are dignified with the name of roads; and there is a good story extant of a comical [... unpublishable ...], one of the best drivers, devil-may-care, and goodhearted men in the world. His real name is Bradley, but he is generally called (as a term of endearment I presume) by the monosyllabic designations of Brads or Brad. This amiable youth once started from Ballarat at six o'clock in the morning for Geelong, at which place he was due at three in the afternoon; and some idea may be formed of the pace at which he went by the fact of his arrival at eleven o'clock, four hours in advance of his time, and with one solitary passenger (an old sailor used to holding on), having dropped all the others, nine in number, at various points along the road. Mr. Brad did not drive that line again in a hurry, but he is now comparatively steady, and is one of the most reliable drivers upon the Bendigo route. From the extreme roughness of the road, and the rate at which you are carried, by the time you arrive at your destination you feel very much as if you had been taking a night's ride with the Black Huntsman, and had lost leather in the operation; and I was really so much fatigued with being driven through the top of the waggon, and being bumped on the bottom (of it), that I recollect nothing of the scenery or the approach to Ballarat, except a confused idea of trees with leadcoloured leaves and burnt trunks and branches, varied with tufts of a high rank grass that resembled stumpy palm trees. At length habitations began to take a position among the eternal stringy-bark and blue gum trees, and for miles we passed through numberless huts and tents, our coach meandering through a net work of holes full of muddy water, which were the remains of trials for pay-dirt, as it is called; and at length reached the end of our journey, Ballarat Flat, much to our delight and personal comfort.
The Flat (so called in contradistinction to the Camp, which is upon a hill adjacent) is a long straggling street, macadamised with quartz, and filled with hotels, public-houses, theatres, casinos, singing-rooms, shops, restaurants, miners, horse dealers, jockies, and those hordes of lazy hangers-on that are found in every mining camp all over the world. An atmosphere of dirt pervaded everything, and during the six weeks that we remained it rained on an average twenty hours out of the twenty-four, and had been doing so, according to all accounts, for eight months before our arrival. There are three theatres on the Flat: the Montezuma (at which we played), the Victoria, and the Charlie Napier (the two last being semi-casinos). We played operas four nights a week, sometimes in Italian, sometimes French, and once the Sonnambula in English, Count Rodolfo by the light comedian (weighing sixteen stone) of the dramatic company, who certainly gave a new appearance, if not a new reading to the part, by sporting an exceedingly black eye, which he had obtained the night before at a ball at the Charlie Napier, the said balls at that aristocratic establishment generally winding up with a free fight, at which all present were expected to assist.
Our audiences were of a very heterogeneous description, with a slight sprinkling of German and French gentlemen, merchants in the place, to whom our advent was a perfect God-send, and though our operatic efforts might not bear a very critical examination (excepting, of course, the principals), nothing could exceed the enthusiasm of the mass of our patrons, and the six weeks' opera season at the Ballarat Diggings was a profitable one to Madame Bishop.
(To be continued)
"RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA" , The Musical World (28 August 1858), 547-48
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=dIgPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA546 (page following) (DIGITISED)
RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA. BY A MUSICIAN. (Continued from page 532.)
It was at least a fortnight before I could manage to get time enough to have a look at the surrounding country, or form any idea of the size of this great mining camp, for my days were taken up with interminable rehearsals, and my evenings and nights with the performance at the theatre, and the alteration or condensation of band-parts; but at length I did get a spare day, which I devoted to a good long wander, and was perfectly astonished at the wonderful extent of the place. The masses of huts and tents seemed perfectly incredible; and when we ascended Black Hill, where we got a good panoramic view, I can compare the sight to nothing more graphic than that fine passage in Numbers, in which Balaam the Prophet sells Balak the King, by blessing, instead of cursing, the hosts of Israel. As far as the eye can reach, and trending off into the numerous defiles and valleys, nothing can be seen but the white canvass of innumerable tents, diversified with gay flags of various nations, from the bi-crossed union-jack to the Chinese dragon ([unpublishable]), while the upturned earth, and the numerous whims as they are called (large barrels horizontally placed upon a vertical shaft, and turned by a horse), which puddle out the pay-dirt - that is, separate the gold from the clay - give evidence of the large amount of capital employed, and the enormous number of miners who are continually risking life and limb in their search for gold. And when the reader considers that most of the shafts are over a hundred feet deep, and that Ballarat is only one of many camps equally large, he can form some idea, by looking at the official returns of the amount of gold received, of how very small is the individual profit to each worker so engaged.
The business portion of Ballarat is as great a Babel as a fashionable watering-place in the season, which I think gives the best idea of an auricular pandemonium that can be conceived, with, on an average, three street bands and five pianofortes continually playing together; for at Ballarat every public-house had in it either a barrel organ, or two or three Dutch girls pumping accordions and pounding tambourines, while ever and anon they accompanied these instruments of torture with their most "sweet voices," until I wished that the "Bold Privateer" was swinging at his own yard arm, and "Poor dog Tray" converted into his ultimate destination, sausages. But at last, much to my delight, we left the Paradise of Pot Houses, and returned to Geelong were en-route for Melbourne, thence taking steamer for Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. The city of Adelaide lies about five miles inland from the port, and is supposed to be built upon an imaginary river, the Torrens, which was originally depicted in the lithographic views that were printed with the view of inducing capitalists to invest their spare cash in the land speculations of the colony, as a "bright and flowing river." It contained about enough water to rinse a moderate-sized tea cup when I went to its banks one morning in the vain hope of getting a swim. This want of navigable rivers is much felt in the four continental colonies - I mean New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Swan River. The colonists must perforce make railroads to supply the deficiency, although some grave philosophers rather scout the idea of building railroads until cities are erected in the interior; about as sensible a plan as that of the Irish architect who built his house and omitted the staircase.
The society in Adelaide is decidedly the most refined in the colonies, for the curse of convictism has never be en forced upon them, nor has the lust of gold, with its gambling influences, affected the somewhat staid demeanour of its inhabitants. This valuable portion of these colonies contains immense hoards of copper, and the Burra-Burra mines are celebrated the world over. Silver is also found in considerable quantities. Added to these natural advantages, agriculture is carried on upon rational and scientific principles. Fruits of every description, including the delicious almond, are in great plenty. When the projected railroad to the river Murray (the only large stream in the colonies) is finished, thereby avoiding the difficult navigation at the mouth of that river, there can be no doubt that Adelaide will take a high position among the Australian cities: at the present time it is one of the pleasantest places in the colonies, and I shall often remember the kindness and hospitality of its inhabitants with grateful feelings.
A public spirited gentleman, Mr. White, has erected a beautiful concert-room, holding eight hundred people seated comfortably. It is admirably adapted for sound, and fitted up with great elegance. Here we gave concerts for six weeks, four concerts a week, with very great and flattering success: the audiences were of the most recherche and appreciative description, the Governor, Sir Richard O'Donnell and his lovely wife, being our constant patrons; and as our party was small, consisting of Madame Bishop, Mr. Giede [recte Julius Siede], a very charming flutist, and myself, the profits must have been considerable. We also visited Gawler-town, a most abominable place, with a perpetual Egyptian plague of flies infesting it. I have often been well phlebotomised by mosquitoes, tickled to death by fleas, and driven to desperation by barrel-organs, none of which abominations can compare with the hideous nuisance of those detestable insects; they even accompanied us back to Adelaide in swarms, until a hard shower of rain relieved us from their hospitable services, and wetted us to the skin. I was really sorry to leave this pleasant place (I don't mean Gawler-town, but Adelaide), although we had a specimen of a hot wind that was the most fearfully oppressive thing that can be imagined. I awoke one morning with a sense of suffocation, and rushed to the window for a breath of fresh air, but it was just like the blast from a hot furnace. During the whole day the streets were deserted, and I scarcely moved from the bed the whole day, but just lied and grunted. The fearful temperature continued till evening, when in an instant the wind chopped round to the opposite quarter, and in ten minutes the thermometer fell thirty-six degrees. This sudden change creates a perfect whirlwind, and those who are unfortunate enough to be caught out can do nothing but cover their eyes, and wait the cessation of the rush of cold wind, which freezes you to the very marrow. Poor Mr. Giede [Siede] was caught in it, and came into the hotel looking like a miller, so thoroughly powdered was he with, the whirls of dust. This is a slight specimen of the hot winds, and will give intending emigrants some idea of the trying climate, especially when they blow, as is often the case, for days together.
Our next place of visit was to the Portland, a small but thriving place about half-way between Adelaide and Melbourne. This town, and most of the surrounding country has been peopled by the best agricultural emigrants in the world, I mean the Scotch, who worthily sustain their character abroad both for thrift and hospitality. The Bay was formerly a great place of resort for whales, of which the evidences can still be seen in the numerous white rib bones which are strewn upon the surrounding beach, and the vertebra: which are used as garden stools by the inhabitants. Several large vessels annually load with wool, and although the place seems dull, there is a thriving business done there, and its inhabitants have been spared the over-trading propensities of their neighbours.
We gave five concerts here with great success, and afterwards crossed the bay to Belfast, or Port Fairy as it is termed, a miserable dead-alive hole on a sand bank. From its name the reader can form some idea of the birth place of the original settlers, which will fully account for the decadence and ruin you see around.
From this place we went by coach to Warrnambool through a most charming country, passing the Lakes of Killarney, a lovely bit of mountain and lake scenery which, with a loving reminiscence of home, the emigrants (mostly Irish) have so christened.
To use an American expression, Warrnambool is the "jumping off place," a perfect abode of dulness and dummy-ness; and in this hole or cave of Trephonius we were imprisoned for over a week, waiting for a steamer to relieve us, like a lot of melancholy Andromedas waiting for a Perseus to deliver us from the  thraldom of a dragon in the shape of a Yorkshire landlord, one of the jolliest old hogs I ever met with. And now fancy a Christmas day spent here, such a Christmas, with a hot wind blowing, the thermometer at a hundred and ten, and a regular old fashioned English Christmas dinner laid out; a baron of beef, turkeys, fowls, hot mince pies, and plum pudding, washed down with copious libations of fine old crusted port of real British manufacture (brandy and all), and sparking Moselle, and champagne without ice, several degrees above fever heat. I stood it like a salamander until the plum pudding entered, blazing with the flames of Jamaica rum. This was too much for Satan himself to bear, and I rushed from the banquet, and bolted myself into my room, from which our amiable host swore he would unearth me. Happily, for me, the port wine he had imbibed had its effect, and he was put to bed in a state of incipient apoplexy.
This elegant individual had invited a large number of the neighbouring inhabitants to a Grand Christmas Ball upon the following night, but as he had cleverly omitted to engage any musicians, not even a fiddler could be got for love or money, the only excuse Caliban made was, "O, dom them, let 'em goa bock agen," and he then amused himself by getting extremely drunk and going to bed glorious. At length relief came, and we were rescued from the clutches of this devil incarnate, and arrived back in Melbourne, strange to say, without gastric fever, which I fully expected to have had a touch of. We stopped a few days in Melbourne, to recruit, and then took steamer to cross Bass's Straits for a tour in Van Dieman's Land, or, as it is now more euphoniously termed, Tasmania. This charming island was for some time after the discovery and settlement of New South Wales supposed to be the extreme southern part of the great island-continent of New Holland, until the discovery of the intervening strait by an enterprising lieutenant, who in a whale-boat was the first to prove Captain Cook's old maps incorrect, and like that great navigator, who gave his name to the watery passage that divides the northern portion of the great continent from the opposited coast of Timor, he has immortalised himself by the daring act.
Our destination was to be Launceston, which lies at the head of the beautiful River Tamar. The sail up this fine stream was perfectly enchanting, being a continuous succession of panoramas of mountain, vale, and cultivated land, dotted here and there with snug farm-houses and suburban villas, and with an atmosphere and temperature strongly resembling the mild and healthy coast of Devonshire in the summer time; and at Launceston I had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Leffler, a brother of the late Adam Leffler. This gentleman is one of the first professors in the thriving city of Launceston, and his presence seemed to link me nearer home than I had been for many a long year.
(To be continued)
"RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA" , The Musical World (4 September 1858), 563-64
[Google not digitised; PAYWALL]
RECOLLECTIONS OF CALIFORNIA & AUSTRALIA. BY A MUSICIAN. (Concluded from page 548.)
A PLEASANT stay of three weeks brought our series of successful concerts to a conclusion, and we departed for Hobart Town, stopping at a very pretty place (Campbell Town) to give a concert. The road to Hobart Town was-built by convict labour, and is as fine as any macadamised road in England; and we were sent back twenty years at the sight of a real old-fashioned stage coach, with a real old-fashioned coachman in a coat with multitudinous capes, and a real old-fashioned guard in a red coat and one eye, with a real old-fashioned tin horn in a basket by his side; and a most delightful ride we bad upon the top of the coach, after undergoing the usual friendly squabble as to who should have the seat of honour - the Box. The scenery throughout is very beautiful, but after leaving Campbell Town it is positively sublime. Upon our left rose the glorious mountain, Ben Lomond, with its fantastic outline cutting against the clear blue sky, and its sides adorned with a roseate hue mingled with shadows of grey and dark indigo. As we proceeded upon our smooth and level way, the straight outline of Table Mountain (a twin brother of Cape of Good Hope) came into view. Soon the stream of the Jordan was passed, Babylon and Jericho were left behind, and the grand River Derwent rolled at our feet as we descended through Hell's gate, while towering before us rose Mount Wellington looming in awful grandeur over the picturesque bay and City of Hobart Town. During the whole route the brilliant plumage of numerous parrots lighted up the scene with bright flashes of crimson, green, and gold, as the slanting rays of the declining sun illuminated these lively denizens of the woods; while the air was filled with the perfume of the sweet-briar, which, originally brought from dear Old England to bring back fond memories of homes for ever lost, has lovingly rooted itself to the soil, and in wondrous masses clothes the landscape with its simple beauty. Hobart Town lies at the foot of Mount Wellington, and is a fine well-built city, with noble wharves and quays, at which vessels of the largest size lie peacefully moored. The visitor is at once struck with the size of the various jails, convict barracks, &c., &c., which tell the sad tale of human crime and its punishment, and the remains of the system can still be seen in the gangs of wretches clad in the prison dress of gray or yellow, as yoked like beasts of burthen to carts they are employed upon the roads, or in the quarries getting out stone for the new Government House.
Van Dieman's land has for some years been spared the infliction of the hordes of evil-doers who were continually sent out by the parent government to pollute its native purity; but, alas! the effect, as well as the stigma, still remains; for seldom does a session pass without the trial of prisoners (old Norfolk Island ticket-of-leave men) for crimes, which the wildest imagination cannot equal in horror, and at which humanity shrinks from contemplating.
There are two theatres in Hobart Town, one exceedingly well built, and decorated with great taste; the other is a small affair. There is also a concert-room erected by a son of the Elliston; it partakes more of the character of an amateur theatre than a hall for music, and was altered from its original form (an auction mart) to permit the performance of private theatricals. Our concerts were given both in the Theatre and Elliston's Hall, and one grand night at Government House, which possesses a fine ball room. The performance upon this occasion attracted the most aristocratic audience, including several officers in short jackets with no tails to them. The Governor and his amiable lady graced the concert with their presence upon an elevated platform or dais, and the whole affair was very recerché and uncommonly slow.
There is one institution in Hobart-Town that elevates it above all the other cities in Australia - I mean an ice-house. About half way up Mount Wellington a receptacle for this necessary of life is built, and a daily journey is made on horseback for a supply of the precious refrigerator. The arrival of the messenger is always a source of pleasure, for sometimes he gets bewildered in the tremendous mists that at times envelope the mountain, and the supply has to be lost, much to the chagrin of a pastry-cook, who is the contractor for the hoary wintry head of the grand mountain.
Then principal business transacted here is drinking. It is a most terrible place for that vice, or weakness, or whatever you please to call it; and I have noticed that wherever the convict element has been most developed, this habit attains to a degree that would astonish us even in hard-soaking Old England; and a natural consequence must be an increase in crime. That this is the case a glance at the statistics of South Australia will readily prove. That colony, never having been cursed with convicts, is comparatively free from drunkenness and its attendant crimes; while in the others, particularly Tasmania, the passer-by will witness scenes, even on the Sabbath, which will strike him with horror and disgust, and render the beauty of the surrounding scenery perfectly hateful.
It was now time to return to Melbourne, where the amphi-theatre was being converted into the Princess's Opera House, and a very handsome subscription had been made for the forthcoming season; and as the opening of a new theatre, and getting together a new company, band, and chorus, &c., &c., required some preparation, I was rather anxious to get to work. At last, with the usual bother and delay that always accompany the opening of a new theatre, which operation never is, never way, and never will be accomplished in time, we began with Norma, a part which Madame Bishop sings and acts most gloriously; and then came the usual routine of operas - Lucrezia, Sonnambula, Lindi di Chamoounix, L'Elisir d'Amore, &c., &c., and this was the company:
Soprani: Madame Anna Bishop, Mrs. Fiddes (late Miss Cawse); Contralto: Madame Sara Flower; Four excellent Secondas, whose names I forget; Tenori: Monsieur Laglaise, Mr. Sherwin; Bassi: Mr. Farquharson (Smith), Mr. John Gregg, M. Coulon, Herr Schluter; A chorus of forty, band of twenty-four, with every appointment in the way of dresses, scenery, &c., &c., quite new.
A glance at the above list will, I am sure, rather surprise many who look upon the colonies as merely a wild place for the raising of sheep or production of gold, rather than a country abounding in luxuries, and practising the arts of refined and elegant society; but such is the case. Our audiences were very large nightly, and though the mercantile depression so general throughout the colonies (the causes of which I have before alluded to,) had a certain effect upon the poorer portion of the inhabitants, yet the success of the opera season was unquestionable, and left a very handsome profit to the management. As regards the execution of the music, I can, without vanity, challenge any provincial town to equal the precision and delicacy of the orchestral portion of the performers; the chorus was exceedingly efficient, while the London reputation of the principals will be sufficient evidence of their talent. At the close of the season we departed for Sydney, and there gave a similar series of operas, including Flotow's Martha and Der Freischütz, the company being strengthened by the addition of Mrs. Guerin (a very lady-like actress and good singer), and Messrs. Frank and John Howson. This season was also eminently successful, and was the close of our musical tour in Australia, which had a grand finish at an oratorio in St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral, where we performed Rossini's Stabat, Mozart's Twelfth Mass, and a miscellaneous selection of sacred music to a splendid audience.
Having now been in the colonies a year and a half, during which time I have been continually upon the move, I have had many opportunities of forming a correct judgment of the social status of the inhabitants, and if my advice can have any weight in deterring those from emigrating thither who are radically  unfitted, either by physical incapacity or education, for the rough battle of life which they would have to fight upon a field where no quarter is asked or given, I shall not think my toil of travel wasted. I cannot too strongly beg all young men who, in England or elsewhere, are in possession of certain employment, to weigh well the pros and cons before they place themselves in the sad position in which thousands of men of talent, energy, and education are now suffering in the colonies. Success in the new land is quite a lottery, and for one who had been enabled to obtain respectable employment, at least twenty suffer almost from starvation. I can assure my readers, that at the time I was in Melbourne, when business was even more flourishing than at present, there were hundreds of healthy men of all trades and professions (some, I grieve to say, with families) who would have hailed with pleasure an engagement to break stones upon the road, in such a state of prostration was the trade of the city.
As to gold mining, I think I have said enough to prove to all that very few are fitted to endure its hardships; but should any brave young man think that he has the stamina and pluck enough to succeed, let him first try the experiment of well-digging, or work for a month as a day labourer upon a new railroad tunnel, and he will then be able to estimate the wear and tear of mind he would have to expend, and by looking at the population of the colonies, and the amount of gold taken out, the very small return he would have for the ruin both of body and soul. Agriculture is also comparatively closed (except in New Zealand and the Swan River), for the land is taken up by enormous grants to Government pets, and none but a heavy capitalist can hope to secure anything like a decent farm or cattle run. The large landholders take very good care that no poor man shall interfere with their seigneuries; for if a few acres do by chance come into the market, they, the monopolists, club together, and run up the price to such a height that no man of moderate means has a chance to buy an acre; and as they have neither capital nor inclination to cultivate all their vast possessions, hundreds of miles square of admirable land are left untilled, while thousands of their poorer countrymen are almost begging their bread. In my own profession every place is well filled, and although I had flattering offers to remain and settle for life, I felt that it would be a struggle, and therefore decided to return to London, where, if there be many reapers, the field is large enough in all conscience: and it is the home of art in spite of its many charlataneries, and therefore should be the home of artists who seek for truthfulness in their noble profession. In bidding my readers farewell for a time, I trust my humble sketches may have afforded them some amusement, and that, if I should again resume my "gray goose quill" to record my ramblings, I may have a chance for a good rummage of the Old World before I begin. So, patient reader, Vale, Vale.
© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2017