Berlioz in London
Theatre Royal Haymarket
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In 1851 Berlioz heard here Mendelssohn’s youthful opera Die Hochzeit des Camacho (known as Son and Stranger), conducted by Alfred Mellon, with the baritone Willoughby Weiss and the soprano Louisa Payne. He reviewed the work in the Journal des Débats of 12 August 1851 (p. 2), a review which he did not reproduce in Les Soirées de l’Orchestre in 1852.
The Little Theatre in the Hay was built by John Potter in 1720 on the site of the King’s Head Inn in Haymarket. In 1766, in an accident in the presence of the Duke of York (brother of the king), the dramatist and actor Samuel Foote was badly injured and lost a leg. At the Duke’s instigation the theatre was granted a royal patent by the king and the Little Theatre became the Theatre Royal. Later, the theatre passed from the estate of the late John Potter into the hands of Samuel Foote, the man who made it Theatre Royal. In the early 1820s, as part of a larger project of improving London, all the houses from the theatre southwards were rebuilt, and E. D. Morris, the then manager of the theatre, built a new and larger theatre on a plot of land next to the old building, and almost exactly opposite Her Majesty’s Theatre across the road. The new and larger Haymarket Theatre opened on 4 July 1821 (Macqueen-Pope, 1948).
The Theatre Royal Haymarket in pictures
The modern photo reproduced on this page was taken by Michel
Austin in 2002; other pictures have been scanned from books in our own
1948; Carse, 1948 ). © Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin.
All rights of reproduction reserved.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2002
"The Little Theatre in the Hay" around 1768
The Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1815
Interior of the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1815
The stage and interior of the New Theatre Royal
as seen on the opening night, 4 July 1821
The Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1824
Interior of the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1847
© Monir Tayeb and Michel Austin for all the pictures and information on this page.
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