Alfred Thompson (librettist)

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Alfred Thompson (pseudonym: Thompson E. Jones,[1] 7 October 1831 – 31 August 1895)[2] was a British musical theatre librettist, set designer, costume designer, theatre manager, journalist and artist, contributing to Punch and Vanity Fair (signed "Ἀτη").

Biography[edit]

Thompson was born in London. He was educated at Rugby and Brighton. He matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1850 and graduated B.A. in 1855. He served as a cavalry officer in the 6th Dragoons from 1855 until he sold his commission in 1857; he started as cornet and rose to captain. In 1854 he sold his first drawing to Diogenes and in 1856–1858 sold numerous drawings to Punch.[3] He studied art in Munich with private lessons from Karl von Piloty and in Paris under Thomas Couture. In 1867 at the behest of Arthur à Beckett, Thompson joined the literary staff of The Tomahawk.[4]

From February to December 1868, Thompson and Leopold David Lewis edited a monthly review The Mask,[5] which failed. In the 1860s Thompson became successful as a librettist, set designer and costume designer for the British musical theatre in London. For the English stage he designed over five thousand costumes.[6] During the 1870s in Manchester he was managing director of the Theatre Royal and the Prince's Theatre. In May 1883 as a journalist he represented the Daily News at the coronation of Tsar Alexader III. In the latter part of his career Thompson moved to Manhattan and became successful as a librettist for New York City musicals similar to those he had worked on in London and Manchester.

Libretti[edit]

  • The Lion's Mouth. London. 1867.
  • Columbus, or The Original Pitch in a Merry Key. Gaiety Theatre, London. 1869.[7]
  • Aladdin II, or an Old Lamp in a New Light. London. 1870.
  • Cinderella, the Younger. London. 1871.[8]
  • Belladonna, or The Little Beauty and the Great Beast. Prince's Theatre, Manchester. 1878.[9]
  • Pepita, or the Girl with the Glass Eyes. Union Square Theatre, NYC. 1886.[10]
  • The Arabian Nights, or Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp. NYC. 1887.
  • The Crystal Slipper, or Prince Prettywitz and Little Cinderella. Star Theatre, NYC. 1888.[11][12]

Gallery from Vanity Fair[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Room, Adrian (2010). "Thérésa • Thompson". Dictionary of Pseudonyms (5th ed.). MacFarland & Co. p. 473.
  2. ^ "Thompson, Alfred (THM849A)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ Spielmann, M. H. (1895). "Alfred Thompson". A history of "Punch". Cassell & Co. p. 500.
  4. ^ À Beckett, Arthur William (1903). The à Becketts of "Punch". pp. 158–159.
  5. ^ The Mask ("a humorous and fantastic review") – Hathitrust Digital Library
  6. ^ "Alfred Thompson". The Biograph and Review. New Series.—Part I. I: 414–417. January 1882.
  7. ^ Adams, William Davenport (1904). "Columbus, Christopher". A Dictionary of the Drama. p. 314.
  8. ^ Hollingshead, John (1898). "Les Deux Arlequins/The Two Harlequins/Cinderella, the Younger". Gaiety Chronicles. London: Archibald Constable & Co. pp. 198–199.
  9. ^ "Belladonna, or The Little Beauty and the Great Beast". A Dictionary of the Drama. 1904. p. 139.
  10. ^ "UNION-SQUARE THEATRE". NY Times. 17 March 1886.
  11. ^ "Crystal Slipper (The); or, Prince Prettywitz and Little Cinderella". A Dictionary of the Drama. 1904. p. 359.
  12. ^ Franceschina, James (2003). Harry B. Smith: A Biography. p. 38.

External links[edit]