LAST MODIFIED Tuesday 15 September 2020 17:38

Anna Bishop and Nicholas Bochsa in Australia

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Anna Bishop and Nicholas Bochsa in Australia", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 25 September 2020

BOCHSA, Nicholas Charles

The Chevalier BOCHSA; Robert Nicholas Charles BOCHSA

Harpist, pianist, conductor, composer, teacher

Born Montmédy, France, 9 August 1789 (? Prague, Bohemia, 1792), son of Charles BOCHSA (d. 1821)
Married (2) Amelia du BOUCHET (d. 1837), St George's, Hanover Square, London, 28 December 1818
Arrived Sydney, NSW, 3 December 1855 (per Kit Carson from San Francisco)
Died Sydney, NSW, 6 January 1856 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier) ( (WorldCat identities)


Miss Riviere; Mrs. Henry BISHOP; Madame Anna BISHOP; Mrs. Martin SCHULZ; Madame BISHOP SCHULZ

Soprano vocalist

Born London, England, 9 January 1810 (daughter of Daniel RIVIERE (1780-1854) and Henrietta THUNDER)
Married Henry Rowley BISHOP (d.1855), England, 1831

First tour 1855-57:

Arrived Sydney, 3 December 1855 (per Kit Carson, from San Francisco)
Departed Sydney, 23 September 1857 (per Manitou, for Callao)

Married Martin SCHULTZ, St. Pancras's Church, St, Pancras, Camden, London, 20 December 1858

Second tour 1868-69:

Arrived (1) King George Sound, WA (for Adelaide, SA), 8 May 1868 (per Geelong, from Point de Galle)
Departed (1) Sydney, NSW, 16 December 1868 (per Hero, for Auckland, New Zealand)
Arrived (2) Melbourne, VIC, 24 February 1869 (per Alhambra, from Wellington, NZ)
Departed (2) Adelaide, SA, around 24 May 1869 (per mail steamer, for Europe)

Third tour 1874-75:

Arrived Sydney, NSW, 9 November 1874 (per City of Melbourne, from San Francisco)
Departed Sydney, NSW, 7 August 1875 (per Osyth, via Melbourne and Cape Town, for London)

Died New York, USA, 18/19 March 1884 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony) (NLA persistent identifier)

Bochsa plays for the Mexican Bandits, with Bishop looking on, illustration from Travels of Anna Bishop in Mexico, 1849 (Philadelphia: Charles Deal, 1852), plate after 272 (DIGITISED)


The principal purpose of this page is to sketch in a chronicle of Anna Bishop's concert and operatic performances during her first to Australia, from her arrival with Nicholas Bochsa in December 1855, to his death in January 1856, though her first Sydney season, and subsequent seasons, up to her departure in September 1857.

As of October 2018, the page maps out Bishop's movements around the Australian colonies during this period more or less exactly, with her first stay in New South Wales logged, from 3 December 1855 to 3 May 1865, in greater detail, documenting concerts, operatic performances, repertoire, and associations in detail.

Bishops's engagement with the audiences and fellow professionals in the local music economies of Sydney and Melbourne was more profound than that of the other most notable vocal tourist of these years, Catherine Hayes. Headlining what was in effect Australia's first touring opera company, Bishop helped mold both public taste, and public expectation, effectively creating a market for the home-grown operatic enterprises that followed, and, on her first departure, leaving the state of Australian music better than she found it.

This intensive focus on the first 5 months provides detailed information forming a baseline against which to compare Bishop's performances and her reception later in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and on her final return to New South Wales, further documentation on which will be added later as time and resources allow.

Meanwhile, the material on Bochsa's very brief Australian period is already, necessarily, mostly complete, though such information as if found subsequently will be added in due course.

Page contents

Early documentation (on Bochsa and Bishop in Australian and other sources)

First Australian tour:

Detailed coverage (as at October 2018):

Sydney, NSW (3 December 1855 to 6 January 1856)

Bochas's death (6 January 1856) and obituaries

Sydney, NSW (also Maitland, Newcastle, and Parramatta, 6 January to 3 May 1856)

Outline coverage (as at October 2018):

Melbourne, VIC (6 May to 12 August 1856)

Sydney, NSW (15 to 30 August 1856)

Melbourne, VIC (1 September to 3 November 1856)

Adelaide, SA (6 November to 10 December 1856)

Portland, Belfast (Port Fairy), Warrnambool, VIC (12 December 1856 to 1 January 1857)

Melbourne, VIC (2 to 15 January 1857)

Tasmania (16 January to 28 February 1857)

Melbourne and country Victoria (1 March to 25 June 1857)

Sydney, NSW (27 June to 23 September 1857)

After first Australian tour:

Europe and the Americas (1858 to 1868)

Second and third Australian tours (1868-69, 1874-75)

Anna Bishop's death (18 March 1884) and obituaries

Musical editions

Bibliography and resources


Bochsa was son of a Bohemian musician, Charles (Karl) Bochsa, and his name was generally pronounced BOX-sa by his homeland British, American, and Australian contemporaries.

Previously in England he had been a teacher of later Australian residents Lewis Lavenu, Stephen Marsh, Charles Packer, Ernesto Spagnoletti (senior), and Madame De Storr.

Bochsa arrived in Australia via the Pacific route, with his companion, the singer Anna Bishop, on 3 December 1855

Copies of Bochsa's music had been advertised for sale in Launceston as early as 1834. Early Australian performances of Bochsa's music included those given by the Gautrots (songs, 1839), Joseph Reichenberg (a "concerto" for clarinet with orchestral accompaniment, 1841), John Howson, Richard and Mrs. Curtis and G. F. Duly (Concertante for flute and harp, 1842; and Quartetto for harp, piano, flute, and cello, 1842, played again by Maria Prout and Julius Imberg with amateurs in 1848), and by his former pupils Maria Prout and Stephen Marsh (1842). In Sydney in November 1845, the band of the 99th regiment accompanied Marsh in "a Grand Fantasia, on the Harp, of Bochsa's (performed for the first time in the southern hemisphere), entitled, "Recollections of Wales", introducing several very favourite Welsh Airs."

Bochsa's and Bishop's Sydney programs included one recent American work by Bochsa, A characteristic Fantasia for the orchestra based on Bochsa's own "Mexican song", La Pasadita. Another recent work, and possibly a first performance, was "Bochsa's new Whimsical Overture for full Orchestra", The past and the present. Bochsa was reportedly already ill on arrival in Sydney, and Stephen Marsh, already engaged as piano accompanist for Bishop's Sydney concerts, took over as musical director after the first concert. Bochsa's condition worsened, and he died in Sydney shortly afterward. He was buried in the churchyard at St. Stephen's, Camperdown (now Newtown). One item of his funeral music was arranged from a tune that he had reportedly written on his deathbed.

According to the press report of his obsequies, this "dying chant" was shortly to have been published, to a specially-written English text, as Rest, great Musician, rest! But, if so, it does not survive.

After Bochsa

Some commentators have suggested that, at the time of her first visit in 1855, Bishop was reduced to visiting outposts like Australia because she was unwelcome in homeland Britain, on account of her adulterous relationship with Bochsa. Contemporary sources would seem to suggest that this was either not generally so, or at least an exaggeration. Henry Bishop's death in 1855, followed by Bochsa's demise early in 1856, at the outset of Bisop's first colonial tour, may well have helped silence wider discussion of any perceived immorality on her part. Notwithstanding, when she left Australia for South America in 1857, her musical director, George Loder, and agent Rees, made for London, presumably there to sound out the possibility of her own return. And in December 1858, having tested the waters in the colonies, she appeared again on a London stage for the first time in 10 years, with Loder again as her musical director.

Early documentation on Bochsa and Bishop in British and European sources

"ELOPEMENT IN THE MUSICAL WORLD (From the Times)" [with letter from Robert Riviere], The musical world (18 July 1839), 179-82 

Early documentation on Bochsa and Bishop in Australian and American sources

"LIBEL - BOCHSA v. FISHER AND SMITH", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 May 1827), 4

ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (11 May 1827), 4

"THE KING v. FISHER AND ANOTHER", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 May 1827), 4

"THE PRESS AND THE LAW OF LIBEL", The Monitor (8 June 1827), 2

[Advertisement], Launceston Advertiser (11 September 1834), 1

"ELOPEMENT", Australasian Chronicle (6 December 1839), 4

[Advertisement], Australasian Chronicle (10 December 1839), 3

"MORI AND BOCHSA BECOME ITINERANT MUSIC-MONGERS", The Sydney Monitor (24 January 1840), 4

"A Frenchman . . . ", The Courier (28 May 1841), 4

. . . Orders dinner, and it is served in a box in the coffee-room. He wishes, after having proved to the custom-house officer that he carries no smuggles, to pack all his little trifles in a nac, and he is recommended to buy a box. Then he hears a gentleman near him ask for the pepper-box. Box again! He goes to the theatre, and is asked if he choose to go to de box. "Oh! yes," that he might not appear to be ignorant. He wishes to send a letter to his friends in France, and is desired to put it in the letter-box. When he gets on the coach for London, he is offered, for an additional shilling, a seat on the box; and when they are about to start, the driver asks for his box-coat. They drive through the country with such speed that he fears they will be reversed; and when another coach attempts to pass them, the coachman exclaims "if you think to go that on me, my lad, you'll have got into the wrong box." Despairing of being able to understand this word, he fears to ask a question; but at last, seeing a pretty house on the side of the road, he enquires to whom it belongs? and hears it is Lord Kilfox's shooting-box. A man with mustachios comes to the coach, and demands if his harp is safe; and on asking his name he learns with dismay that it is Bochsa. Seeing a beautiful country, he is told it is Boxhill. Trees cut like peacocks he learns also are box. A crowd assembled are watching a boxing match; and finally, and to the completion of his dismay, he arrives in London on boxing-day.

[Advertisement], The Australian (31 August 1841), 4

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 June 1853), 1 

... TUESDAY EVENING, JUNE 20, Under distinguished Patronage. MADAME DE STORR, Harpist, Pupil of Signor Bochsa, begs to notify to the gentry of Sydney and its environs that she purposes giving a Grand Evening Concert at the Royal Victoria Theatre ...

"EDITOR'S TABLE", The pioneer; or, California monthly magazine (February 1854), 112 

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (13 October 1854), 4 

. . . We perceive by the San Francisco journals that Madame Anna Bishop and M. Bochsa have been starring at that city; and we are informed that they propose to visit Sydney.


"THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY'S CONCERT", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (28 June 1855), 5 

. . . A selection of miscellaneous pieces was given in the first part of the Concert, including that charming old madrigal "Down in a flow'ry vale," and Sir Henry Bishop's well-known glee "The chough and crow to roost are gone;" both of which were admirably given. It filled us with shame to reflect that the composer of the latter morceau, and of some of the best ballad-music we possess, is at this moment, languishing in a state of destitution, in wealthy England. If he had been the great, great grandson of a royal courtezan instead of the composer of "Home, sweet home," and a score of other household songs, the Government would have given him something more than an empty title, which compels the maintenance of an appearance without offering so much as the slightest appearance of a maintenance.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 July 1855), 1 

MADAME NAEGUELI, pupil of Bochsa, gives lessons on the harp and flower painting . . .

ASSOCIATIONS: Mary Richardson Naegueli (d. 1866)

"A SINGULAR MISTAKE", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (21 July 1855), 2 

A rumour was industriously bruited about, on Thursday night, that Madame Anna Bishop and Bochsa the harpist had arrived by a vessel from San Francisco. The acting managers of our rival theatres were on the qui vive, and galloping about in cabs, at reckless speed, to discover the hostelry to which the musical lions had adjourned. Enormous sums were talked of as about to be offered in the expected out bidding; and milliners and tailors blandly congratulated themselves on the prospect of full-dress nights at both houses, as Miss Catherine Hayes will arrive in a few days, and would surely take whichever theatre was left open. However, the next morning proved the whole to have been concocted by some wag or fool; and the unfortunate stage managers are left in a state of pitiful enervation consequent on the false excitement.

"DEATH OF SIR HENRY BISHOP", The Argus (25 July 1855), 5 

[Advertisement], Daily Alta California [San Francisco, USA] (26 September 1855), 3 

INAUGURATION BENEFIT. Ladies' United Hebrew Benevolent Society . . .
On Tuesday Evening, Sept. 25 [sic], 1855. MME. ANNA BISHOP The distinguished Prima Donna, has been engaged . . .
PROGRAMME. PART I . . . 2. Grand Scena and Cavatina, from the Opera "Ernani," Verdi - MADAME ANNA BISHOP . . .
5. (By general request) the celebrated Nightingale Song - from "Jeanette's Wedding," arranged by Bochsa - MADAME ANNA BISHOP. Flute Obligato Accompangiment by MR. C. KOPPITZ . . .
PART II . . . 8. Scotch Ballad "Take back the Ring, Dear Jamie," Composed by Stephen Masset - MADAME ANNA BISHOP . . .
BOCHSA and HEROLD - Conductors . . .

"SUMMARY OF THE FORTNIGHT'S NEWS. Theatricals", Daily Alta California (5 October 1855), 1855 

Madame Anna Bishop and M. Bochsa left for Australia in the Kit Carson, as poor as when they arrived in California. Madame Bishop's success has not at all been equal to her deserts.

Sydney, NSW (3 December 1855 to 6 January 1856)

3 December 1855, arrival of Bochsa and Bishop, Sydney, NSW

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE, ARRIVALS", Empire (4 December 1855), 4 

December 3. - Kit Carson, American ship, 996 tons, Captain Seth Crowell, from San Francisco October 2. Passengers - Monsieur Le Chevalier C. N. Bochsa, Madame Anna Bishop, Miss Maria Phaleu [sic], W. J. Berry, Delia Berry, Martin Schultz, Bartholomew Rees, John Jeffrey, and 15 in the steerage. Agents, Wilkinson Brothers and Co.

[Ship news], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 December 1855), 4 

The Kit Carson, which arrived yesterday, is a new American clipper ship of very pretty model. She left San Francisco on the 2nd October, and has experienced light winds and calms nearly the whole time . . . By the Kit Carson, Madame Anna Bishop, accompanied by Bochsa, Miss Phelan, and Mr. B. Rees have arrived.

"MADAME BISHOP", Empire (4 December 1855), 5

The celebrated Madame Anna Bishop, her musical director and manager Bochsa, Mr. B. Rees, secretary, and Miss Maria Pheling [sic], arrived yesterday, in the Kit Carson, from San Francisco.

ASSOCIATIONS: Bartholomew Rees (secretary); Maria Phelan (companion); Martin Schultz (shipboard acquaintance, future husband and agent)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 December 1855), 1 

GREAT MUSICAL NEWS. - The celebrated Madame ANNA BISHOP, and her musical director and manager, BOCHSA, have arrived. Due notice will be given of Madame Anna Bishop's first performance in Sydney. Any message on business to be directed to Mr. BOCHSA, Royal Hotel.

[Advertisement], Empire (6 December 1855), 1 

ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE. - A. TORNING respectfully intimates to his Friends and the Public, that he has succeeded in engaging the world renowned PRIMA-DONNA, MADAME ANNA BISHOP, AND CHEVALIER BOCHSA, the great COMPOSER, HARPIST, AND PIANIST.

ASSOCIATIONS: Andrew Torning (manager, Royal Victoria Theatre, and Prince of Wales Theatre)

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", Empire (6 December 1855), 4 

The farewell performance of Madame Bishop, at San Francisco, would appear to have occasioned great interest in that city. It look place on the 27th of September, and the San Francisco Herald of the following day, says: -

"Since the Hall of the Turn Verein was built, it has never presented a more brilliant or more animated scene than it did last evening, on the occasion of the farewell benefit given to Madame Anna Bishop . . . Madame Anna sang in her best style, and all of her most successful as well as most beautiful solos were in turn given to the well pleased audience. The recitative and cavatina, from Sonnambula, "Come per me sereno," whether it was that it is more of novelty than the balance of the songs or that the orchestra went through with the really fine accompaniment to the piece, (a particular, by the way, in which Bellini, as a composer, is by no means very happy, he having as a general thing throughout his works paid but little attention to the instrumentation,) with more than the accustomed vigour and force, we know not, but certainly Madame Anna pleased us most in this morceau. Not only was the opening air a very plaintive and lovely melody rendered in her best and most tuneful style, but the cavatina also was delivered with a full bursting richness of tone and a volume of surprising flexibility and modulation that drew down a torrent of well earned applause. Taken all in all, whether as a musical performance or as a tribute to the genius and artistic powers of Madame Bishop, the affair was certainly in the highest degree meritorious, and the compliment paid the lady no more than a simple tribute to the worth and justice of her claims on the music loving community of San Francisco.

8 December 1855, first notice of publication of biographical booklet

David Mitchell's copy of Biography of Madame Anna Bishop, State Library of New South Wales

David Mitchell's copy of Biography of Madame Anna Bishop . . . also a Sketch of Bochsa's life (Sydney, December 1855); Mitchell Library, in bound collection, Pamphlets 87, State Library of New South Wales

Biography of Madame Anna Bishop, containing the details of her professional tour in England, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Tartary, Moldavia, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Havana, Mexico, America, and California, also a sketch of Bochsa's life (Sydney: Paisey and Fryer, 1855) (NOT DIGITISED, but the full text digitised elsewhere as below)

. . . . Anna Bishop and Bochsa sail for Sydney on Monday, October 1st, in the clipper Kit Carson.
SAN FRANCSICO, September 29th, 1855

Except for the colophon above, the Bishop biography was reprinted here:

"BIOGRAPHY or ANNA BISHOP, THE CELEBRATED CANTATRICE", The Courier [Hobart, TAS] (14 January 1857), 3 

Bochsa's biography, by H. C. Watson, excepted from The musical world [London], was reprinted at the beginning of this article:

"THE LATE CHEVALLER BOCHSA", South Australian Register (11 November 1856), 3 

"THE LATE CHEVALIER BOCHSA", The Courier (10 December 1856), 3 

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 1855), 10

ANNA BISHOP. - Just Published, a New Edition of the interesting Biography of the above eminent Songstress. Also, a Sketch of Bochsa's Life. Price ls. At all Book and Music Stores.

"THE DRAMA. ROYAL VICTORIA", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (8 December 1855), 2 

The arrival from San Francisco, and engagement at this theatre, of the world-famed Madame Anna Bishop, and the great harpist, Bochsa, has occasioned no little excitement in town. Mr. Torning, undaunted by the unremunerative result of many of his previous engagements of professional celebrities, lost no time in opening negotiations, and ultimately coming to terms, with these distinguished artistes, whose first appearance is announced for Tuesday week, when it is to be hoped that Sydney will delegate a brilliant assemblage to bid them welcome.

"THEATRICAL ON DITS", The Argus [Melbourne, VIC] (10 December 1855), 5 

Madame Anna Bishop with M. Bochsa, having arrived at Sydney, and being ultimately bound for this colony, we have less to regret in connection with the departure of Miss Hayes than we could have imagined a few weeks ago. Madame Bishop has been pronounced by the British press one of the finest sopranos of the stage at home; and we anticipate for her in this colony an equal amount of public favor. It is gratifying to find that at the antipodes we can command in succession the efforts of the best artistes, both in the historic and the lyrical drama. A Madame Cailly, whose reputation as an operatic artiste is not of today, has arrived. From the evidence now before us in this lady's favor, we may pronounce her an acquisition to any stage which may be the scene of her performance in this colony.

ASSOCIATIONS: Catherine Hayes (vocalist); Clarisse Cailly (vocalist)

Mid December 1855, Sydney

"From our Regular Correspondent (SAN FRANCISCO, March, 15, 1856)", Marysville Daily Herald [California, USA] (18 March 1856), 2 

. . . By this mail we had a few days latter from Melbourne. Madame Anna Bishop is at Sidney, but not yet singing. She is living with her daughter, and Madame B. will not appear in public for some time. Old Bochsa is failing fast, and his medical men say cannot live over a month. The Backus troupe of "niggers" are doing fairly, that's all. Gustavus Brooke is drawing crowds, and leaves for this city in two months time. Chatharine Hays [sic] is not making the money she did in former times.

ASSOCIATION: Backus minstrels, led by Charles Backus

10 December 1855, extract from a letter from Bartholomew Rees, Sydney

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP IN SYDNEY", Sacramento Daily Union (12 May 1856), 4 

The San Francisco Chronicle publishes the following extract from a letter written by the agent of Mad. Bishop:

SYDNEY, Dec. 10, 1855.

We arrived here on the 3d, and this is the first opportunity I have had to write to you. I send this by way of Valparaiso, as there is no ship up for San Francisco at present. We were boarded outside the Heads by the reporters and managers of both theaters, offering big engagements, &c. I came up from the heads in a small boat. I was instantly seized on my arrival here in the evening, and put on the free list at both theaters. Then came champagne, oyster suppers, &c, and it was kept up until a very late hour in the night. We play at the Victoria in a week from now. Everything here in Sydney is very dull now. Everybody thinks that Madame will do well, and I hope she may. Bochsa has increased the prices to an immense rate - and that is going to hurt us. Bochsa has people to come and see him that he has not seen for thirty years - his old pupils at the Academy. His reputation and fame as a musician have long preceded him. He has been very sick since we landed.

This Sydney is a beautiful place - one of the finest cities I was ever in. It has beautiful parks, domains, drives, and its buildings are composed chiefly of granite. There are more women here than I ever saw together in my life. Women are not thought much of here, and they do all the hard work - open oysters in the streets. At all the taverns the proprietor's wife tends on the bar. Everybody drinks here - men, women and children. Water is not drank at all; you see none at dinner it is either ale, pint of sherry, or a cobbler of gin or brandy. To-day the town is in a great state of excitement - stores are closed - all business suspended, on account of the news brought by a packet ship to Melbourne that Sevastopol was taken. I must say that the English here in the Colonies are a very enthusiastic people. For my part, I hardly believe it - it has been taken so many times. B.

P. S. - You can tell them that the Backus Minstrels took the town by storm - they are doing an immense business here. They are now playing in Melbourne.

"THEATRICAL", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (15 December 1855), 3 

It is said that the contest between our rival houses, as to which should have the honour of introducing the fair Madame Anna Bishop to a Sydney public, was literally a game at Hazard, but the odds throughout were 6 to 4 against the caster, inasmuch as no one was able to say of Wyatt, that
"Glory, like a dazzling Eagle stood,
Perch'd on his Beaver."

ASSOCIATIONS: Joseph Wyatt (theatre proprietor)

[Advertisement], Empire (15 December 1855), 1 

NOTICE. A. TORNING begs to inform his friends and the public, that in consequence of the indisposition of Chevalier Bochsa, Madame ANNA BISHOP'S GRAND CONCERT is POSTPONED, until THURSDAY EVENING, the 20th instant.

[2 advertisements], Empire (21 December 1855), 1 

December 26. Re-opening of the above theatre, by the most powerful and talented company ever seen on any stage in the colonies. Extensive alterations and improvements are now in progress, under the superintendence of the great contractor, Mr. RANDLE.
Mr. Lambert; Mr. W. H. Stephens;
Mr. H. Craven; Mr. J. P. Hydes;
Mr. F. Howson; Mr. John Howson;
Mr. A. Nelson; Mr. Daniels;
Mrs. H. T. Craven; Miss Fanny Young;
Mrs. Lambert; Mrs. Winterbottom;
Mrs. J. P. Hydes; Miss Nelson;
Miss C. Nelson
And Mr. Winterbottom and his celebrated band.
Prompter, &c. - Mr. DANIELS. Manager - Mr. F. HOWSON.

Under the direction of Mr. A. Torning.
First grand night of the world-renowned Prima Donna, Madame ANNA BISHOP, who will positively appear
TO-MORROW EVENING, Saturday, December 22nd, in one of her far-famed entertainments, and sing some of her most favourite Songs and Ballads; and perform, in dramatic costume, the famous scene in NORMA, and her highly popular tableaux of MEXICAN LIFE. The eminent musician BOCHSA will direct and conduct the Grand Orchestra, and preside at the Pianoforte.
Tickets for Private Boxes - £0 15 0
Boxes to contain 8 persons - 4 4 0
Box and parquette tickets - 0 10 8
Upper Circle - 0 5 0
Pit - 0 3 0
Gallery - 0 1 0
No half-price. No free list excepting the press.
Doors will open at half-past 7. Performance to commence at 8 o'clock.
Children half-price.
Box office open from 10 to 4.
Carriages to be ordered at half-past 10.

"Sydney News (From our own Correspondent). Thursday Evening, Dec, 20, 1855", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (22 December 1855), 2 

A slight revolution has been going on here, in the theatrical world. The season has closed at the Prince of Wales; and a lease has been taken of it by a Mr. Taylor, who has also become the lessee of the Victoria - Mr. Torning undertaking the management of both. Arrangements were made for the appearance of Madame Anna Bishop and Mr. Bochsa, at the Prince of Wales Theatre, this evening; but Mr. Torning's company refused to play at any other place than the Victoria. This led to a general misunderstanding, and at the close of this week both places of amusement will be left without a company. Frank Howson, Miss Young, Mr. Lambert, Mr. Stephens, Mr. and Mrs. Craven, in fact all the best actors, intend taking the Lyceum (formerly the Circus) in York-street; they will expend a few hundred pounds towards fitting it up in a suitable manner, and being under a rental of only £10 a week, I have no doubt it will be a very paying speculation. Madame Bishop's performances have of necessity been postponed, and it is at present a matter of great uncertainty whether she will sing in Sydney at all. She does not appear to have created any excitement as Kate Hayes did.

Sydney, series of 7 concerts (22 December 1855 to 5 January 1856)

Anna Bishop "in the National Costume of a Muchacha (a Mexican Girl of the middle classes)", from the cover of La pasadita (Philadelphia: A. Fiot. [1850]) (DIGITISED)

22 December 1855, first concert, Prince of Wales Theatre

"Prince of Wales Theatre", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (22 December 1855), 2 

Prince of Wales Theatre.
Under the direction of the celebrated Harpist, BOCHSA, late ex-Director of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
The First Grand Night of the celebrated Cantatrice,
This Evening, Saturday, the Entertainments will commence with A GRAND CONCERT.
Overture, (Verdi) first time, Orchestra.
Recitativo - 'Care Compagne, Cavatina - 'Come per me sereno' - (Somnambula), Madame Anna Bishop.
German Selection, Orchestra.
'Home, Sweet Home,' Madame Anna Bishop.
'The Harp that once through Tara's Halls,' Madame Anna Bishop.
Chanson Francaise, Madame Anna Bishop.
PART II. - Scenes in Dramatic Costume.
For the first time in Sydney, the entire Overture of Norma. Full Orchestra - The Majestic Druidical Scene from NORMA. Norma, Madame Anna Bishop.
To conclude with a Characteristic Fantasia on Mexican Melodies, sung in Castilian by Madame Anna Bishop.

[Advertisement], Empire (22 December 1855), 1 

THIS EVENING, Saturday, December 22, 1855. -
Mr. A. TORNING respectfully informs his friends and the public, that the first grand night of the celebrated Cantatrice,
MADAME ANNA BISHOP, will take place
THIS EVENING, December 22nd. 1855,
when this world-renowned artiste will make her FIRST APPEARANCE IN AUSTRALIA, in one of her far-famed lyric entertainments; will sing some of her most favourite and popular
And perform, in appropriate dramatic costume, the admired druidical scene from Bellini's Tragic Opera of
with scenery, choruses, auxiliaries, &c, introducing Le Chef d'Oeuvre "Casta Diva;" concluding with
Introducing the popular and humorous Canzione La Pasadita, (La Promenade,) sung by Madame ANNA BISHOP in Castilian, in the costume of a Muchacha (Mexican woman of the middle class). The above quaint Morceau" has been sung nightly with immense success by Madame Anna Bishop, in Mexico, Havanna, New York, and all the principal cities in the United States.
the Director and Manager of Madame Anna Bishop, Composer and First Harpist of her Majesty Queen Victoria, Life Governor of the Royal Musical Academy of England, ex director of her Majesty's Italian Opera House, and of the San Carlo, at Naples, will direct and conduct the complete Grand Orchestra and preside at the Pianoforte.
Leader of the Orchestra, Mr. GIBBS.
OVERTURE (Verdi), first time - ORCHESTRA
RECITATIVO - "Care Compagne," Cavatina - "Come per me Sereno" - (Sonnambula) - Madame ANNA BISHOP
ENIGLISH BALLAD - "Home, Sweet Home" - Madame ANNA BISHOP, Sir H. Bishop
IRISH BALLAD - "The Harp that once through Tara's Halls" - Madame ANNA BISHOP, Moore accompanied on the pianoforte by Mr. Bochsa
CHANSONETTE FRANCAISE - Invitation a la Danse "Je suis la Bayadere" - Madame ANNA BISHOP, Bochsa.
PART II. Scenes in Dramatic Costume.
For the first time in Sydney, the entire Overture of Norma - Full Orchestra.
The Majestic Druidical Scene from Bellini's
With proper Scenery, Chorus, Auxiliaries, &c.
NORMA (the High Priestess of the Pagan God Esus, in Gaul/Anno Mundi 3404), Madame ANNA BISHOP
PAGEANT CHORUS - "Norma Cometh"
RECITATIVE - "Seditious Voices" - NORMA
RECITATIVE - "Say then, how long must we endure" - OROVESO AND CHORUS
RECITATIVE - "Rites are ended" - NORMA
CAVATINA - "To Norma's arms returning, " NORMA, WITH CHORUS.
A Characteristic Fantasia on Mexican Melodies for the Orchestra, arranged by BOCHSA, and introducing
the humorous and Quaint Mexican Canzion,
(The Promenade; Sung in Castilian, by Madame ANNA BISHOP.
In the National Costume of a Muchacha (a Mexican Girl of the middle classes).
(See Companion, page 4.)
Words of the Songs, Translations of the Foreign Scenes for the Evening, price 6d.,
and also, an interesting Biography of Madame ANNA BISHOP; and BOCHSA, price 1s. 6d.;
to be had at the Box Office and in the Theatre.
On Madame ANNA BISHOP'S Nights the prices will be as follows: - Dress Circle and Parquette, 10s. 6d.;
Upper Boxes, 6s.; Pit, 3s.; Gallery, 1s.; Private Boxes holding Ten, each £7 10s., or Single Ticket, 15s.
NO HALF PRICE. Performance to begin at Eight o'clock.
No Free List except the Press.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 December 1855), 4 

Madame Anna Bishop made her first appearance at this theatre on Saturday evening, in a musical entertainment; the selections being from the works of Bellini, Sir H. R. Bishop, Moore, and other composers of the Italian, English, and Irish schools. M. Bochsa presided. The whole of the vocal selections were rendered by Madame Anna Bishop, who was very successful.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", Empire (24 December 1855), 4 

This accomplished vocalist made her debut at the Prince of Wales Theatre, on Saturday evening, before a numerous and fashionable audience, the orchestral accompaniments being under the direction of the musical veteran, M. the Chevalier Bochsa, who has accompanied the fair songstress on her professional travels. Owing, doubtless, to the recent misunderstandings which have arisen between the management and the members of the musical and dramatic corps, the whole weight of the entertainment was thrown upon the debutante, whose exertions were consequently rather severely taxed. The programme contained an admirable selection. It commenced with the favourite cavatina, "Come per me sereno," from La Sonnambula, in the execution of which Madame Bishop displayed vocal and dramatic ability of the highest order, and clearly established her just claim to the prominent position which has been awarded her in the musical world by our British and Transatlantic brethren. The piece was most exquisitely sung, and at its close the fair singer was greeted with rapturous applause and a unanimous encore. Madame Bishop next sung in succession the ballads, "Home, sweet Home," "The Harp that once through Tara's Halls," and " Comin' thro' the Rye," with a heartiness and simplicity that seemed to invest each of these favourite pieces with a new interest, judging from the enthusiasm with which they were respectively received by the audience, who manifested their extreme delight at the close of each by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs and the throwing of bouquets, compliments which were acknowledged most gracefully by the artiste. In "The Bayadere," a chansonette, composed by M. Bochsa, Madame Bishop was eminently successful, as also in her characteristic delineation of Mexican life in the character and costume of a Muchacha. The great hit of the evening, however, was her brilliant performance in the Druidical scene from Norma, in which she introduced the grand cavatina "Casta Diva." This selection was aided with full scenic accessories, which added greatly to its operatic effect. At the close of the scene Madame Bishop was loudly called for, and upon re-appearing before the curtain, she was greeted with repeated rounds of cheers from the delighted auditory. The entertainment was entirely successful, and the next appearance of Madame Bishop will be looked forward to with the liveliest interest.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 December 1855), 5 

This lady's triumph on Saturday was all the greater through having been so long deferred. The Prince of Wales was filled with eager music-lovers, who had come with "souls athirst through long delay;" and when the prima donna made her appearance the house rang again with their repeated plaudits. Gracefully acknowledging the compliment, the singer at once burst forth in song, and then, and throughout the evening, applause followed. The good people seemed determined to encore everything, and were most cruelly greedy in their demands for "more." Exquisite sweetness, rather than rich volume, is the characteristic of Madame Bishop's voice; a faultless finish the distinguishing feature of her style. Ease - absence of all straining effort - is another and a very agreeable peculiarity. She sings like a bird - out of the fulness of her heart, as it were. Her ballad-singing is free from the florid ornaments that somewhat too thickly overlaid Miss Hayes' - Ionic rather than Corinthian or Composite. Her "Home, sweet home" is perfect in its chaste, liquid simplicity. We must not, however, be unjust or ungrateful to our late favourite. It is mean to worship only the rising sun. Miss Hayes used to sing "The harp that once through Tara's halls" with far more spirit than Madame Bishop breathed into it on Saturday; and why? Because she was the "Swan of Erin." It takes an Irish woman to sing an Irish air. We make these comparisons because (judging from the nature of Madame Bishop's programme) they appear to have been courted. In the selection from Norma, of course, Madame Bishop had the advantage. Her physique alone would have given it to her; but, independently of that, her impersonation of the Druid priestess, in fire, in majesty, in toto, was superior to Miss Hayes's. Mr. Torning deserves praise for the tasteful way in which the auxiliary portion of the entertainment was got up. The chorus comprised the whole force of the amalgamated companies, and the orchestra (under the conductorship of the veteran Bochsa) performed very creditably, save when, once or twice (as though suffering from an attack of musical measles), it broke out unexpectedly in wrong places. A playful fantasia, on Mexican melodies, introducing an arch Castilian air by Madame Bishop, formed an agreeable "finis" to a most delicious feast of song.

ASSOCIATIONS: John Gibbs (leader of the theatrical orchestra)

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 December 1855), 1 

WOOLLOOMOOLOO BAY REGATTA. Boxing Day, 26th December, 1855 . . .
ELEVENTH RACE . . . Anna Bishop. A. Donaldson. Light blue . . .

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE - Under the Direction and Management of Mr. A. TORNING - Such was the triumphant success of Madame Anna Bishop last Saturday evening, the unprecedented number of encores during the evening, and the burst of applause and admiration elicited by her matchless rendition of Norma, stamping her at once as the greatest Vocalist and Lyric Actress that ever visited our shores. The whole performances of last Saturday (by particular desire) will be repeated on WEDNESDAY EVENING, December 28, with addition of the NATIONAL ANTHEM, God Save the Queen, Solos and Choruses. The Solos by Madame ANNA BISHOP . . .

26 December 1855, second concert, same program as first

[Advertisement], Empire (26 December 1855), 1 

27 December 1855, third concert

[Advertisement], Empire (27 December 1855), 1 

MADAME ANNA BISHOP will make her Third Appearance in Australia,
in her far-famed Lyric Entertainments, will sing some of her most favourite and popular songs and ballads,
and perform, in appropriate dramatic costume, for the first time in Australia,
part of the First Act, and the entire Second Act of Donizetti's admired Melo-dramatic Opera of
TO conclude with the VISIT OF THE MEXICAN BOY TO MADRID, and sing "La Catatumba."
On account of the present indisposition of Mr. Bochsa,
Mr. STEPHEN MARSH has been kind enough to direct the complete Grand Orchestra.
Overture - "La Gazza Ladra," Rossini
Recitativo - "Sorta è la notte"; Cantabile, "Ernani involami"; Cavatina, "Tutto sprezzo," ("Ernani"), Verdi - Mme. ANNA BISHOP
Selections - Orchestra
The Irish Emigrant, Ballad - "I'm sitting on the Stile, Mary" - Mme. ANNA BISHOP
Waltzes - Orchestra
Scotch Ballad - "John Anderson my Joe" - Mme. ANNA BISHOP
Irish Ballad - "Last Rose of Summer," T. Moore - Mme. ANNA BISHOP.
Introduction - Orchestral.
Part of the First, and the whole of the Second Act,
including the Grand Mad-Scene of Donizetti's
in English, first Time in Australia.
LINDA, the Maid of Chamouini (in a French Court Costume of 1700) - Mme. ANNA BISHOP
Pierotto, friend of Linda, a Savoyard Peasant - Mrs. Guerin.
Antonio, father to Linda - Mr. Milne.
Madelina, her mother - Mrs. Gibbs.
In the above beautiful music, Mme. ANNA BISHOP
always introduces the favourite English Ballad composed for her by Mr. Lavenu.
After which, (first time),
A Mexican Song, sung by Mme. ANNA BISHOP,
in Mexican Language, in the Picturesque Dress of a Charro.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (29 December 1855), 2 

This lady made her debut before a Sydney audience on Saturday last; and though a sufficiently complimentary anxiety was manifested to hear so distinguished a cantatrice, the extravagantly high rates of admission checked its indulgence, and but a second rate house had assembled at the rising of the curtain. Had the ordinary prices prevailed, Madame Bishop would have received a greeting commensurate with that she had a right to expect; and in order to disabuse her mind of any false impression she may very naturally conceive of the non-appreciation of musical genius by the Australian public, we feel bound to express our strong disapprobation of the grasp all policy which virtually barred the doors against many who, from the present pressure of the times, were compelled to forego a long anticipated treat. We say this in all kindness to Mr. Torning, in explanation to the lady, and in justice to the public; and we will add, that unless a more liberal course be pursued, the sooner the doors of the Prince of Wales be finally closed the better.

Madame Bishop appeared under another grievous disadvantage. The secession of Mr. Winterbottom and the pick of his admirably organized orchestra, left her most most inadequately supported, and not even the conductorship of a Bochsa could avert or ameliorate so serious a drawback.

Superior, however, to these difficulties, the prima donna triumphed over all; the first note of her magnificent voice necessitating oblivion of aught save the gush of melody which thrilled her audience. Clear, liquid, bird-like, of surpassing sweetness, and marvellous power, it fell upon our ear like a dream of former days, and England's songstress stood confessed in the majestic person of Anna Bishop. Her ballad singing is exquisitely chaste; simplicity its chief charm, expression its crowning triumph. Her "Home sweet home", will ever retain a place in our memory in companionship with Sara Flower's "Sad Sea Waves", and that is no light praise. We shall not attempt to institute a comparison between this lady and Miss Catherine Hayes. In the first place the style and school in which each has studied are as diametrically opposite as are their respective organs; any expression of opinion, therefore, as to their relative talent can only be grounded upon either hypothesis or prejudice. We are free to confess that our sympathies and tastes irresistably inclined us to Madame Bishop even in the first part of the entertainment, but when she flashed upon us as NORMA, embodying all that the imagination could preconceive of the High Priestess, in her noble presence and sublimity of gesture - these, aided by the consummate art of the accomplished actress, and the divine gift of song, established, in our very humble judgment, her superiority over any previous representation of that great character who has visited this country. The first concert concluded with a characteristic fantasia, "La Pasadita," sung in Castilian by Madame Bishop, in the national costume of a Muchacha (a Mexican girl) and was exceedingly effective.

At the second Concert, on Wednesday evening, the National Anthem was introduced, the solos being sung by the prima donna - an undertaking of far greater difficulty than is generally supposed, and, which was rendered with peculiar energy and spirit.

The third Concert, on Thursday evening, embraced an entirely new programme, the heads of which we can but spare room briefly to enumerate. A portion of Donizetti's admired opera of "Linda of Chamouni" - the part of Linda by Madame Anna Bishop, in French Court costume of 1760, and that of Pierotto, a Savoyard peasant, by Mrs. Guerin. This was followed by the celebrated Mad Scene in Lucia di Lamermuir, and a Mexican Song, La Catumba", en costume. Of these these we shall not trust ourselves to speak, or we shall over-load the astonished "devil" who stands at our elbow "asking far more".

Madame Bishop will give her fourth grand Concert this evening We regret to add that severe indisposition compelled M. Bochsa to relinquish the conductorship on Wednesday and Thursday nights, when Mr. Stephen Marsh contentedly proffered his valuable services, which were gratefully accepted both by the manager and the public.

ASSOCIATIONS: Stephen Hale Marsh (conductor); Theodosia Guerin (vocalist); Eliza Gibbs (vocalist); James Milne (vocalist, actor); Lewis Henry Lavenu (composer)

[News], Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (29 December 1855), 3 


- Because their ideas are too hazy (Hayes-y.)

Anna Bishop in costume as a crusade knight (Philadelphia, 1849)

Madame Anna Bishop "in her gorgeous costume of a Crusade Warrior"; cover of Ah wherefore flee so rapidly. Ah come rapida, the celebrated cavatine from Meyerbeer's opera Il crociato as sung by Madame Anna Bishop at all her concerts newly arranged by Charles Bochsa (Philadelphia: A. Fiot, [1849]) (DIGITISED)

29 December 1855, fourth concert

[Advertisement], Empire (29 December 1855), 1 

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. - Under the direction and management of Mr. A. Torning.
The greatest New Selection yet offered.
Mr. Torning, ever anxious to meet the spirit of the age and depression of the times,
has succeeded in prevailing on Madame ANNA BISHOP to reduce the prices of admission as follows: -
Dress Circle and Parquette, 7s. 6d.; Upper Boxes, 4s.; Pit, 2s.; Gallery, 1s.
The Fourth Grand Night of the Nightingale of the World,
Madame ANNA BISHOP, who will appear on SATURDAY, 29th December,
in her Fourth Entertainment, comprising New Songs, Ballads,
and perform in character, Bellini's far-famed SONNAMBULISM FINALE,
from bis masterpiece, LA SONNAMBULA, and Rossini's ever popular scene from TANCREDI,
with scenery, appointments, auxiliaries, &c, &c.
N. C. BOCHSA, the Director and Manager of Madame A.B.,
Composer and First Harpist of her Majesty Queen Victoria,
Life Governor of the Royal Musical Academy of England, &c., &c.,
will direct and conduct the Complete Grand Orchestra.
Mr. MARSH will accompany the ballads on the pianoforte.
BOCHSA'S new whimsical Overture for full orchestra,
intituled THE PAST AND THE PRESENT, blending together classical strains of great composers,
and sketches from the present popular Ethiopian, &c. Melodies, (first and only time).
2. Irish Ballad - "Oft in the Stilly Night," - T. Moore - Mme. ANNA BISHOP
3. Solo, Cornet - Mr. Wheeler
4. Scottish Ballad - "Jock O'Hazeldean" - Mme. ANNA BISHOP
5. Orchestra
6. Brilliant Finale - "A la Valse," from Donizetti's L'Elisir D'Amore - Mme. ANNA BISHOP.
The whole of the Last Scene of the Third Act of Bellini's
With Scenery, Appointments, Auxiliaries, &c.
Amina - Mme. ANNA BISHOP, with the celebrated Rondo
Elvino (her betrothed) - Mr. J. Howson
Count Rodolpho - Mr. Holloway
Teresa (mother of Amino) - Mrs. Gibbs.
In the above impressive Scene, Amina is in a trance, and what she says in a dreaming state shows clearly that she is faithful to her dear Elvino, and worthy to be his bride.
ROSSINI'S admired Scene from the far-famed Opera
Recitative - "O Patria"
Cavatina - "Di Tanti Palpiti"
Tancredi - Mme. ANNA BISHOP, in her gorgeous costume of a Crusade Warrior.
The performance to commence with a Petite Comedy, in one Act, entitled,
Assistant Manager - Mr. T. S. BELLAIR.
Performance to begin at eight o'clock. Carriages to be ordered at half-past ten.
No half-price. No Free List except the Press.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (3 January 1856), 4

Madam Anna Bishop's fourth Concert took place at this theatre on Saturday evening. The house, although by no means so thronged as we believed it would have been from the very attractive nature of the programme and the moderate prices charged for admission, was nevertheless comfortably filled, the dress circle presenting a better appearance than upon previous evenings, and the other portions of the theatre being occupied by a numerous and appreciative auditory. To be candid, we must confess that this accomplished artiste has not hitherto met with that amount of support in Sydney to which her eminent professional talents entitle her. Various causes have doubtless led to this circumstance; the commercial depression which has lately prevailed, and the inopportune period of her arrival, being perhaps the most prominent. "There's a good time coming," however, and we could not but regard the appearance of the house on Saturday evening, as an omen of future successes for the fair songstress of Albion, who before she departs from amongst us, we trust will have more reason to be pleased with her visit to the colony than she can possibly have at present, considering the heavy expenses to which she has been, and still is, subjected. If talent be regarded as a qualification in candidates for public favour, the people of Sydney, who so enthusiastically welcomed the warbler of Erin, must not overlook the claims of her successor, coming amongst us as she does unheralded and dependent for success solely upon her intrinsic merits and individual exertions. We should be paying but a very poor compliment to the taste and discrimination of the public were we to suppose them capable of making any invidious distinctions between the two charming vocalists who have appeared before them up to the present time. Both those talented ladies have earned for themselves a reputation which cannot be questioned in this part of the world; and each, in our opinion, has an equal claim upon the patronage of the Australian people. In the one instance, that patronage has been profusely bestowed; in the other, it remains to be seen to what extent it will be awarded. We hope there may be no ground for complaint in either case.

As we have previously said, the selection on Saturday evening was most attractive. The entertainment opened with a new Overture by Bochsa, entitled Past and Present, which was well received by the audience, although the orchestra, from the limited number of professionals it comprised, was not enabled to do it that justice which it might have been expected to receive under other circumstances. Madam Bishop next sang Moore's beautiful ballad, Oft in the Stilly Night, a piece which she rendered with exquisite taste and pathos. Nothing could exceed in tenderness and beauty of expression her rendering of the couplet:

"Oft in the Stilly Night
When Slumber's chains hath bound me,"

nor the sympathetic fervour with which she dwelt upon the lines

"The smiles, the tears, of boyhood's years,
The words of love then spoken,
The eyes that shone, now dimm'd and gone,
The cheerful hearts, now broken."

The song of course elicited the most rapturous applause, and an universal encore. The ever-beautiful English ballad, Home, sweet Home, and the Scotch ballad Jack o' Hazeldean, were next given; Mr. Wheeler in the interim performing a solo upon the cornet-a-piston, in which he was warmly applauded. In both those national ballads, Madam Bishop was vociferously applauded, a shower of bouquets and general cheering at the close affording satisfactory evidence of her success, and of the power she had attained over the audience by her truly melodious and tuneful notes. The first part concluded with a brilliant finale à la valse from Donizetti's opera L'Elisir d'Amore; this difficult piece brought down thunders of applause, and was unanimously encored, the fair songstress repeating it without leaving the stage.

Selections from the operas of La Sonnambula and Tancredi concluded the entertainment. In these latter performances, aided with appropriate costume and scenic accessories, the dramatic powers of Madam Bishop were fully developed, the result stamping her as one of the first operatic performers that has appeared in Australia. In the character of Tancredi, in particular, attired in the rich costume of the Crusade Knight, Madam Bishop appeared to great advantage, her brilliant execution of the cavatina Di Tanti Palpiti being equalled only by the grace and animation of her acting, and the noble appearance of her personnelle. At the close of the concert the fair vocalist was unanimously called for, and upon appearing before the curtain received the usual ovation, acknowledging the compliment most gracefully. Her next Concert takes place to-morrow evening, when we trust to see the Theatre filled from pit to dome.

ASSOCIATIONS: Stephen Wheeler (cornet); John Howson (vocalist); Edmund Holloway (vocalist)


1 January 1856, fifth concert

[Advertisement], Empire (1 January 1856), 1 

Under the direction and management of Mr. A. Torning.
New Year's Night! Grand Holiday! Immense attraction!
Increase of popularity. Viva for ANNA BISHOP!
Last Night but five of that celebrated lyric actress,
Madame ANNA BISHOP, THIS EVENING, January 1st,
when another entire new programme, of great attraction, is to be presented.
On account of the present indisposition of Mr. Bochsa, Mr. S. MARSH has keen kind enough to direct the complete grand Orchestra.
The performance to commence with a Petite Comedy,
Ronslaus (a soldier), Mr. Stewart; Carlitz (a rustic), Mr. Bruton; Brant (a waiter), Mr. Turner; Christine, Misa Warde.
Masquerade scene from Donizetti's admired Tragic, Historical Opera of
Lucrezia Borgia, Princess of Ferrara, renowned all over the world for her great crimes and dreadful propensities, which have ruined many families, hearing that a son of hers (who does not know her) is enjoying the festivities of a ball at Venice, leaves Ferrara, masked, to get a sight of him, as she loves him dearly.
Lucrezia Borgia - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Schubert's popular "Ave Maria" - Sung in German by Madame ANNA BISHOP - Concert Waltzes
Scotch Ballad - "Auld Robin Gray" - Madame ANNA BISHOP
By desire of a number of American gentlemen, and on account of her success in the Atlantic cities, Madame ANNA BISHOP will sing, for the first and only time, the favourite song "Mary Blane," as arranged for her.
Historical Mad Scene from Donizetti's Tragic Opera of
With choruses, scenery, &c.
Ann Boleyn, Madame ANNA BISHOP.
By general request, the whole to conclude with ("positively for the last time)
THE MEXICAN BOY AT MADRID. "La Catatumba," a Mexixan song, sung, by Madame ANNA BISHOP, in the Mexican language, in the picturesque dress of a Charro (a smart Mexican country Boy).
[The Charro, who is on a visit to the Spanish metropolis to see the "lions," looks about as if in wonder.]
Prices of Admission: - Dress Circle and Parquette, 7s. 6d.; Upper Boxes, 4s.; Pit, 2s.; Gallery, 1s.
Performance to begin at eight o'clock. Carriages to be ordered at half-past ten.
No half-price. No Free List, except the Press.

"THE THEATRES", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 January 1856), 4 

. . . Madame Anna Bishop's concert on Tuesday, was very numerously attended. The entertainment consisted, as before, of songs, ballads, and operatic selections, scenes from Lucretia Borgia and Anna Bolena. The gem of the evening was Schubert's Ave Maria - a beautiful composition - beautifully sung. Auld Robin Cray was also exquisitely executed . . .

3 January 1856, sixth concert

[Advertisement], Empire (3 January 1856), 1 

Under the Direction and Management of Mr. A. TORNING.
The Sixth Grand Night of that classical and popular songstress of the people,
Madame ANNA BISHOP, will take place,
THIS EVENING, Thursday, January 3, 1856,
when will be presented musical gems, beauties from the Concert room, and some which adorn the temple of Melpomene and Thalia, all for the last time.
Overture - Orchestra
Irish Ballad - "Katy Darling" (first and only time) Mdme. ANNA BISHOP
Solo Cornet - Mr. Wheeler
English Ballad - "Home, Sweet Home" (Sir H. Bishop) - Mdme. ANNA BISHOP
Selection - Orchestra.
Characteristic Fantasia on Mexican Melodies, for the Orchestra, arranged by BOCHSA,
and introducing the humorous and quaint Canzion,
LA PASADITA (The Promenade)
Sung in Castilian by Mdme. ANNA BISHOP, in the national costume of a Muchacha, a Mexican girl of the Middle class.
The whole of the last Scene of the Third Act of Bellini's
with Scenery, Appointments, Auxiliaries, &c.
Amina, Mdme. ANNA BISHOP, with the celebrated Rondo.
Overture - Orchestra.
Rossini's admired Scene from the far-famed Opera,
Recitative - "O Patria," Cavatina - "Di tanti Palpiti."
Tancredi, Mdme. ANNA BISHOP, in her gorgeous costume of a Crusade warrior.
To conclude with a Petite Comedy, entitled

"MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 January 1856), 4 

Madame Anna Bishop had on Thursday the most fashionable house she has yet secured, and one of the most numerous. The programme included several ballads and selections from Sonnambula and Tancredi. Her ballad singing is characterised by sweet simplicity; there is no ornament, no attempt at meretricious [? singing] for effect, but the music written by the composer is sung in its integrity with exquisite taste. The selections from Sonnambula and Tancredi were enthusiastically applauded, particularly Bellini's magnificent finale to the former, which was unquestionably the most brilliant rendering of this passage ever heard in the colony. The audience rose to compliment the singer when called before the curtain. A new ballad, "Katie Darling" was announced in the programme for the first time. An impetuous encore followed its execution. It is a sweet, sad, simple melody - "most musical, most melancholy."

By a somewhat impolitic arrangement, Mr. Frank Howson and Mr. Winterbottom gave their concert at the Royal Hotel on one of Madame Anna Bishop's nights. The attendance, consequently, was not so good as it would otherwise have been; but the audience, if not very numerous, was, at all events, select, and, therefore, the more discriminating in its applause. This was plentifully bestowed, as the following list of encores will show: "'Tis I,'tis I," and "There's a path by the river," very prettily warbled by Mrs. Craven; "O Erin, my Country," by Mrs. Bridson, who is neither known nor appreciated sufficiently as a vocalist. "The Marseillaise," sung after the true spirited barricade fashion, by Mr. Howson; and Mr. Winterbottom's delicious and difficult solos on the bassoon. These are really wonderful performances. The bassoon is ordinarily so grave and growling an instrument, that anything droll or silvery from it sounds as strange as a "merry Christmas" from the lips of Scrooge.

4 January 1856, first notice of Australian edition of Je suis la bayadere (Bochsa)

[Advertisement], Empire (4 January 1855), 7 

NEW SONG, "LA BAYADERE," composed by Signor BOCHSA, and sung by Madame ANNA BISHOP, will he published in the Harmonicon of SATURDAY, next, at the Office. W. J. JOHNSON AND CO., 57, Pitt-street.

MUSIC: No copy of this Australia edition has been identified; however, the music survives in authorised form in several American editions

[3 advertisements], The Sydney Morning Herald (4 January 1856), 1 


PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. - To-morrow Evening, SATURDAY. January 5th, First Night of the complete representation of Bellini's Tragic Opera NORMA, with full and efficient cast, and increased orchestral accompaniment. Norma, Madame ANNA BISHOP.

ROYAL VTCTORIA THEATRE. - The management has great pleasure in announcing that Madame LOLA MONTES has returned . . . who will have the honour of appearing in several new pieces on MONDAY NEXT, January 7th.

"THE DRAMA. PRINCE OF WALES", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (5 January 1856), 2 

Madame Anna Bishop is, we hope, beginning to be appreciated by the people of Sydney; at all events if nightly improving houses, and unanimous bursts of continuous applause are to be taken as criteria, no doubt can be entertained about the subject. Since our last issue, Madame Anna Bishop has appeared in scenes from Somnambula, Tancredi, Lucrezia Borgia, and Anna Bolena, and in each character she has achieved a marked success. Where all is exquisite, it would appear invidious to make comparisons between the various selections; but we may safely say that we regard her Norma as being yet unsurpassed by any performance in which she has appeared in Sydney. We are extremely sorry to have to announce that severe indisposition has prevented the Chevalier Bochsa from presiding at the piano-forte during the week, and that he still continues a great invalid.

5 January 1856, seventh concert

[Advertisement], Empire (5 January 1856), 1 

Under the Direction and Management of Mr. A. TORNING.
To give full splendour to Bellini's Entire Grand Tragic Opera of
NORMA, announced for SATURDAY, January 5th,
Mdme. ANNA BISHOP finds it advisable to give to the great work still more rehearsals,
and to delay its performance until TUESDAY, January 8th.
THIS EVENING, Saturday, January 5, 1850, will be offered (for most positively the last time,)
her far-famed lyric entertainment, comprising the gems which have rendered her so popular in this country.
Overture - Orchestra
Scotch Ballad - "John Anderson, my Joe" - Mdme. ANNA BISHOP
Selections - Orchestra
English Ballad - "Last Rose of Summer" - Mdme. ANNA BISHOP
Orchestra -
Chansoinette Francaise - Invitation à la Dance- "Je suis la Bayadere" (Bochsa) - Mdme. ANNA BISHOP.
Historical Mad Scene from Donizetti's Tragic Opera of
with Choruses, Scenery, &c.
Ann Boleyn - Mdme. ANNA BISHOP.
Rossini's admired Scene from the far-famed Opera,
Recitative - "O Patria." Cavatina - "Di tanti Palpiti."
Tancredi, Mdme. ANNA BISHOP, in her gorgeous costume of a Crusade Warrior.
God Save the Queen - the Solos by Mdme. ANNA BISHOP.
To conclude with the laughable Burletta, entitled
Madame ANNA BISHOP will make her next appearance on TUESDAY EVENING, January 8th, in the full Opera of NORMA . . .

Monument in memory of N. C. Bochsa, erected by Anna Bishop over his grave in Newtown/Camperdown Cemetery, 1856; 
drawn by E. Thomas, Cyrus Mason lithographer, Melbourne; State Library of New South Wales

Monument in memory of N. C. Bochsa, erected by Anna Bishop over his grave in Camperdown Cemetry, 1856; drawn by E. Thomas, Cyrus Mason lithographer, Melbourne; State Library of New South Wales (DIGITISED)

Bochsa's death (6 January 1856) and obituaries

"DEATH", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 January 1856), 8 

On the 6th instant, at the Royal Hotel, Mr. N. C. Bochsa, aged 65 years.

"FUNERAL", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 January 1856), 5 

FUNERAL. - The friends and the profession are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of the deceased CHEVALIER BOCHSA. The procession will move from the Royal Hotel at nine o'clock precisely THIS MORNING. A. TORNING.

FUNERAL. - The Friends of the deceased N. C. BOCHSA, Esq., are respectfully informed that his funeral will move from the Royal Hotel, George-street, THIS (Tuesday) MORNING, at a quarter to 10 o'clock. JAMES CURTIS, undertaker, Hunter-street, January 8th.

Bochsa's burial record, Newtown, St. Stephen's, 8 January 1856

Burials in the parish of Camperdown in the county of Cumberland in the year 1856; St. Stephen's, Newtown, burial register 1854-67, page 47

No. 5061 / Nicholas Charles Bochsa / George St., Sydney, New South Wales / [died] Jan. 6 / [buried] Jan 8 / Years 65 / Musician / [minister officiating] Charles C. Kemp 5019

ASSOCIATIONS: Charles C. Kemp (clergyman), see also: "OBITUARY", The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (11 July 1874), 41 

"DEATH AND OBSEQUIES OF THE LATE M. BOCHSA [COMMUNICATED]", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1856), 4 

At the Royal Hotel, on Sunday night last, shortly before twelve o'clock, expired this illustrious and world-famed musician. For many years he had been a great physical sufferer, yet he maintained his mental and musical abilities unimpaired through all corporeal infirmities. A full history of his life is unnecessary in our columns, for it is known to all who take any interest in the profession of "sweet sounds," and we therefore give but a short sketch.

He was a native of Prague, but at an early age became celebrated in Paris, then the centre of the beaux arts, as the most talented harpist of his, or any former or later day. He was immediately attached to the private artistic troupe of the Emperor Napoleon, and received an appointment as Maitre de Concerts, or, as in the German Courts, "Kapel-meister." For years he astonished and delighted all Europe, and finally adopted England as his home. In estimating the powers of M. Bochsa, it must be well borne in mind that he was not a mere instrumentalist, but also a great composer; and, above all, one of the most comprehensive and rapid scorers that ever undertook the heavy task of operatic and orchestral arrangement.

His lamented decease was much hastened by fatigue and privation of comforts during a tedious passage from San Francisco to Sydney; and though he rallied sufficiently to preside at Madame Anna Bishop's debut, the exertion proved too much for his exhausted frame, and he was soon obliged to keep his chamber. For some days prior to his decease he was aware that his sands were near out, but he neither conversed nor complained on the approaching finale. Death did not appear immediately imminent on Sunday evening, and Madame Bishop and the attendants had already bid him "good night," when he suddenly heaved a deep sigh, and nought remained of the great maestro but his earthly tenement. It is, however, a consolatory reflection that he departed without the mortal agony of a struggle between soul and body, and that every service and kindness surrounded his death-bed.

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning was appointed for his funeral, and every preparation was made to render due homage in the obsequies to his long and justly-earned fame. Soon after nine o'clock a large assemblage of the leading members of the musical and histrionic profession, with many private individuals, assembled at the Royal Hotel, and preparations were immediately made for marshalling the procession, by Mr. Curtis, the undertaker. At ten o'clock the cortege moved, preceded by mutes and pall-bearers. The hearse was drawn by four horses, all surmounted with plumes; and an open car, containing the wind-instrumentalists of the united theatrical orchestras, immediately followed; the band playing sad dirges throughout the route to the cemetery at Newtown. Several mourning coaches came next in order, occupied by those in closest relation to the departed; and a long string of private vehicles closed the funeral line. When arrived at the burial-ground, a foot procession was formed, and paced slowly after the coffin to the solemn "Dead March in Saul." The sepultral rites were performed according to the English Episcopalian service, and a large crowd of uncovered followers and spectators testified to their respect of the deceased Bochsa and the impressiveness of the occasion.

At the close of the accustomed prayers, a singular and affecting ceremony took place in the chaunting over the grave a truly wailing "Requiem." The occasion of this is very interesting, and we give the touching tale as a real matter of fact. Nearly every one has heard the lovely melody of "Weber's last Waltz," and that it was the last production of the expiring composer. With the same ruling passion, strong in death, did Bochsa three days before his demise, also compose a mournful refrain, as if therein bidding "farewell" to his stay on earth. His mind was rather wandering at the time, but he gave the score to a female attendant, and told her to take great care of it. However, the scrap of music paper was forgotten till the afternoon before the funeral, when she gave it to Madame Bishop, and, struck with the solemnity and appropriateness of the air, she requested that words might be arranged to it, and sung over his last resting-place. Accordingly, the Latin "Requiem" from the Catholic Ritual was adapted by Mr. Frank Howson, and harmonised in four parts by Mr. Paling, was most effectively tendered. So affecting was the circumstance of the composition, and the subject of its melody, that tears came unbidden to the eyes of many, "albeit unused to the melting mood." This dying chaunt will shortly be published, the following stanzas having been written thereto at private request: -

Rest! Great Musician, rest!
Thine earthly term is o'er,
And may thy tuneful soul
To choirs seraphic soar!
Tho' hush'd thy mortal tones,
Their echoes yet remain -
For in thine own sad chords
We chaunt thy burial strain.

Rest ! mighty genius, rest!
We sing thee not "adieu" -
Thy melodies still live,
And name and fame renew.
Yet may our pray'rs to Heav'n
For thee be not in vain,
As in thine own sad chords
We chaunt thy burial strain.

"THE LATE CHEVALIER BOCHSA", Empire (9 January 1856), 5

The funeral of the late N. C. Bochsa, who departed this life on the evening of Sunday last, took place yesterday morning. The remains of this distinguished musician were followed to their last resting-place by a large number of professionals, the retinue also including all the members of the Sydney theatrical corps, and many citizens of influence and respectability. The procession started from the Royal Hotel shortly after ten o'clock; the remains of the deceased gentleman were conveyed to the Newtown Cemetery in a hearse drawn by four horses, followed immediately by two mourning coaches, and a vehicle containing the members of the Prince of Wales Orchestra, who performed various funeral marches from Beethoven, the Dead March from Saul, and a "requiem" arranged by M. Paling from the last composition of Bochsa. The procession closed with fourteen private carriages, occupied by various gentlemen, among whom we noticed, Messrs. Marsh, Johnson, Paling, Torning, the Howsons, Fisher, &c. Over the grave was sung the "requiem" which Bochsa composed for his own funeral on Thursday night last.

The following account of the life of the Chevalier is extracted from the Musical World: . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (9 January 1856), 5 

A CARD. - Madame ANNA BISHOP avails herself of the earliest opportunity to tender her grateful acknowledgments to her musical and other kind friends for the extreme consideration evinced towards herself since the death of her lamented instructor, the Chevalier Bochsa, and to assure them how deeply sensible she is of the respect and regard manifested by such a numerous attendance at his obsequies this morning. Royal Hotel, January 8th, 1856.

"DEATH OF CHEVALIER BOCHSA", Bell's Life in Sydney (12 January 1856), 2

This illustrious musician, after a protracted illness expired about midnight on Sunday last at the Royal Hotel, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. The venerable Harpist since his arrival in this city had been gradually sinking from the combined effects of an illness of long standing, and the numerous discomforts he, in his invalid state, had experienced on the voyage from San Francisco; and his demise, though certainly not unexpected, occurred more suddenly than had been anticipated. Madame Anna Bishop, and his attendants were about taking leave of him for the night, when, with a deep sigh, without a struggle or a groan, the spirit took its flight.

BOCHSA was almost the last remnant of that brilliant phalanx of artistic celebrities which, in Paris surrounded the throne of Napoleon the Great, in the palmy days of the Empire. Having composed at Lyons, in 1805 (he was then fourteen years of age) the music of an opera in honor of the Emperor, who was to pass through that city on his way to Italy, he was presented to the great man, who, astonished at the precocious genius of the boy, decided that he should be sent to study at the Paris Conservatoire, whither Bochsa repaired immediately. Soon afterwards our young aspirant to musical honors, who was an eminent pianist and could play on all the instruments used in an orchestra, became celebrated on the harp, which he raised to its present state of perfection. He was appointed first harpist and composer of the Imperial Court, and chamber musician of Napoleon; harp teacher of the two Empresses, Josephine and Maria Louise, and of the Queen Hortense, (mother of the present French Emperor;) and one of the composers of the Opera Comique, Paris, and after a very short period, we find marks of distinction falling to his share, such as have been the lot of but few men.

Nephew, by marriage, to the eminent French authoress Countess of Genlis, governess of the Orleans family, Bochsa was greatly patronised, at the restoration, by the Bourbons. However, he went to England in 1816, and established himself in London, where his fame as a composer and harpist had already preceded him. He was appointed musical manager of the Italian Opera, and had successively under his direction, Catalani, Pasta, Malibran, Sontag, Grisi, and a host of ether great artists - the Royal Academy of Music of England (in which Anna Bishop and many of the present distinguished English performers were educated) being also confided to the care of Bochsa, he gave to that establishment an importance almost equal to that of the French and Italian schools. He has composed upwards of 2000 harp pieces, all published in Europe, beside operas, oratorios, cantatas, symphonies, ballet music, &c.

Latterly, BOCHSA seldom performed on the harp, but invariably presided at the piano forte at all the concerts of Madame Anna Bishop. In his European tour with this lady he was received every where with great distinction. At Copenhagen, he directed the spectacle given in honor of the birth day of the King. At St. Petersburg, he conducted the Emperor's concerts. At Naples he was appointed director of the San Carlo Theatre, jointly with the eminent Mercadante. At Rome he was made associate to the Holy Chapter of the Order of Santa Cecilia, and member of the Society Philharmonic. He was also Knight and Commander of several distinguished orders.

BOCHSA'S last appearance in public was on the occasion of Madame Anna Bishop's recent debut in in this city.

The remains of this distinguished and gifted artiste were consigned to their final resting place in the Camperdown Cemetery on Tuesday last, being followed by most of the members of the musical and theatrical profession in the city. A requiem, composed by the deceased upon his death-bed, was chaunted over his grave, and created a profound impression amongst all present.

"DEATH AND OBSEQUIES OF THE LATE M. BOCHSA", The Age (18 January 1856), 4 

Bochsa's damaged grave in Newtown (St. Stephen's) cemetery (Australharmony 27 September 2018; CC BY-NC 3.0 AU)

See also earlier image at Wikipedia commons: 

Mourn him - mourn his harp-strings-broken.
Never more shall float such music
None could sweep the lyre like him.

"THE LATE BOCHSA (Extract from a private letter) Sydney, February 11th, 1856", The musical world (24 May 1856), 326

Poor Bochsa died here on Sunday, January 6th; he arrived here about a month previously from California with Anna Bishop. I felt certain when I first saw him here that he would leave his bones in this place. His suffering must have been extreme, from dropsy and asthma. Two days before he died he composed a Requiem, which was performed at his funeral, and produced a most solemn effect. I attended as chief mourner. During the whole of the day on which he died he entreated them to bring him out to see me, my residence being a few miles in the country. He also insisted upon every piece of music, of which he had large boxes fall, of scores, &c, &c, even to the smallest MS., being taken out of his room. I never, during my life, witnessed such a fearful change in any man - knowing him in the prime of his life, and one of the handsomest men of his day, as also one of the best musicians - to behold him arrive here in so infirm a state - swollen, too, to such an immense size; notwithstanding which, his mind appeared as active and energetic as ever. I could not help feeling it a sad and strange circumstance that so great an artist should come out to this part of the world to die.

"Death of Bochsa, the harpist", Dwight's journal of music (3 May 1836), 36 

Robert Nicholas Charles Bochsa, the celebrated harpist, died at Sydney, Australia, on the 7th of January. The only biographical sketch that we possess of this rather famous individual, says that he was born at Montmedi, in the department of the Meuse, in France, in 1789, so that his age was but sixty-seven, though he was generally supposed to be older. His father was first performer on the hautboy in the Grand Theatre at Lyons, and he began to learn music before anything else. Indeed some of the stories told of him remind one of the infancy of Mozart; for he is said to have publicly performed a concerto on the piano, when only seven years old, to have written "a duet and symphony for the flute" when only nine, to have composed ballet overtures and a quartet when only eleven, and an opera called "Trajan" when only sixteen.

His family having removed to Bordeaux, Bochsa began to study composition under Beck, and marvellous stories are told of his progress, and of his rapidly acquired skill upon nearly every instrument of the orchestra, but especially upon the harp, the pianoforte, the flute, and the tenor. From Bordeaux he was taken to Paris, placed in the Conservatory, under Catel, and at the end of the first year, won the first prize in harmony. He then continued the study of composition under Mehul, but at the same time devoted himself greatly to the harp, receiving lessons from Nadermann, and afterwards from the Vicomte Marin. In a little while he not only surpassed his masters, but become the greatest living performer on the harp, maintaining this pre-eminence until years and rather premature infirmities, diminished his powers.

In the days of his youth and greatest skill Bochsa was the pet of the leading courts of Europe. In 1813 Napoleon the Great appointed him the first harpist of his private concerts. In the following year, on the Restoration, he was appointed to compose an opera called Les Heritiers Michaux, which was graciously received by Louis XVIII and by the Russian and Austrian Emperors. In 1815 he wrote a grand Requiem by command of Louis XVIII. He was also appointed harpist to the King and the Duc de Berri. In 1817 he went to England, where he became the pet of the court and nobility, performing frequently at concerts, and writing many compositions for the harp. In 1822 he was made director of the oratorios, and also a life governor, professor of the harp and secretary of the musical department of the Royal Academy. He retained these offices for many years, and derived a handsome revenue from his concerts and his publications.

During his residence in London, Bochsa made the acquaintance of Madame Anna Bishop, an accomplished woman, and a charming singer, who had been raised from obscurity, educated, and afterwards married by Sir Henry R. Bishop. The great harpist was then a very handsome, as well as a celebrated man. The result of the acquaintance was that the lady deserted her husband and followed the harpist, to whom she has been a faithful and devoted servant ever since. Their visit to the United States is remembered by all our readers. Since they have left us, they have visited Mexico, South America and California, and finally, Australia; the great harpist who had been petted by Bonapartes and Bourbons, and had instructed empresses and princesses, finding at last a grave in the land whither, if all that is said of him be true, he should have been legally sent years ago; for among the eccentricities of his genius was one which used to prompt him to lay violent hands on finery and jewelry belonging to ladies who attended his re-unions - this peculiarity being one of the reasons why he could not venture back to the scenes of his early European triumphs.

Bochsa was a vain, petulant, domineering, bad-tempered man. The hints we have given are sufficient to indicate his moral deficiencies, so we need not enlarge upon them. He was, unquestionably, a wonderful harpist, and a composer of skill. But he lacked genius and inspiration, so that among his couple of hundred works, there are none that will live, except as mere studies for the harp. - Phil. Bulletin.

"Bochsa", Daily Alta California (12 July 1856), 1 

Died, "on the night of Sunday, January 6th, at the Royal Hotel, Sydney, after a long and painful illness, the Chevalier Bochsa." His remains were carried, on Tuesday morning, to Newtown Cemetery for internment, attended by a numerous concourse of musical, dramatic, and other friends; among whom were his Secretary, Mr. Schultz, his old pupils Stephen Marsh, Charles Packer and E. Spagnoletti, and the elite of the artistes residing in Sydney. The band of wind instruments heading the cortege were under the direction of Mons. Paling. After the burial service, "a very simple, sweet and solemn requiem, composed by the veteran musician" a few hours before his decease, was sung by his professional friends, and "thus the world closed upon the remains of one, who, but a few days back, was one of its greatest living musicians."

Bochsa was a native of Prague, Bohemia, and was born in 1791. His family removed, when he was very young, to France. At the age of eight years he performed compositions of his own, in public, at Lyons. He was a solo performer on the harp, pianoforte, violin and flute, and could play on any instrument in the orchestra. He was appointed composer to the Theatre before he had reached his twelfth year. Napoleon early appreciated his extraordinary talents, and placed him at the Paris Conservatoire. Regarding the harp as capable of the most delicious musical effects, he turned his attention particularly to its study, and became the king of harpists. He instructed the Empress Josephine. In 1816 Bochsa arrived in London, and was received with the utmost enthusiasm. In 1820 he followed in the train of George IV, when that monarch visited Ireland as King's Minstrel. His greatest achievement in London was a "vocal quartette and chorus, accompanied by fourteen harps, and a double orchestra." He was appointed in 1824 director of the King's theatre, and superintended the production of all the grand operas, with such singers as Pasta, Malibran, Sontag, Tamburini and Rubini. He founded the Academy of Music, of which he was a governor for life. Bochsa composed, among other things, "Le Herutuer de Painspoe," "La Lettre de Change," "Alphonse, Roi d'Arragon," "Un Mari," "Les Noces de Gamache," "The Deluge," "Voyage Musicale," "The Music of the Passions," "Records of Early Music down to the Present Century," "A History of the Harp," and an innumerable number of studies for his pet instruments, the Harp. Bochsa has travelled over the civilized portions of the globe; has conducted operas in almost every capital of note, and in every language; has received the highest musical honors; has received the title and distinction of "knight and commander of several distinguished orders;" and is at last buried, with great consideration, in a remote corner of the earth.

But, how mournful is the contemplation, that with all his renown, with all the genius which won for him an exalted position among the great ones of the earth, when the nineteenth century shall have become a finished column in the corridors, adown whose aisles events fade into oblivion, the name of Bochsa will have become erased from the memory of man; such is the melancholy fate of a musician!

"A REMITTANCE", Sacramento Daily Union (24 July 1856), 2 

Madam Anna Bishop has transmitted to a gentleman in San Francisco $2,500 to pay some debts which had been contracted in that city by Bochsa during her sojourn in California.

[News], Sacramento Daily Union (9 October 1856), 3 

It is said that Bochsa, the late musical preceptor of Madame Anna Bishop, the cantatrice, left $50,000 to that lady in available funds. Bochsa, it will be recollected, died in Australia last spring.

"The minstrel's legacy, M. Boscha to Madame Anna Bishop"; undated manuscript, Faithfull family collection (Springfield, Goulburn, NSW), National Museum of Australia, 2005.0005.1435.077 (DIGITISED)

The Minstrel's Legacy /​ M. Boscha /​ to Madame Anna /​ Bishop

The Minstrel's Legacy

The harp which I lov'd when thy smile shone around it,
To thee I bequeath, when my spirit hath fled,
Thy touch will awaken the charm which long bound it,
And thou wilt think kindly and oft of the dead.

Whilst thou art its mistress 'twill not be forsaken,
With thee will its melody breathe to the last,
And often in solitude & sadness awaken
Some thought of the minstrel, some joy of the past.

But when thou art conscious that Death hovers o'er thee
And the fair hand that touch'd it enfeebled may be,
When Nature proclaims that no Art can restore thee
Then break all its chords, for its Spirit must die.

Sydney, NSW (also Maitland, Newcastle, and Parramatta, 6 January to 3 May 1856)

"Sydney (From our Correspondent.) JANUARY 8", The Moreton Bay Courier (19 January 1856), 2 

One event has caused no small sensation amongst the musical circles of this city, in the sudden and unexpected demise of Signor Bochsa, whose talents as a harpist were those of a first-class artist, and we cannot but exhibit a degree of condolence at the demise of one whose appearance in this city was looked upon with satisfaction as likely to exhibit a very chaste selection of musical treats. Madame Anna Bishop has been well patronised; and her singing appears to draw the most attentive and fashionable audiences. I observe the late misunderstanding between the manager and companies of the theatres of Sydney has so far been concluded. Madame Lola Montes is now on a second visit to Sydney . . .

"SYDNEY HARMONICON", Empire (11 January 1856), 5 

Under this title, a very creditably got up weekly periodical has lately made its appearance, three numbers having been published. It professes to give criticisms on music and art in general with more discrimination than they generally receive . . . Even in London, the journals devoted strictly to musical criticisms have a very small circulation; and the paucity of the material for the critic's pen to be found in this city, is strikingly exhibited in the first three numbers, there being only three subjects to engage the attention, the Sydney Choral Society, Madame Anna Bishop, and Messrs. Howson and Winterbottom's Concert . . .

In addition to four folio pages of letter-press, the Harmonicon also contains four pages of engraved music. Among these pieces there are some elegant and graceful compositions, but none of them of such originality and charm that they are likely to win a permanent popularity . . . Among the more successful pieces we would mention an "Elegant Trifle" from the pen of the late Chevalier Bochsa, called the "Bayadere" . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 February 1856), 9

"THE SYDNEY HARMONICON", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 February 1856), 5

"Sydney News (From our own Correspondent) Thursday Evening, Jan. 10", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (12 January 1856), 2 

Lola Montez and her company are drawing crowded houses at the Victoria Theatre . . . The Prince of Wales Theatre, in the absence of the great attraction, Madame Anna Bishop, would be butter shut up; on Tuesday night there were only 16 persons in the house.

"PRINCE OF WALES", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (12 January 1856), 2 

Owing to the lamented death of the Chevalier Bochsa, and the consequently necessary postponement of "Norma," this house has produced nothing worthy of any lengthy comment during the past week, and the attendance each evening has been growing "small by degrees, and beautifully less." We sincerely hope that the production of "Norma" is only postponed, and that the public will some day have the opportunity of hearing this splendid opera in its entirety. Report says that there is a probability of the Prince of Wales Theatre being closed for dramatic purposes, and of its being re-opened as a dancing saloon. We don't credit it, and should be sorry to think there was any truth in the rumour.

Sydney, opera season, Prince of Wales Theatre (15 January to 23 February 1856)

15, 17 and 19 January 1856, three performances of Norma (Bellini)

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 January 1856), 4 

Under the Direction and Management of Mr. A. Torning.
THIS EVENING, January 15.
The entertainments will commence with (first time this season) Bellini's grand Opera of NORMA, with all the original music, choruses, &c.. Pollio, Mr. J. Howson; Oreveso (Norma's father), Mr. F. Howson; Flavius, Mr. Stewart; Norma, Mde. Anna Bishop; Adalgisa, Mrs. Guerin; Clotilda, Mrs. Gibbs.
To conclude with the laughable farce, entitled a DUEL IN THE DARK.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. OPERA OF NORMA", Empire (16 January 1856), 5 

Madame Anna Bishop, having recovered from her late indisposition, gave her first rendering of the character of Norma before a Sydney audience last evening; and by her striking and classic conception of the part has added one more bay to her already luxuriant laurels. We trust the cyprus-leaf [sic] lately cast upon this lady's brow will be hidden by her new-won conquest. We frankly confess we expected much in a truly great musical work from so cultured an artiste - although, after the Norma of Grisi and the more or less mimetic and variable personations of Sophie Cruvelli, it seemed very difficult to strike out anything which, without being outré, should be thoroughly new. Jenny Lind had tried it and failed. She aimed at a kind of mild, domestic Norma (a woman who would have married Pollio, within a given time, and settled down in her wicker wig-wam quietly enough), and the natural consequence was, her somewhat insipid personification fell far short of the magnificent representations by the leading star of the "rival house." Sontag conceived a passive Norma would command applause, and made the Priestess little better than an aboriginal Mrs. Nickleby. Her failure - despite a splendid voice which reached to D in alt. - was even more lamentable than Jenny Lind's. What then remained for a new cantatrice? Simply to read the part with good taste, caring not whose style was imitated and whose ignored. This was evidently the idea of Madame Bishop, and the result was, that one of the largest audiences ever assembled in a Sydney Theatre had the pleasure, last night, of hearing Norma, not as any particular songstress has hitherto rendered it, but as the young Bellini composed it.

The singer who appears in such a work has the great advantage of undertaking to give in music the finest libretto that was ever written. The words of operas are, in nine cases out of ten, tiresome and common-place; and when great Italian works have been given in English the fault becomes magnified by new idioms and uncouth verbiage. To Norma, however, neither objection applies. In the first place the composition is a good one - any living bard, not too far gone in the spasmodic poetry of the day, would be glad to claim it - while in the second, from the scene of it being laid in Britain, amidst the oaks of the Forest of Andromeda and the cromlechs of Malvern and Stonehenge, it appeals with even more force to an English audience than to the sons of those Roman conquerors who burnt out the last remnants of Druidism, in the isle of Anglesea, eighteen hundred years ago. The musical work itself is too well known to need much comment. Bellini was proud of it himself - and this is saying much - for, unlike most musical composers, he was a modest man, and even called his Il Pirato "only a beginning." From the first note of the opening chorus of Druids to the finale when the guilty heroine mounts the pyre, the ear is charmed with a flood of the most delicious and original melody. The great beauty of the composition, however, is the monotone symphonies which run throughout it. They prove more than anything else Bellini ever composed, the genius of the master. These sad under-currents of melody are the musicians' interpretation of the idea of guilty love, and they follow all the uttering of Norma, like the awful chorus which fell on Agamemnon,

There is a day of sorrow still;
Linger it may - but come it will.

Norma has sinned, and having sinned, must suffer.

The idea is not so apparent in the first act as the second, in which the action of the piece virtually commences. Bellini, with philosophical foresight, knew that all lasting productions ought to be founded on the crescendo, which should commence with the close of the first act, and increase in power till the end of the work. There is no poor "extra scene" at the conclusion of any of his compositions, like the unmeaning shooting "tag" which closes the Huguenots. The most spirited morceaux in Sonnambula is the " Ah! non giunge," with which it terminates; and Oroveso's grandest burst in Norma, is the " Sgorgaalfin!" at the close. The same criticism will also apply to his II Pirato and I Puritani.

All through the performance Madame Bishop displayed the most perfect knowledge of the master, and we were much pleased to find her preferring the able Italian libretto, to the poor weak English translations which are generally used. On the other hand we feel bound to add that nothing could be more out of taste than the introduction of the very "modern innovation" of the side curls which have become the fashion in certain quarters into the make-up of an ancient British priestess!

The singing of the prima donna was, all through the performance, of the most exquisite character. The "Deh conte" - given as an allegretto moderato in the scale of C - was received with rapturous applause, while a perfect shower of bouquets greeted the termination of that most bewitching of all Bellini's duets, "Mira O, Norma." The mention of this last aria enables us to add that the Adalgisa of Mrs. Guerin was a most creditable performance, although in this particular duet she failed when coming to the repeated C in the last bar but three. Her able assistance, however, in the "Si fino all'ore" amply compensated for this. The other characters were fairly cast. Mr. J. Howson made as much out of Pollio as that impotent character permits, and Mr. F. Howson's Oroveso was powerfully rendered and well received. The principal singers were greeted with ovations at the end of each act, and so affluent were the audience of bouquets that Madame Bishop stood on each occasion like Flora amid the flowers. Faithless Pollio had to assist her in bearing off the trophies.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (17 January 1856), 4 

"THE DRAMA. PRINCE OF WALES", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (19 January 1856), 2 

How to give utterance to our delight and surprise at the triumph of Mdme Anna Bishop as "Norma", we know not. Much had been said in anticipation; and the selections already heard well carried out the on dits: but then, in such cases, it is always wise to prepare for disappointment. However, if we did encourage such ideas beforehand, we soon forgot all about them as the inspiriting tones of the songstress burst on our delighted ear. To criticise Bellini's masterpiece is now a time-worn task; and to compare one Prima Donna withe another is an act of commingled unkindness and injustice. We shall, therefore only cursorily remark that the role of "Norma" is the most florid and difficult of any operatic character yet composed; and few are capable by nature or ability of even making its essay. Physical, as well as vocal, capability is requisite; and, equally necessary, must the cantatrice possess a histrionic power equal to the highest phases of the tragic muse. Giulia Grisi and Sophie Cruvelli are the only foreign artists who have over fully satisfied the ear and eye of criticism; and we are bold enough to affirm that to the name Adelaide Kemble may be added that of Anna Bishop as the only English Prima Donnas who have triumphantly overcome the music of the "young composer," and the prejudices of the dilletanti.

On Tuesday evening a suffocating crowd filled the theatre from pit to gallery, and many late arrivals had to be turned away. It being the first appearance of Anna Bishop since the lamented death of her maestro, M. Bochsa, much excitement was evinced, when she appeared before the audience. At the first, a spontaneous feeling of respect for the departed subdued the full expression of their welcome: but this soon gave way to the strength of their desire to award warm-hearted encouragement, and for full five minutes the vast building rang with re-echoed bursts of applause. From the close of the first aria, to the final struggle with her executioners, was one continued triumph. Astonishing vocalisation, deep pathos, and passionate energy successively commanded delight, sympathy, and admiration; and willingly is our ovation offered to the only "Norma" who has ever favored the Colonial Stage. Considering all things, Mdme. Bishop was well supported; but we should much like to hear her with those more able to do her justice. The opera was repeated on Thursday to a noble house, and to-night is the last chance for those who have not yet availed themselves of an opportunity which may never occur again.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 January 1856), 6 

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP V. MISS CATHERINE HAYES. To the Editor", Empire (21 January 1856), 3 

SIR - I have perused with considerable pleasure the interesting critiques of your theatrical reporter on the different operatic performances of Madame Anna Bishop since her arrival here.

It cannot have escaped the recollection of play-goers, that during Miss Hayes's protracted stay in this city, very lengthy notices of her various performances from time to time appeared in your daily contemporary. Those notices, it was generally believed, were from the pen of one of their honors the judges, who seemed to have obtained from the Herald a carte blanche to occupy, for that purpose at all events, as much space in the columns of that paper as he thought fit.

How different the Herald's treatment of that gifted English songstress, Madame Anna Bishop. Without pretending to offer any thing like a professional opinion of their respective abilities, it will scarcely I think be asserted that she is less talented than her rival, Miss Hayes. Twice in the course of the present week has Madame Bishop appeared in the opera of "Norma," yet the Herald could not or would not find room for a paragraph of half-a-dozen lines on the subject.

I do not for one moment envy Miss Hayes the cordial success which attended her performances in this city; but I cannot understand why two of our Judges and the Attorney-General in particular (to say nothing of others of equal respectability amongst us) should ever have been ready to do her honour, and yet withhold their patronage and support from Madame Bishop. The very flattering reception awarded to that lady last evening, during her exquisite performance in the opera alluded to, will, I sincerely trust, in some measure console her for tire indifferent support extended to her here.

I, for one, however, think it will be a reflection on our citizens if Madame Bishop be suffered to leave our shores without receiving a substantial testimonial for the many musical treats she has afforded them. To the full extent of my means I shall be most happy to subscribe for such a purpose, and I have no doubt whatever that hundreds will be found to do likewise.

I remain. Sir, yours respectfully,
Sydney, 18th January, 1856.

22 and 26 January 1856, two performances of La sonnambula (Bellini), 24 January operatic selections

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1856), 4 

Under the direction and management of Mr. A. Torning.
Of the eminent English Operatic Artiste.
Who will appear in Bellini's celebrated Opera,
Closely translated into English, from the original.
Amina - Madame ANNA BISHOP.
THIS, TUESDAY, EVENING, January 22, 1856, the entertainments will commence with Bellini's Grand Opera of
Count Rodolph - Mr. F. Howson.
Elvino - Mr, J. Howson.
Alessio - Mr. Stewart.
Notary - Mr. Turner.
Postillion - Mr. Wright.
Amina - Madame ANNA BISHOP.
Lisa - Mrs. Guerin.
Teresa, Mother to Amina - Mrs. Gibbs.
The Opera will be strengthened by
Librettos of the Opera can be had at the doors of the Theatre -
the only authorized edition.
Performance to begin at eight o'clock.
Carriages to be ordered at eleven.
Prices: - Dress Circle, 7s. 6d.; Upper Boxes, 5s.; Pit, 2s.; Gallery, 1s.
No half-price. No free list except the Press.
Conductor, Mr. Paling.
Operatic Manager, Mr. F. Howson.
Leader, Mr. Gibbs.


Joan of Arc fought her most splendid victories in her sleep, and Madame Anna Bishop achieved her great lyrical triumph last night in the Opera of La Sonnabula. Despite her brilliant success last week in Norma, we had not the temerity to expect a similar result in the new character of Amina. The parts are as essentially opposite as light and dark. The erring priestess and the virtuous peasant-girl can have nothing in common; and, from their idiosyncracies being so diametrically opposed the greatest versatility of musical genius is required in order to do justice to both. Bellini knew this when he conceived the idea of the two works, but he felt the necessity of attesting the Protean nature of his genius, just as Shakspeare did when he drew with one pen the guilty Gertrude and the chaste Ophelia.

The scope of the great Italian maestro's capability was truly wonderful, and it is a question with us if any other composer has done so much to create and conservate a music taste as the young and simple-hearted Bellini. Basing his aesthetics on the principles of the greatest masters - avoiding on the one hand the ponderousness of the early English school, represented by Bach, and in a less degree, by Purcell, and, on the other, the healthy because overwrought elaborateness of his Italian contemporaries, - he may be looked upon as the founder of an entirely new style - correct as that of Beethoven and orginal as that of Weber. He was to music what Carlo Dolce was to painting, or Virgil to poetry. There is a graceful ease - and yet withal an under-current of impassioned energy - in all his productions, that at once captivates the ordinary hearer and strikes home to the most cultured critic. His artistic attainments were of the highest order; and thus it is that the Casta Diva and Deh conte are masterpieces in their respective schools. His adagios are justly estimated as some of the finest specimens of that most difficult order of composition; and his andantes are more intensely pathetic than those of any other master, with the exception of Felix Bartholdy. The pianissimos running throughout his "I Puritani" are some of the most exquisite melodies that were ever produced - their very softness investing them with a kind of concentrated passion. They seem to burn with a white heat.

The "Sonnambula" possesses all the marks of his high operatic genius. The melody is dignified and sustained throughout, while the orchestration of the most difficult positions of the work has become classic. "As view now" has been a positive god send to English concert-singers and Italian organ-men. We have seen, too, an audience clamorous and indignant at the non-appearance of some favourite artist - Mr. Sims Reeves, for instance - put into the best possible humour by the talismanic and somewhat appropriate words - "Still so gently."

Madame Bishop's Amina was a most graceful and finished performance - indeed we are doubtful if it has ever been surpassed by the portraiture of any other cantatrice. From the time she appeared on the stage at the close of the opening chorus, to the moment she delivered the last note of Ah! non giunge (the only air given with the original Italian words), her delineation was marked with the highest taste in conception and the most faultless precision in execution. Of the mechanism of her voice it is almost unnecessary to speak. Its compass is wide - extending, as it does over above two octaves and a half - while its tone is lofty and rich. The upper range is faultless, while the mezzo tones are, generally speaking, full, round, and crisp. Her vocalization last night evidenced that she might measure heights with - we should think - the Pastas and Dudevants of the past, and with - we are sure - the Wagners and Linds of the present. He acting also was most excellent, and her bye-play pleasing and effective. Operatic singers are usually mere automata in this respect; but Madame Bishop evidently possesses a histrionic taste of the highest order. Her reception was of the most enthusiastic character, bouquets being rained upon her from all parts of a most densely-crowded house.

The Elvino of Mr. J. Howson was a most lame and impotent performance, and so loud, at length, became the expression of disapprobation that an apology, on the ground of a severe cold, was at length offered by his brother. The touching larghetto expressivo, All is lost now, with the accompanying popular allegro moderato, Still so gently, were entirely omitted. The old joke of the tragedy of Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark is scarcely more facetious than a rendering of Elvino with the omission of the two principal morceaux of the third and chief act. Having, however, failed all the evening to reach the upper note of one octave, his discretion in not essaying a scena which reaches to B was more pleasing to the audience, we should imagine, than if he had made the hopeless attempt to give it. It certainly was to us.

Mr. F. Howson's Count Rodolph is deserving of great praise. This gentleman's voice is a baritone of good calibre, and he seems to be guided by a correct judgment and an educated ear. He never allows the orchestra to head him by three bars like his brother. His "As I view now" narrowly escaped an encore, and all through the performance he was greeted with loud applause. The minor parts were well given, and the choruses, with the exception of the first, were very efficient. Much of the mise en scene was new, and all of it was excellent. Too much praise cannot be given to the manager for the production of great musical works in so spirited a manner, and we heartily wish him all the success he deserves.

"THE OPERA AT THE PRINCE OF WALES. To the Editor", Empire (23 January 1856), 2 

"PRINCE OF WALKS THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (24 January 1856), 4 

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (25 January 1856), 5 

Owing to the indisposition of the Messrs. Howson, the opera of "La Sonnambula" was postponed last evening, and an olla podrida of musical selections given in its stead. Those who were present had no reason to be displeased with the alteration. Madame Bishop's vocalization was exquisite from the commencement to the close of the entertainment.

[Advertisement], Empire (26 January 1856), 1 

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 January 1856), 4 

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (28 January 1856), 4 

The opera of La Sonnambula was again given on Saturday evening, Mr. J. Howson having sufficiently recovered from his late indisposition to appear in the character of Elvino. It is but fair to say that his rendering of the part was on this occasion very satisfactory. Madame Bishop was in good voice, and during the evening elicited frequent bursts of applause.

"AMUSEMENTS. ANNIVERSARY DAY", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1856), 5 

. . . The Prince of Wales Theatre was attended by the most respectable of our Sydney society, and the crowded state of the pit and gallery gave evidence of the improved taste of the working and other classes of our little community. The opera was La Sonnambula. Madame Anna Bishop sang with that delicate finish and that remarkable intonation as enunciated in the chromatic cadences of her beautiful voice, which are the characteristics of that exquisite cantatrice. She was most enthusiastically called for on several occasions during the progress of the opera, and loaded with the bouquets of her admiring audience. She met with efficient support from the Elvino of the evening, Mr. J. Howson, whose voice was less husky than it was on the night of Tuesday last. The Victoria appealed to a less refined portion of our population, presenting its numerous patrons with a nautical drama, and the pantomime . . .

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (28 January 1856), 5 

We last week briefly noticed the success of Madame Anna Bishop, as Norma. In the current cant of musical circles, the dogmatic statement goes forth that, - a successful Norma, is necessarily an unsuccessful Amina. Sceptics to such pseudo-orthodoxy are reminded of the instances as exemplified in the persons of Grisi and Jenny Lind. It is asserted that the physique requisite to the rendering of the Druid priestess, is fatal to that tenderness and simplicity which pervade the bearing and character of Bellini's village maiden. We hold little sympathy with the adherents of such opinions; and did occasion require, we could advance plausible arguments for our opposition. We certainly do not belong to that party who regard Norma as a kind of strong-minded feminine gladiator - a personage celebrated rather for muscular development, than for those womanly attributes, at no period extinguished during even the exciting epochs of the priestess's career. While Bellini's operas may lack that classic ponderosity admired in Beethoven and Mozart, they are for melody and brilliance, perhaps matchless in the field of musical composition, nor are they as the transient, yet sweet airs of a great popular English, or rather Irish composer. Time destroys them not, and while childhood learns, manhood retains them. Perhaps the durability of a melody is some evidence of the profundity or high art of its writer. Well do we remember the first time we heard this opera. Templeton, the great tenor, was then in the zenith of his glory. Honour-laden with the marked approbation of the lamented Malibran, he so thoroughly identified himself with the role of Elvino, as to have no competitor until the appearance of Sims Reeves. Of course, our remarks apply merely to the English stage. We still listen with delight to the sparkling melodies of this favourite opera: nor do we think we have witnessed a more genuine triumph than that made by Madame Bishop on the evening of Tuesday last in the character of Amina. We are aware that vocal talent, however finished, does not ensure operatic success. To do so, Orpheus must form alliance with Melpomene, and whether to admire most the vocal or the histrionic talents of this highly-gifted lady, we are somewhat at a loss to know; but a more successful blending of the two powers is rarely witnessed, as in the instance of the close of the second act of this opera, when the triumph was so great as to create a furore, which caused the whole house to rise en masse, and the vocalist to appear twice before the curtain.

The opera itself was a failure, and, although improvement was observable in the orchestral department, the chorusses were far from good; nor can we conscientiously notice in terms of unqualified approbation many of the subordinate characters of the piece. The Elvino sang with but the ghost of a voice, which fancy might suppose had grown husky by the mountain dews which encompassed its spectral rambles. Had no apology, on the plea of influenza, been made for the impersonator of this great part, we should deem it our duty to express terms of decided censure. The position of Amina on several occasions was no enviable one, and Madame Bishop is entitled to more credit for mastering the difficulties of her situation, and triumphing in face of a stage filled with obstacles. To Mr. Frank Howson, for his impersonation of the Count, much commendation should be given. He was in excellent voice, and his deep rich notes gave important assistance to the opera. The finale, "Ah! non giunge," was a splendid piece of artistic vocalisation - a pure, sparkling, gushing stream of melody, jetting forth a musical cascade, refreshing to all the occupants of this spacious theatre. The house continues to be well filled, and the dress circle attended by many families whose presence we do not notice on nights devoted to the representation of the regular drama.

29 January 1856, first night of re-engagement, Bishop's benefit, Norma

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 January 1856), 4 

. . . The performance will commence with Bellini's tragic opera of NORMA . . . To conclude with the admired scene from Rossini's far-famed opera of TANCREDI . . .

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (30 January 1856), 4 

Madame Bishop took her benefit last evening. The attendance was one of the largest ever congregated within the walls of a theatre. It was essentially a "Lind night," both as regarded the triumph of the vocalist, and the enthusiasm of the audience.

"PRINCE OF WALES", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (2 February 1856), 2 

Mdme Anna Bishop had a noble throng of admirers around her on the occasion of her first benefit, on Tuesday last. Her grand role of Norma was repeated in the same brilliant and thrilling style as ever, and gained repeated bursts of enthusiastic applause. "Tancredi" also, a character which but few could venture to assume, is a nightly triumph for this talented artiste; and none can refuse, as she "walks the stage with noble tread", to award her the palm above all tragic actresses who yet have visited us. Right glad are we that Mr. Torning has effected a re-engagement; and we trust that the magnificent "Lucrezia Borgia," so adapted to adapted to display her histrionic and vocal powers, will be one of the novelties produced - great care is taken in the stage appointments but the chorus require more vigour. Mr. Frank Howson and Mrs. Guerin are able and perfect; but poor John is not "the John of yore."

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (1 February 1856), 5 

It is with sincere pleasure we observe that Mr. Taming has effected a re-engagement with Madame Anna Bishop, and that she is shortly to appear in Flotow's Martha, Weber's Der Freischutz, and Donizetti's Lucretia Borgia. The production of Martha may be regarded as an epoch in the history of the Fine Arts of the colony. It is an opera of the highest pretensions and most classic proportions, and from the difficult nature of the soprano part, the managers of Covent Garden Theatres - perhaps the most perfect lyrical establishment in the world - failed to produce it according to promise last season. Madame Bishop, however, identified herself with the success of the work many years ago, and we predict a wide measure of success for the opera, whenever Mr. Torning is enabled to produce it. Better, however, that Madame Bishop should not endanger her reputation by appearing in such a character as Martha, without the minor parts are, at all events, creditably filled. None but the most finished artiste would have achieved a triumph in works like Norma, when "played to" by such a specimen of musical imbecility as Mr. J. Howson. We pen the criticism in all fairness: either Mr. Howson is indisposed or he is not. If he is, why attempt to sing? If not, why keep singing when neither voice nor judgment exists? The Prima Donna has created quite a furor during the week in the Grand Scena from Tancredi. All the operas are well put upon the stage, and the appointments would do credit to a first-rate London or Paris theatre.

31 January 1856, second night of the re-engagement, Norma

[Advertisement], Empire (31 January 1856), 1 

. . . At the request of many patrons, and those who were unable to obtain admission on Madame ANNA BISHOP'S benefit, NORMA and TANCEEDI will be repeated . . .

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 February 1856), 7 

Shakespeare, a profound observer of human action, has expressed himself in strong terms of condemnation on the character of a person who "has no music in his soul." Not that we place absolute credence in the inference following the great poet's assertion, but that we, nevertheless, regard the person not moved by concord of sweet sounds, as one lost to the possession of a sensation which contributes to a considerable portion of the happiness of our existence. Music is a part of civilization. Its love with many is almost - if not - innate. Its language is sooner understood than is our own. The infant hears it, and tears give place to smiles. In proportion as sound is moulded and sent forth by art, so its effects are perceptible on the various races of mankind. In realms of ignorance music cannot live - it is ever present in places where education has found a resting place. Since, then, music tends to elevate and civilize a person, we must acknowledge that the operatic schools of Germany, Italy, France, and England have benefited the world. Operatic compositions are the reservoirs, supplying streams of melody to the firesides of our middle classes and to the mansions of our nobility, while even the perambulating street organ is indebted to these sources for being enabled to gladden with their welcomed notes the dark lanes and alleys of our large towns and cities. The opera then we regard as both manufactory and college for our first-class musical compositions. The objections urged against dramatic representations do not apply so pointedly when launched forth against this class of amusement. The double entente is unknown in the progress of an opera, and though a too great indulgence in music may be incentive to indolence, it will not, as would an impure drama, lead to more vicious immorality. Even did we regard both these national entertainments as questionable, on the score of morality, still, if we saw a people determined to support them, we opine our wisdom would be shown in giving countenance to the lesser evil. Such proceeding, at least, if not honest, would be expedient and politic.

The announcement, on Tuesday last, of Bellini's great opera of Norma, together with the circumstance of its being for the benefit of Madame Anna Bishop, filled all parts of this theatre. At an early hour on Monday, every place was taken in the dress circle, and the overflow to this part of the house crammed the benches of the parquette. The reception given to the world famed bénéficiare was enthusiastic, and indicative of the deep impression her exquisite talent has made on the musical population of our city. Madame Anna Bishop is one of the few who have passed the difficulties and impediments on the thorn-strewn road of fame, and reached the heights of her ambitious aspirings. The elements necessary to operatic success are possessed by her. A pure soprano voice, regulated and controlled by the severest school of art - a thorough, mastery of the stage - a fine dignified figure - a face of intense expression - whether in depicting the turbulence of passion, or the pathos of emotion, are qualities concentrated in this fair cantatrice. Her Norma is a great performance, and the deep feeling thrown into the subdued and quiet scenes of this opera - the brilliant flashes of indignation at Pollio's perfidy - her graceful gait, classical attitudes - the fervent earnestness of her more impassioned moments, entitle her to the appellation of the Rachel of the lyric stage. We could wish that during her brief sojourn amongst us, that she had more efficient support, and, as an artist of such proficiency, she, doubtless, feels annoyances which less gifted lovers of the art would not experience, for it is ever the penalty of those who have reached the pinnacle of their calling, to observe imperfections not seen by the general multitude. If in our last notice, we spoke censoriously of the production of La Sonnambula, we deem it but just to state, that the recent representations of Norma are highly creditable to all parties engaged in it. The numerous rehearsals it has had, and the many nights it has been presented, have worked wonders in both choral and orchestral departments. Mr. John Howson, who has recovered his almost lost voice, sustained the role of Pollio in an artistic and satisfactory manner; and it should be remembered that there are other qualifications necessary in an operatic singer besides voice, - he must be a musician, and have some knowledge of stage tactics, both of which Mr. J. Howson possesses. The opera was repeated on Thursday evening last, to a good house, and Madame Bishop was called before the curtain at the end of each act, to receive the ovations of the audience.

February 1856

2 February 1856, 3rd night of re-engagement, last night of La sonnambula

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (2 February 1846), 4 

Madame Anna Bishop as Madame Carillon in La sfogato, from the cover of The admired French chansonette Je suis la Bayadere composed and arranged as a rondoletto for the piano by N. C. Bochsa (Philadelphia: A. Fiot, [1849]) (DIGITISED)

5 and 7 February, 2 performances of the extravaganza Anna Bishop in Australia (La sfogato)

"Prince of Wales Theatre", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (2 February 1856), 2 

. . . On Tuesday, Madame Anna Bishop will appear in an Original Extravaganza, called ANNA BISHOP IN CALIFORNIA! or, SOPRANO SFOGATO, in which she will sing in English, Italian, French, Russian, and Chinese . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (5 February 1856), 1 

Increased success of Madame ANNA BISHOP. -
First night of a new and original extravaganza written expressly for Madame Bishop, called
Last night of the celebrated scene from
THIS (Tuesday) EVENING, February 5th, 1856,
The performances will commence with selections, including
the grand mad scene, from LUCIA DE LAMMERMOOR.
Henry Ashton - Mr. F. HOWSON
Lucia - Madame ANNA BISHOP.
To be followed by a new operatic extravaganza, called
Mr. Starr Huster, an Australian Manager, with a laughable longing for novelty, Mr. Belair;
Mr. Hall Wright Jones, Ex-manager, very much in the way of everybody, Mr. Stewart;
Mr. Frederick Fitzcopfish Tiptop, an exquisite specimen of white-kid-glovedom, Mr. Bruton;
Mr. Grufus Lump, a successful miner, a shareholder, supporting the drama, Mr. Maynard;
Hezekiah Whittler, a Yankee travelling agent, with a tall star, Mr. F. Howson;
Antoine, interpreter and courier, Mr. Morton;
Bob and Tom, messengers, Messrs. Gill and Flynn;
Mamzelle Sixfootoo, a juvenile giantess, just turned 14, Mr. Turner;
Miss Anna Belle, a timid debutante, Madame Anna Bishop;
La Signorina Solfeggieni, Prima Donna di Castello del Piombino, Madame Anna Bishop;
Frau Schnappsnippenberger, from the German Opera, Madame Anna Bishop;
Madame Kutnozoff Snarleyowisi, from the St. Petersburgh Opera, Madame Anna Bishop;
Mademoiselle Cecille Carillon, Premiere Chanteuse de l'Opera, Madame Anna Bishop;
Tartaricalboniacidini, from the Imperial Theatre, Madame Anna Bishop;
Madame Anna Bishop, Soprano Sfogato, Madame Anna Bishop.
Madame ANNA BISHOP will sing in six different languages.
English Ballad - "Home, Sweet Home."
Recitative - "Eccomi." Song - "Vera un di che il cor beata," composed at Naples for Mde. Anna Bishop by Mercadante.
German Song - "Wer horte wohl jemas mich Kladen," from the "Sweitzer Famielie."
Russian Melody - "Salavoi."
French Chansonette - " La Bayadere."
Chaunt - "A la Tartarre."
Rondo Finale - "Italian."
To conclude with the favourite farce of ROUGH DIAMOND.
Margery - Mrs. A. Torning.
Box Office open this day, from 10 till 4.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 February 1856), 4 

Under the Direction and Management of Mr. A. Torning.
This Evening, February 7th
The performances will commence with a selection from Donizetti's Opera of LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR.
Norman, Mr. Turner; Raymond, Mr. Churchill; Colonel Ashton, Mr. F. Howson; Lucia, Madame Anna Bishop.
To be followed by a new and original operatic extravaganza, of a propoi, called ANNA BISHOP IN AUSTRALIA; or, Soprano Sfogato, written expressly for her. To conclude with the farce called THE LOTTERY TICKET . . .

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 February 1856), 6 

The entertainments have not been of that high order which distinguished, in the production of Norma and La Sonnambula, last week and which gives promise of a brilliant future in the coming novelties of Martha and Lucrezia Borgia. Madame Anna Bishop's career continues one of unprecedented success, and the occasional overflows to pit and dress circle, evidence two facts, viz: - the well earned fame and popularity of the great artiste, and the patronage given by the inhabitants of our city to musical talent. Since our last notice the only operatic scene presented was one from Lucia di Lammermoor. As far as concerned the prima donna it was attended with the same indications of musical proficiency observable in her former triumphs. Again, we cannot say much for the choral department; certainly the opening chorus was unique and phantom-like. Mouths opened, but no vocal sound was heard. Gibbs looked anxious, and Paling furious - Mr. F. Howson's appearance, saved the piece. He sang magnificently, and with the firmness and skill of a thorough musician. His clever escape from the difficulties of a position, caused by a dumb-struck vocalist, deserves commendation.

The extravaganza entitled "Anna Bishop in Australia, or Soprano Sfogato," was produced for the first time on Tuesday last, and repeated on the evening of Thursday. Did the biblical truism, - "There is nothing new under the sun," depend for its demonstration on the material forming this piece, it would be clear and self-evident to all. A production less original, we have rarely, if ever seen. It belongs to a class of strange literature which reveals the secrets of management and the mysteries of green-rooms. Its author has taken Sheridan's Dangle from The Critic,' and given him the cognomen of of Mr. Frederick Tiptop; while the manager, in the bagatelle of The Actress of All Work, changes his quarters to the southern hemisphere, and becomes Mr. Starr Hunter, an Australian manager, with a longing for novelty; and Mr. Craven will doubtless recognise Miss Anna Bell, a timid debutante, as the heroine of My Daughter's Debut. The attempted local witticisms were not particularly happy, although a few told tolerably well; and had the puns been converted into razors as blunt and pointless as themselves, mankind would present a more hirsute aspect than it does at this moment. True, Frank Howson, as Hezekiah Whittler, with his "I guess," and certain quaint Yankee peculiarities, fully developed the cachineting power of the audience. Sometimes "from evil good will come," and in like manner as stars shine brightest in moonless nights - so ever and anon, the genius of song would burst through the gloom and dulness of the dramatic scene, and become, perhaps, more brilliant by the contrast of surrounding darkness. The piece, considered as a vehicle for the introduction of Madame Anna Bishop, in six different characters, may be recommended, and, perhaps, repeated with profit to the management. If only to hear the English ballad, "Home, Sweet Home," and the Chansonette "La Bayadere," no one will regret a visit to the Prince of Wales. Another good quality of the extravaganza is, that it presents to us Madame Bishop as an accomplished actress - an eminent vocalist, and as a finished linguist. The "off nights" have been somewhat better attended . . . This evening Norma will be repeated.

9 February 1856, Norma

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (9 February 1856), 4 

12 February 1856, operatic selections

[Advertisement], Empire (12 February 1856), 1 

Grand Musical Festival.
In acts and selections from Three different Operas:
THIS EVENING, Tuesday, February 12th, 1856, the
performances will commence with the whole of the First Act of
Amina - Madame ANNA BISHOP
After which, the grand Scena from
Composed by C. M. V. Weber, sung in German by
To be followed by a Selection from Donizetti's Opera Buffo
Including the celebrated Duetto "Quanto Amore."
Adine - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Dr. Dulcamara (first time) - Mr. FRANK HOWSON
To conclude with the favourite Farce of JOHN JONES . . .

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. THE OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 February 1856), 4 

14, 16, 19 and 21 February, Martha (Flotow)

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (14 February 1856), 5 

Flotow's opera of "Martha," which will be produced at this popular place of entertainment this evening, will be a great treat to lovers of music. This is, we believe, the first occasion of the representation of this piece in its English garb before a British audience - a circumstance the more remarkable from its great popularity on the continent, and from its being founded on a characteristic incident of English life. This opera was first produced at Vienna in 1847-8, and its production was attended with marked success, so much so, that it was simultaneously reproduced upon almost every stage in Germany, not excepting Berlin. Its success in that city was the more triumphant from its having overcome an intense national prejudice existing against any thing Viennese. This triumph, as a writer in Putnam's Miscellany informs ns, was mainly owing to "the lively and simple interest of the plot, and the really genial and sympathetic music which soon found their way to the popular heart." "Martha" has become one of the standard operas of Berlin, despite the musical critics of that severely classical city. The overture is said to be a pleasing compromise between the brilliant French and grave German schools - the movement having the vivacity of the former, and the forms of melodies belonging to the latter. This opera was translated into English for Madame Bishop, in New York, and we trust the enterprise of that lady in thus introducing it to an English audience for the first time will be attended with eminent success, and she will, no doubt, this evening receive that meed of approbation which is justly her due.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (14 February 1856), 4 

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. THIS EVENING, Thursday, February 14th, will be produced (1st time in Australia), Flotow's Opera, called MARTHA; or, the RICHMOND MARKET. Characters by Madame ANNA BISHOP, Mrs. Guerin; J. Howson, F. Howson, Stewart, Turner, Horton [sic, Bruton], Kitts, Churchill; Mrs. Gibbs, Miss Warde, Mrs. Hart. Owing to the extreme length of the Opera, it will constitute the whole of the Evening's Entertainment.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. FLOTOW'S MARTHA", Empire (15 February 1856), 2 

It has been our good fortune to have witnessed some of the greatest successes which have been achieved in the history of music and the drama. We have seen ladies carried from a theatre after Mario's terrible rendering of the death-scene in "Lucrezia Borgia" and we have heard an uninterrupted ovation of ten minutes duration greet Alboni for the magnificent recklessness she has thrown into the brandisi. We have witnessed, too, some of the grandest spectacles which have ever been put upon the stage, from the "Azael" of Mr. Fitzball to the "L'Etoile du nord" of Mr. Meyerbeer. Never, however, have we known so perfect a triumph achieved - both as regards the manner in which a work has been placed upon the stage, and the way in which the particular artistes engaged have gone through their respective parts - as that which last evening attended the production of Flotow's "Martha" at the Prince of Wales Theatre. There must have been present at the performance between 3000 and 4000 persons, not one of whom but was moved to enthusiastic manifestations of applause . . .

We think that too much praise can be scarcely awarded to Madame Bishop for introducing the work to a Sydney audience. The labour she must have entailed upon herself must have been of the most unwearied nature. The repertoire of the Prince of Wales was, of course, destitute of a single page of the score, and nothing but the most spirited exertions on the part of the Prima Donna, Mr. Paling, and Mr. Torning could have overcome difficulties necessarily attendant on the rendering of such a work. The success of last evening, however, will, we feel confident, be considered a sufficient reward by cantatrice, conductor, and manager.

The first part of the performance which calls for notice was was the Martha of Madame Bishop, and we may remark at once that it was, from first to last, a most finished personation. She appeared to enter into the spirit of the part with so much warmth and geniality that the audience were literally carried away, and encores and ovations became the order of the night. Contrary to the plot of the libretto, she remained the "lady of honour" with the spectators from her entrance to the fall of the curtain. Her vocalisation in the beautiful melody, "This, indeed is quite confusing," was vociferously applauded. Her admirable bye-play in the trio with Nancy and Sir Tristram, in the first scene - but which trio we think smacks a good deal of Cherubini and "Il Segreto Matrimonio" - was a proof of the possibility of combining the highest vocal and histrionic talents. It was a glorious bit of musical serio-comedy: St. Cecilia arm-in-arm with Melpomene and Thalia. At the conclusion of the Opera, Madame Bishop was loaded with bouquets.

Mr. J. Howson played the tenor part. Of his performance we have only to remark that he was still "indisposed," and that the audience having, by the end of the third act become impatient, his apology was again made and accepted.

Mr. Frank Howson was excellent. His make-up was worthy of Herr Formés, and his singing deserved all the applause with which it was received. He proved himself a buffo of first-rate order. Mrs. Guerin played the character entrusted to her in a very tasteful and ladylike manner, and is deserving of the best things which could be said of her, did space permit.

And now one word as to the manner in which the opera was appointed. The period is 1710, during the reign of the good little sovereign, Queen Anne, and the way in which the spirit of the time was caught - both as regarded properties, scenery, and costume - must have been highly gratifying to cultured and critical minds. Every one recollects Dick Steele's paper in the Spectator on the introduction of Marionettes into England. Even this little point had not been lost sight of of, and in the second scene the audience catches a glimpse of a show full of the stringed puppets. The gardens, too, were laid out in the straight formal manner of the time, and, looked like pictures after Watteau or Gainsborough.

We predict a great run for the work. We are sure the Prima Donna and the manager deserve it, and that the public of Sydney will award it.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE . . . THE NEW OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 February 1856), 4 

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (16 February 1856), 6 

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 1856), 4 

. . . Lady Harriett, Madame Anna Bishop; Nancy, Mrs. Guerin; Lyonel, Mr. J. Howson; Plunket, Mr. F. Howson; Molly Pitt, Mrs. Gibbs; Betsy Witt, Miss Warde; Polly Smith, Mrs. Hart. Conductor, Mr. Paling; Operatic Manager, Mr. F. Howson; Leader, Mr. Gibbs.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", Empire (21 February 1856), 4 

23 February 1856, Norma, last night of opera season, Prince of Wales Theatre

[Advertisement], Empire (23 February 1856), 1 

Last Night of the Operatic Season.
Last appearance of Madame ANNA BISHOP.
First appearance in Australia of the celebrated tenor,
who will (for this evening only) appear as Gennaro, in the Opera of
THIS EVENING (Saturday), February 23, 1856, the performance will commence with BELLINI'S TRAGIC OPERA, in full, of
Pollio - Mr. JOHN HOWSON.
Oroveso - Mr. FRANK HOWSON.
Norma - Madame ANNA BISHOP.
Adalgisa - Mrs. GUERIN.
Clotilda - Mrs. GIBBS.
To conclude with selections from the First Act of Donizetti's Grand Tragic Historical Opera of
Lucrezia Borgia - Madame ANNA BISHOP.
Gennaro - Mons. LAGLAISE.
Gubetta - Mr. STEWART . . .

24 February to 3 May 1856, concerts, charity and regional performances, and operatic farewells

28 February 1856, Anna Bishop, first concert, Royal Hotel, George Street

[Advertisement], Empire (28 February 1856), 1 

Madame ANNA BISHOP will give her First
February 28, 1856.
Mr. W. H. PALING, Solo Violinist of the Royal Academy of Music of Holland
Mr. J. M. RICHARDSON - Flute.
Conductor - Mr. CHARLES S. PACKER.
Grand Duo - "Oh! Mathilde!" (Guillaume Tell) Rossini - Mons. Laglaise and Mr. F. Howson.
Song - Signor Spagnoletti
English Ballad - "Home, Sweet Home" - Bishop - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Grand Concerto - Violin - De Beriot - Mr. W. H. Paling
Grand Aria - "Robert toi que j'aime" (Robert le Diable) - Meyerbeer - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Chanson - "Oh! Bonheur extreme" (Chalet) - Adam - Monsieur Laglaise
Irish Ballad - "Katy darling" - Lover - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Grand Duo - The celebrated Singing Lesson - Il Fanatico - Madame ANNA BISHOP and Signor SPAGNOLETTI.
Grand Aria - "Gratias Agimus" - Guglielmi - Madame ANNA BISHOP - Flute Obligate - Mr. Richardson
Recitative - "Is sight a traitor"; Grand Aria - "Foolish Dotard" (Ernani) - Verdi - Mr. F. Howson
Chansonette - "La Bayadere" - Bochsa - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Song - "I loved her so" (Fra Diavolo) - Auber - Monsieur Laglaise
Scotch Ballad - "John Anderson" - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Laughing Trio - "Vadasi via di qua" - Martini - Mons. Laglaise, Signor Spagnoletti, and Mr. F. Howson.
Tickets, 7s. 6d. each; to he had of Messrs. Woolcott and Clarke, Messrs. Paisey and Fryer, Messrs. W. J. Johnson and Co., and at the Bar of the Royal Hotel.
Tickets for Reserved Seats, 10s. 6d. each, obtainable only of Madame Anna Bishop, at the Royal Hotel, from 10 to 4. The concert will commence punctually at 8 o'clock.

"CONCERT HALL, ROYAL HOTEL", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 March 1856), 6 

The announcement of Madame Anna Bishop's first concert drew together a large auditory, among whom we noticed the elite of Sydney society. The programme was selected with evident skill and judgment. It was not a too professional concert, but one so arranged as to give satisfaction and delight to the musical amateur and the general public. Hence its success; and a more perfect success we have rarely witnessed. That operatic fame is greater than the fame acquired in the concert room all judges of such matters will readily admit; consequently, after witnessing Madame Bishop's impersonation of Norma and Amina, the loud applause that greeted her on this occasion was fully expected by us, and gave only evidence of a discriminating taste on the part of our public, by their appreciation of the excellent and perfect in vocalization. The somewhat abrupt termination of Madame Bishop's operatic career has caused regret to thousands, and the numbers who attended this concert gave indications that her transcendant talents will be recognised in any building she may appear, and that the public of Sydney will flock thereto in numbers sufficiently great to remunerate the fair cantatrice, and induce her to stay longer with us.

The concert commenced with a grand duo from "Guillaume Tell." We thought the pianoforte too loud in its accompaniment to Mons. Laglaise and F. Howson; certainly we did not perceive the same objection to the following song, as sang by Signor Spagnoletti, "My Pretty Jane," &c., which obtained the first encores of the evening. Mons. Laglaise, in the chanson "O Bonheur extreme," also met with an encore. Mr. F. Howson sang with good taste, and his rendering of a selection from Verdi's "Ernani" was fully appreciated by his audience. In the course of the entertainment Madame Bishop gave Meyerbeer's grand aria, "Robert, toi que j'aime," and the "Gratias Agimus" of Gugliglini [sic], which may be recorded as the most brilliant performances of the evening. In answer to numerous encores, Madame Bishop sang "The Harp that once through Tara's Halls," and "Coming through the Rye." We have already expressed an opinion on this lady as a singer of simple music or ballads. Unadorned in style, full of intense pathos, sonorous, euphonious, and distinct, her notes fall with magic power upon the listener's ears. The rendering of "Home, sweet home" is not a mere appeal to the sense of hearing. Piercing through the world-hardened heart it has the charm to please the present, and to recall the past "Home, sweet home." How many among the fashionable crowd, attracted by the genius of this great vocalist - no matter whether new arrivals or old colonists - felt the subtle witchery of this simple song, "Home, sweet home!" Away over the waters of the great Pacific - back, back to the land of our birthright, memories would go, and bright visions of youth appear. No common transient song this "Home, sweet home."

We cannot conclude our remarks without referring to Madame Bishop's rendering of "John Anderson;" it was a pure work of art - the voice modulated to the rich lower tones of the flute - the sentiment rendered with a delicate pathos so perfectly in keeping with the whole subject, embraced in this exquisite, yet simple composition, created a profound sensation. To Mr. Paling much commendation is due for his execution of one of De Beriot's compositions; nor should the services of Mr. Packer be passed unnoticed. The concert concluded with a quartette by Monsieur Laglaise, Signor Spagnoletti, Mr. F. Howson, and Madame Anna Bishop, and the audience retired delighted with their entertainment. On Monday evening next another concert will be given by Madame Bishop at the same place.

"MADAME BISHOP'S CONCERT", Empire (1 March 1856), 4 

March 1856

Katty Darling, as sung by Madame Anna Bishop</em> (Sydney: Woolcott and Clarke, [1856])

1 March 1856, first notice of publication of Katty Darling [also "Katy Darling"; after Bellini's Vaga luna che inargenti], "as sung by . . . Madame Anna Bishop"

Katty Darling, as sung by Madame Anna Bishop (Sydney: Woolcott and Clarke, [1856]) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 March 1856), 12 

MUSIC. - Newly published, "Katty Darling," as sung with enthusiastic applause by Madame Anna Bishop (with an elegant arabesque title page), 3s . . . WOOLCOTT AND CLARKE, Music Sellers, George-street.

NOTE: See also later reprint (Sydney: J. R. Clarke): (DIGITISED)

NOTE: The melody arranged from Bellini's Vaga luna che inargenti (Ricordi, 1838); a version, in B flat, appeared as Musical bouquet, no. 247, in London in 1849 

American edition (in B flat) as Katy Darling (Boston: Oliver Ditson, [1851]) 

See also:,_che_inargenti,_Vincenzo)

1 March 1856, Ernesto Spagnoletti, morning concert

[Advertisement], Empire (1 March 1856), 1 

UNDER the immediate patronage of their Excellencies the GOVERNOR-GENERAL and LADY DENISON. PROGRAMME OF SIGNOR SPAGNOLETTI'S GRAND MORNING CONCERT, at the Concert Hall, ROYAL HOTEL, on SATURDAY, March 1st, 1856 . . .
PART I . . . [4] Ballad - "Home sweet home" (by particular desire) Bishop - Madame ANNA BISHOP . . . [6 last] Grand Duo - "The celebrated singing lesson" (Conpienza) - Il Fanatico - Madame ANNA BISHOP and Signor SPAGNOLETTI . . .


. . . Madame Anna Bishop delighted the audience with the wonderful pathos and expression which she threw into the sweet old song, "Home, sweet Home;" and, being encored, sang the "Last Rose of Summer" as she alone can sing it. This really great artiste appears to gain ground at every public appearance . . .

3 March 1856, Anna Bishop, second concert

[Advertisement], Empire (3 March 1856), 1 

THIS (Monday) EVENING, March 3rd,
Mr. W. H. PALING, Solo Violinist of the Royal Academy of Music in Holland.
Conductor - Mr. CHARLES S. PACKER.
Overture - (Fra Diavolo) - Auber. Duo - "Qui del Padre!" - (Lucia di Lammermoor) - Donizetti - Mons. LAGLAISE and Mr. F. HOWSON
Aria - "Oh! Luce di quest anima" - (Linda di Chamouni) - Donizetti - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Grand Fantasie Caprice, for the Violin - (Vieuxtemps) - Mr. W. H. PALING
Aria - "Oh! Tu che l'alma" - (Ernani) - Verdi - Monsieur LAGLAISE
Terzetto - "Guai se ti sfugge" - (Lucrezia Borgia) - Donizetti - Madame ANNA BISHOP, Mons. LAGLAISE, and Mr. F. HOWSON
Ballad - "Take back the ring, dear Jamie" - S. Massett - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Duo Buffo - "Quanto Amore" - (L'Elsir d'Amore) - Donizetti - Madame ANNA BISHOP and Mr. F. HOWSON
Duo Buffo - "Se fiato" - (Il matrimonio segreto) - Cimarosa
Scotch Ballad - "Annie Laurie" - (By particular desire) - Madame ANNA BISHOP.
Song - "When other lips" - (Bohemian Girl) - Balfe - Monsieur LAGLAISE
Song - "Madoline" - Nelson - Signor SPAGNOLETTI
Irish Ballad - "The Last Rose of Summer" - Madame ANNA BISHOP
Song - "Der Sclave" - Keiser - Mr. F. HOWSON
Terzetto - "Zitti Zitti" - (Il Barbiere) - Rossini - Madame ANNA BISHOP, M. LAGLAISE, and Signor SPAGNOLETTI.
Tickets, 7s. 6d. and 5s. each. To be had of Messrs. Woolcott and Clarke, Messrs. Paisey and Fryer, Messrs. W. J. Johnson and Co., and at the Bar of the Royal Hotel.
Tickets for reserved seats, obtainable only of Madame Anna Bishop, at the Royal Hotel, from 10 to 4.
The concert will commence punctually, at eight o'clock.

"CONCERT HALL, ROYAL HOTEL", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 March 1856), 5 

A gloomy wet evening apparently possessed no influence over the attendance to Madame Bishop's second concert, for on the night of Monday last all the reserved places were occupied, and the back seats appeared crowded, with a music-loving auditory. As we anticipated the patrons of music, who are not allowed the opportunity of witnessing this lady in the more unique and artistic triumphs of the lyric stage, flock to the humble and leas meritorious entertainment of the concert room. The circumstance is not without its value, inasmuch as it attests the popularity of the great cantatrice - evinces a peculiar policy on the part of our theatrical managers, and speaks well for the people of this city in their appreciation of, and by their support to, the greatest vocal talent that has yet enchanted them . . . Madama Anna Bishop was in her enunciation clear and distinct. Her notes were delivered with that round, full, swelling mellowness which are rather the result of a firm, vigorous constitution than an acquirement of art; while her modulations express every hue of vocal sentiment, her embellishments and cadences are so gracefully introduced as to constitute a great charm in her vocalisation. And here it is we have evidence of the intense and arduous study that must have brought about this finished proficiency. Her duo buffo from Donizetti's L'Elisire d'Amore with Mr. F. Howson, especially suggests the remark. The audience throughout the evening were merciless in their encores, and she sang again and again those old familiar ballads - "Home, Sweet Home," "The Last Rose of Summer," &c., which never fail in finding ingress to every heart. We have now seen our Prima Donna under two phases or in different or distinct positions. On the stage we beheld in her the accomplished vocalist and the finished actress. In the concert room we saw merely the elegant and graceful lady. A celebrated American writer and poet, N. P. Willis, has thus expressed himself on some of Madams Bishop's qualifications as a concert vocalist,

"Madame Anna Bishop dresses so faultlessly and with such consummate art, that she seems to communicate her motions to what she wears. The test is most trying of course in the dress with which ladies are most familiar; and at a concert, therefore, where she appears only in the evening dress of a lady, she is seen to the best advantage for comparison, &c. It is a rarer thing than it would seem at first naming, to see how a high-bred, thoroughly educated, unerringly comme il faut lady dresses and bears herself in full dress; and of this sort of courtly phenomena Madame Bishop is as fine a specimen as we ever saw in Europe. Her management of her hands and and her reception of applause, her looks of enquiry as to the will of an audience in an encore, are all parts of the same picture of accomplished high breeding; and we presume we are not wrong in mentioning this among her attractions as a public performer."

This evening, Madame Bishop sings at tht Prince of Wales Theatre for the benefit of the Jews' Philanthropic Society.


The announcement by Madame Anna Bishop of two of her unrivalled performances in aid of our most deserving charitable institutions in this city, is a trait in the character of our prima donna which well merits a record. By those who know the difficulties of a musical career in any country, and especially in a country in which the fine arts have necessarily to win their way to public esteem after a severe struggle, this generous devotion of hard professional earnings will be duly appreciated. The graceful manner in which this consecration has been offered invests the offer with a higher charm. The performance of the well-known Stabat Mater, is no light matter even in point of rehearsal, and our enterprizing cantatrice might very fairly have claimed the entire profits of the experiment, especially as she is content to risk the losses. We do not anticipate any remote possibility of loss upon a musical performance which, much as our citizens have shown their appreciation of this gifted songstress, and their earnestness in recognizing her claims, will probably surpass anything that has yet been heard in this colony. We may remark by the way, that it is a great reproach upon our theatrical management that no offer of an engagement has, as far as the world knows, been made to our present musical celebrities. There is one thing to be observed, however, that so long as Madame Bishop can fill, as she has been filling the Concert Room of the Royal Hotel, the diversion to the latter establishment of the musical furore, will be her gain, and, perhaps the manager's loss. The charities which are announced as the objects of Madame Bishop's benevolence on Friday and Monday next, are the Destitute Children's Asylum, and the Free Hospital of the Sisters of Charity.

5 March 1856, concert for benefit of the Jewish Philanthropic Society

[Advertisement], Empire (5 March 1856), 1 

PRINCE OF WALES' THEATRE.- Under the direction and management of Mr. A. Torning, The Committee, in announcing to the public that THIS DAY, Wednesday, March 5th, is fixed for the
BENEFIT of the JEWS' PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY, trusts that a generous public will step forward to support so noble and charitable an Institution.
Madame ANNA BISHOP has kindly offered her valuable services on this occasion, and consented for
Monsieur LAGLAISE to appear for this night only . . . Conductor - Mr. PALING . . .
MUSICAL MELANGE . . . Recitativo - "Sorta e la notte", Cantabile - "Ernani Involami", Cavatina - "Tutto Sprezzo" - Ernani (Verdi) - Madame ANNA BISHOP . . . . . . Irish Ballad - "Oft in the Stilly Night" (T. Moore) - Madame ANNA BISHOP . . .

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (7 March 1856), 5 

. . . The entertainments commenced with the drama of " Don Cesar de Bazan." The piece was received listlessly as a tragedy on a boxing night. It soon became evident that the "musical melange" was the great source of attraction and interest to the auditory. Madame Anna Bishop's rendering of selections from Verdi's Ernani produced an indescribable effect. At a later period of the evening, Madame Bishop sang Moore's melody "Oft in the stilly Night." The melancholy deep pathos peculiar to so many of Moore's ballads, were evidently understood and felt by his fair interpreter, as she poured forth the spirit of his sad suggestive lay with an intensity of feeling that enraptured her listeners and called forth the loudest applause . . . The entertainments, prolonged to a late hour, concluded with the operetta entitled "The Waterman." Mr. John Howson, as Tom Tug, sang "The Bay of Biscay," in the manner of a true artiste, and his brother Frank, as Robin, and Mrs. Guerin, as Wilhelmina, gave satisfaction to a delighted and crowded audience.

7 and 10 March 1856, Anna Bishop, two sacred concerts for the benefit of Sisters of Charity's Free Hospital and the Destitute Children's Asylum

[Advertisement], Empire (7 March 1856), 1 

"THE CONCERT OF SACRED MUSIC AT THE ROYAL HOTEL", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 March 1856), 4 

[Advertisement], Empire (10 March 1856), 1 

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (8 March 1856), 2 

We think many of our readers, including not a few of the visitors drawn here by the approaching Circuit Court sittings, will be glad to here that this accomplished vocalist purposes visiting Maitland and giving one or two concerts, during the sittings of the court . . .

13 March 1856, Anna Bishop, concert, King's School, Parramatta, postponed

[2 advertisements], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 1856), 1 

CONCERT HALL, ROYAL HOTEL - Madame ANNA BISHOP (at the request of several families), will have the honour of giving a Matinée Musicale on SATURDAY, March 15th. 1856, assisted by several eminent artists, concert to begin at 2 o'clock.

KING'S SCHOOL, PARRAMATTA. - Madame ANNA BISHOP'S Grand Concert, announced for this evening, is Postponed on account or the inclemency of the weather until further notice.

15 March 1856, Anna Bishop, matinee concert, Royal Hotel, Sydney

[Advertisement], Empire (15 March 1856), 1 

"MADAME BISHOP'S MATINEE MUSICALE", Empire (17 March 1856), 5 

"MORNING CONCERT, ROYAL HOTEL", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 March 1856), 4 

Madame Anna Bishop's second [sic] grand morning concert took place in the large hall of the Royal Hotel, on Saturday, 15th. The attendance was numerous and highly respectable. It is the intention of Madame Bishop, before her departure for Victoria, to visit Parramatta and Maitland.

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 March 1856), 4 

The building that has echoed the pure rich notes of Madame Anna Bishop, has during the week been converted into a casino. The experiment has not been successful, and we hope for the credit of our city that the great artiste who is now with us will again appear on the boards of this spacious theatre. Should she not do so we may expect but little talent to visit New South Wales.

25 and 27 March 1856, Anna Bishop, Maitland, and 30 March, Newcastle

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP"S CONCERT", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (26 March 1856), 2 

Madame Anna Bishop gave a concert last evening, at the Court-house, East Maitland. Our reporter had not returned when we closed our form for the press. On Thursday (tomorrow) evening she will give a second concert, at the Sir William Denison, West Maitland. And on Saturday evening a third, at the Court-house, Newcastle. She is assisted by Mr. Frank Howson and Mr. W. H. Paling, the latter gentleman presiding at the pianoforte.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (29 March 1856), 2 

"To the Editor", Empire (29 March 1856), 7 

SIR - Knowing you to be a lover of justice and fair play, I am induced to prevail on you to give place in your valuable journal to the following remarks in vindication of myself against the unfeeling attack of "Kraken," beaded "Theatrical Torpidity," who first attempts to injure the reputation of the dramas produced at the Royal Victoria Theatre, then to turn the publicans against me by calling the placard they so kindly and readily place at their doors a satire on them . . .

I can prove to "Kraken" by my books that the Bottle, the Waits, and Susan Hopby have drawn more money to the treasury than any of the stars since the glorious profitable days of Catherine Hayes . . .

. . . I have been undecided with my arrangements for the Prince of Wales Theatre, thinking at the time that Madame Bishop, Monsieur Theo, Backus Minstrels and others, would settle early in March. Now comes the grist of "Kraken's" remarks, viz.: - "But now steps in the theatrical manager, and refuses to let the theatre, except upon unpracticable and ruinous terms." . . .

. . . For the better information of my friends and the public, that my terms are liberal to all artists, (that are equal to stars,) viz., one-half the gross proceeds after the expenses of the night. In some instances, share after £50, sometimes after £40; others, one-third the gross proceeds, the management then paying all expenses . . .

. . . I am yours, &c., ANDREW TORNING.

April 1856

The last rose of summer, sung by Madame Anna Bishop (Sydney: Sandon, 1856)

1 April 1856, first notice of new edition of The last rose of summer as "sung by Madame Anna Bishop"

The last rose of summer, sung by Madame Anna Bishop, from Moore's Selection of Irish melodies; with symphonies and accompaniments by Sir John Stevenson, Mus. Dr. (Sydney: Charles T. Sandon, [1856]) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1856), 5

JUST PUBLISHED.- ONDINE POLKA, and the Last Rose of Summer. C. T. SANDON, 171, George-street, next Empire Office.

1 April 1856, Sydney Philharmonic Society, sixth and last concert of season

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (1 April 1856), 1 

"SYDNEY PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 April 1856), 4 

. . . Madame Anna Bishop sang the opening scena from Bellini's chef d'oeuvre, Norma, Casta Diva, with the highest success. To the loud applause which awaited her at the finale, and which interrupted her during her execution of this fine composition, she responded by singing Tom Moore's "Last Rose of Summer." In the second act she sang the English ballad of "Home Sweet Home"; singing, upon being encored, the Scotch ballad "Comin' thro' the rye." Thus the Italian, English, Irish, and Scotch schools were ably represented . . .

2 April 1856, Anna Bishop, concert, King's School, Parramatta, again postponed

[2 advertisements], Empire (2 April 1856), 1 

MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S Farewell Performances in Sydney. Full particulars speedily announced.

MADAME ANNA BISHOP will sing, THIS EVENING, at Parramatta, "What will they say in England?" Song, in honour of the victory on the Alma

Mid April 1856, public dispute with theatrical managers

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (7 April 1856), 1 

FAREWELL PERFORMANCES - Madame Anna Bishop being unable to obtain the use of either Theatres is most reluctantly compelled to abandon her intention of giving operatic performances, and will announce a Grand Concert, on THURSDAY EVENING next, April 10th, 1856, at the Concert Hall, Royal Hotel.

"To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 1856), 10 

SIR, - Allow me to trespass on the columns of your paper by your insertion of the following, in answer to an advertisement in your journal of yesterday. I feel that in vindication of myself it is necessary to publish a copy of a letter forwarded to Madame Anna Bishop, which I trust will prove that the theatres are not closed against the Prima Donna.

DEAR MADAME, - I think there must be some misunderstanding as to the terms offered by me for the Royal Victoria Theatre. For better information I will briefly state them, viz: - For the engagement of twelve nights I will share with you after £410 benefit terms, half the clear receipts, for which I will furnish the use of the theatre, gas, scenery dresses, company, and orchestra, as it now stands, with the bills and advertisements - all extra performers to be paid by yourself, as I do not wish to have anything to do with making new engagements.
Trusting those reasonable terms will be agreeable,
I remain, yours obediently,
To Madame Anna Bishop, April 5, 1856.

For still further information to my friends and the public generally, I beg to state I have offered the Prince of Wales Theatre, in addition to the above, on such terms as to afford a very handsome remuneration to Madame A. Bishop, and a small profit to the proprietor.

Madame A. Bishop's engagement, including the late lamented talented artiste, Chevalier Bochsa, was half the gross proceeds of the receipts, the management finding Theatre, gas, bills, advertisements, scenery, dresses, properties, company, and orchestra. During this engagement the proprietor lost several hundred pounds (not so with Madame B., who received £1681 2s. for TWENTY-FIVE NIGHTS). The half receipts not being sufficient to cover the great outlay necessary to the production of operas, the management closed the engagement after giving a fair TRIAL.
Royal Victoria Theatre, April 7.

"To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 April 1856), 5 

SIR, - May I rely upon your known impartiality for the insertion of a few lines in answer to Mr. Torning's letter, which appeared in your columns of Tuesday. Figures as well as facts are sometimes very stubborn things. Mr. Torning's proposed arrangement, assuming the receipts to be £200 per night (a sum far above the average), would be as follows: -

Mr. Torning would receive -
£40 nightly rent
80 half of balance
[Total] 120 of gross receipts

Madame Bishop would received £80, her half, from which she would have to deduct £40, at the lowest calculation, for extra performers, band, and chorus, leaving £40 actual balance in her favour.

I think it unnecessary for me to add one word of comment on Mr. Torning's extreme liberality.
I am, Sir, your obliged servant,
Royal Hotel, April 8th, 1856.

"THE PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (11 April 1856), 5 

To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (12 April 1856), 4 

"To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 April 1856), 5 

9 April 1856, Sydney Choral Society, performance

"SYDNEY CHORAL SOCIETY", The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 10 April, p. 5. , viewed 30 Sep 2018,

Last evening this society gave a concert at Sr. James' Schoolroom, consisting of sacred music. The attendance was very numerous. The great attraction of the evening was, doubtless, the announcement of the appearance of Madame Anna Bishop, whose rendering of "With verdure clad" formed the distinguishing feature of the programme. In this selection from Haydn's celebrated oratorio the great cantatrice was loudly applauded, and the audience demanded an encore. We have seldom heard Madame Bishop to greater advantage, the room being admirably adapted for the conveyance of sound. The choruses from "Judas Maccabaeus," and from Mendelssohn's "Elijah," gave evidence of considerable proficiency and improvement on the part of the members of this important society.

10 April 1856, Anna Bishop, first "farewell" concert

[Advertisement], Empire (10 April 1856), 1 


"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (12 April 1856), 2 

16 April 1856, Anna Bishop, concert, King's School, Parramatta

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1856), 8 

17 April 1856, W. J. Johnson, festival concert

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (17 April 1856), 1 

"FESTIVAL OF SACRED MUSIC", Empire (18 April 1856), 5 

"CONCERT HALL, ROYAL HOTEL", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1856), 8 

"VOLO EPISCOPARI", Melbourne Punch (17 April 1856), 2 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Madame Anna Bishop has netted in twenty-five nights, the small amount of £1680, whilst the proprietor of the theatre, has lost several hundred pounds by that lady's engagement, in consequence of the great outlay necessary for the production of the operas, in which she has appeared. Are the songbirds of this colony classed under the generic head of Raptores?

"TESTIMONIAL TO MADAME ANNA BISHOP", Empire (18 April 1856), 4 

19 April 1856, Anna Bishop, for the benefit of Jean-Baptiste Laglaise, operatic concert, Royal Victoria Theatre

"ROYAL VICTORIA THEATRE", Empire (19 April 1856), 4 

THIS EVENING, Saturday, April 19, the performance will commence with a Grand Scena from the Opera of LUCRETIA BORGIA. Characters by Madame Anna Bishop, Monsieur Laglaise, F. Howson, Mrs. Guerin, &., &., &. To be followed by Scenes and Selections from LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. To conclude with the 2nd Act of Flotow's celebrated Opera of MARTHA, preceded by its celebrated Overture.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (19 April 1856), 1 

"THE OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 April 1856), 4 

29 April 1856, Anna Bishop, operatic benefit, Norma, Royal Victoria Theatre

[Advertisement], Empire (29 April 1856), 1 

"VICTORIA THEATRE. THE OPERA", The Sydney Morning Herald (30 April 1856), 4 

"THE VICTORIA THEATRE LAST NIGHT. To the Editor", The Sydney Morning Herald (1 May 1856), 5 

May 1856

1 May 1856, W. J. Johnson, repeat of festival concert

[Advertisement], Empire (1 May 1856), 1 

"CONCERT HALL, ROYAL HOTEL", The Sydney Morning Herald (2 May 1856), 4 

. . . At the first festival of sacred music, the exquisite taste displayed by Madame Anna Bishop in her rendering of "Angels ever bright and fair" had become a theme of general remark, and doubtless formed the great feature of attraction in the performances of last evening. The profession regard her execution of this beautiful composition, as the chef d'oeuvre of vocalisation . . .

"MR. JOHNSON'S SECOND FESTIVAL OF SACRED MUSIC", Freeman's Journal (3 May 1856), 3 

2 May 1856, testimonial to Anna Bishop

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1856), 5 

2 May 1856, Anna Bishop, operatic selections, Prince of Wales Theatre

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (2 May 1856), 1 

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1856), 5 

"DEPARTURE OF MADAME BISHOP", Empire (3 May 1856), 4 

"CLEARANCES", Empire (5 May 1856), 4 

May 3. - Wonga Wonga, steamer, 600 tons. Captain Gilmore, for Melbourne. Passengers - Madame Anne Bishop and lady's maid . . . Schultz, B. Reese [sic], F. Howson . . .

Melbourne, VIC (6 May to 12 August 1856)

6 May 1856, Bishop and party arrived Melbourne


May 6 - Wonga Wonga, s.s.s., 700 tons, R. G. Gilmore, from Sydney, 3rd inst. Passengers cabin : Madame Anna Bishop, Mrs. Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. Williamson . . . Miss Philan; Messrs. F. Howson . . .

"COPPIN'S OLYMPIC", The Argus (16 May 1856), 5 

Madame Anna Bishop appears to grow upon the public and in fact has already become an established favourite. The vehemence of the applause which greeted her appearance last night and the plaudits which followed the close of each air and scene, almost amounted to a furore. She appeals to possess precisely those qualities both as a vocalist and as an actress which are calculated to render her popular: qualities, some of them which will not stand the test of a too minute and exacting criticism, but which tell upon and take with the general public. The range of her voice is limited, but she manages it so skilfully that its circumscribed compass is only partially apparent. Her mezzo voce is extremely sweet; her manner is piquant and attractive and she is a good actress. We adhere to the opinion we have previously expressed, that no comparison can be instituted between Miss Hayes and Madame Anna Bishop, the points of siimlairty are so few and of dissimilarity so many. Miss Hayes's powerful hold upon the favor of the Melbourne public is not weakened by the prononce success of our new prima donna, nor have Madame Anna Bishop's claims upon the admiration and encomiums of the lovers of music in this city been prejudiced by the previous successes of the accomplished lady whom we are about to lose. Each has deservedly attained a distinguised reputation; each has her separate orbit: and while this dilettante critic swears by one vocalist aud this by the other, we are content to express our obligations for the immense amount of delight which we have derived from the past efforts of Miss Hayes, and our anticipations of a prolongation of that enjoyment by the vocal exertions of Madame Anna Bishop.

"REALLY ENJOYING ONESELF", Melbourne Punch (22 May 1856), 7 

[News and summary for Europe], The Argus (24 May 1856), 5 

One musical star has just set and another arisen upon our music loving community. Miss Catherine Hayes gave two farewell concerts at the Exhibition Building on the evenings of the 5th and 12th of the present month . . . Madame Anna Bishop made her first appearance at Coppin's Olympic on the evening of the 13th inst., and achieved an unqualified success which is all the more honorable to her talent from the fact of her immediately succeeding so great a favorite as Miss Hayes. The position obtained by Madame Bishop in the public estimation is daily becoming more firmly consolidated and her style of ballad singing is such as to call forth more enthusiiatic demonstrations of delight than has been witnessed for some time past in a colonial theatre. On Tuesday last, her vocal entertainment concluded with the spirit stiring "Marseillaise," Madame Bishop descending from the clouds as the Goddess of Liberty and grasping the tricolored flag. The vocalist's animated action, aided possibly by the old associations connected with this revolutionary hymn, inflamed the enthusiasm of the audience to a very high pitch. The bravos and cries of encore swelled into a sort of vocal hurricane for the few minutes that the curtain remained down and when it rose again and discovered the vocalist garbed as Britannia with trident, and shield emblazoned with the national cross of England, the scene became quite exciting. Advancing to the footlights Madame's clear and flute-like voice pealed out the national anthem, the audience rising en masse, and appearing to participite in the animation of the singer. On the fall of the curtain a storm of plaudits again broke forth, and on Madame Bishop's appearing before the curtain the whole house rose at her, hats and handkerchiefs were waved, and the hurrahs of the excited audience offered the strongest possible testimony to the increasing popularity of the vocalist.

[News and summary for Europe], The Argus (9 July 1856), 6 

The operatic season commenced on the 11th of June, the company embracing Madame Anna Bishop, Mrs. Guerin, MM. Coulon and Laglaise, Messrs. Howson, Lyall, and Hancock, assisted by an efficient chorus. "Norma," " Sonnambula," "Martha," and "Der Freischutz," have been successively produced, with varying success; "Martha having proved the most and "Der Freischutz" the least popular of the four. "Lucrezia Borgia " is to be the next operatic production. Three sacred concerts are to be given in the Theatre Royal, by the Philharmonic Society and Mr. Coppin jointly, on the 11th, 18th, and 25th of the present month, under the patronage of the Acting Governor, the members of the Executive, and the Judges. These concerts promise to rival some of the musical festivals in England, and will constitute quite an epoch in the history of our progress in music in this colony. A Benedictus, composed and arranged by Mr. Nelson, and which is spoken very highly of by competent judges, forms part of the programme of the first concert.

"MUSICAL MATTERS IN MELBOURNE (From a Correspondent)", The Sydney Morning Herald (26 July 1856), 5

I went to the Philharmonic Society's concert at the Theatre Royal, but the weather unfortunately interfered with good attendance. The selections and stage arrangements in true oratorio style, but the chorusses were ineffective, for the want of an organ accompaniment; the instrument being at the rear of the stage, but not put together - an organ of sight, but not of sound - satisfied to remain to be seen whether the "organic remains" will assume vitality at the next concert. The chorusses, like the temperature, were frigid, but went with precision. What a pity Frank Howson cannot look or sing as if he had a soul as well as a voice! Madame Bishop has succeeded in working up a prejudiced public, slow to shake off the recollections of Kate Hayes, into an expression of Madame Bishop's great merits. Her sacred music far exceeds her operatic performances. "Angels ever bright and fair" was admirably given, but the "Gratias animus" was really sublime singing; her faultless intonation at times leading and following the clarionette accompaniment, and the blending of the voice with the instrument, was exquisite. Nelson's Benedictus, although not possessing much profundity, is very nicely harmonised, and told with the audience at once; if not Beethoven or Mozart, it offers sufficient point to render further hearing desirable. The operatic "Stabat Mater" presented little for observation beyond the good singing of Madame Bishop and Mrs. Testar in "Quis et homo" and "Quando corpus." Monsieur Laglaise, who has much improved, sung "Cujus animus" most excellently. Next Friday, we are to have the "Creation," and anticipate a satisfactory ensemble, with organ, fair weather, and, consequently, a better hosse. "Lucrezia Borgia" is promised shortly.

[News and summary for Europe], The Argus (5 August 1856), 5 

The operatic season at the Theatre Royal terminated on Thursday last, with entire credit to the company engaged, and a heavy pecuniary loss to the manager. Everything that energy, enterprise, and ability could effect has been tried; but the result has been such as to preclude a repetition of the experiment to render the opera one of our permanent institutions, - at any rate for some time to come.

The versatility of Madame Anna Bishop's powers, both as a vocalist and an actress, have been displayed in "Lucrezia Borgia," and "L'Elisir d'Armore," both of which have been produced since the date of our last summary, and most effectively rendered; the prima donna being ably supported by MM. Laglaise and Coulon, and Mr. Frank Howson.

The Philharmonic Society, strengthened by the members of the operatic company, have given four concerts at the Theatre Royal, three sacred and one miscellaneous. Unfortunately the attendances, on almost every occasion, were considerably diminished by the untoward state of the weather, which has operated detrimentally upon all places of public amusement.

7 August 1856, George Coppin's benefit

"THE THEATRES. MR. COPPIN'S BENEFIT", The Age (8 August 1856), 3 

On Thursday evening the Theatre Royal was densely crowded with a brilliant audience to honor the benefit of Mr. Coppin, the lessee. In recognition of the liberality, energy, and ability of that gentleman, Madame Anna Bishop and the other principals, band, and chorus of the operatic company, the ladies and gentlemen of the theatrical corps, and indeed the whole body of persons connected with the establishment, had volunteered their gratuitous services on this occasion. The result was an entertainment of the most choice and varied description, and presence of an immense audience, who testified their gratification by repeated bursts of applause by hand and voice - hearty, emphatic, and absolutely deafening. The performances commenced with the "Young Widow," in which Mr. Coppin took Splash, introducing the original dancing lesson, and accompanying himself on the violin . . . Two acts of Donizetti's opera of Lucrezia Borgia followed, in which Madame Bishop and M.M. Laglaise, Coulon, and Lyall took the solo parts . . . On the fall of the curtain and in obedience to loud calls from all parts of the house, Mr. Coppin made his appearance, and in very appropriate terms thanked the audience for their very generous support, and the operatic and dramatic companies for their gratuitous and able assistance. He then referred to the production of the Opera upon the stage of the Royal, and felt assured that his supporters would admit that every effort had been made to render it in the most efficient manner. In this he had been most worthily seconded by Madame Bishop, whose ability, pains-taking efforts, and lady-like conduct he felt unable adequately to characterise. He also referred to the less noticeable, but highly important services rendered by Mr. Lavenu, as director of the orchestra, to whom much of the success of the opera was owing. Yet that opera had not been successful as a commercial speculation, and after a persevering effort to make it worthy of support, the end of the season found him a loser by the transaction. It was clear that if the public of Melbourne wanted to have the opera, some other plan must be devised. He had thought of such a one. He proposed giving a season of twenty nights in November next, the expense of which he computed would amount to three thousand pounds, he proposed having a hundred subscribers at ten pounds each, entitling parties to transferable tickets to the dress-circle for the whole season. By this means he should guarantee himself one thousand pounds - he was willing to risk the rest himself.

12 August 1856, Bishop and party sailed from Melbourne for Sydney

"MELBOURNE (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)", Mount Alexander Mail (15 August 1856), 4 

Coppin is making a desperate effort to bring about another opera season. If he can secure a hundred subscribers at £10 each, tickets to be transferable, we may still hope for twenty-one nights' rational amusement, to which it is intended Madame Anna Bishop shall be the principal contributor. Some two years back there would have been no difficulty in raising the amount, but times have altered, and even amongst the passionate admirers of music in the colony, I question if a hundred could be found prepared to sacrifice "a single note, far less a tenner."

Sydney, NSW (15 to 30 August 1856)

"SHIPPING. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 August 1856), 8 

August 15. - London, (s.), 430 tons, Captain Watts from Melbourne 12th inst - Passengers - . . . Madame Anna Bishop, Mrs. Phaler . . . Messrs, Schultz, Coulon, Laglaise . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (16 August 1856), 1 

MADAME ANNA BISHOP - The PORTRAIT of Madame Anna Bishop, painted by E. DALTON, is now completed, and on view at the Artist's Studio, 245, George-street.


16 August 1856, Norma (Bellini)

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 August 1856), 6

The prima donna, together with Messieurs Laglaise and Coulon, appears in "Norma" this evening, at the English Opera House. That Madame Bishop will be welcomed back by an overflowing house, there can be no doubt. Her stay is but short - not exceeding six nights.

[Advertisement], Empire (16 August 1856), 1 

ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE - (laate Prince of Wales Theatre). - Under the management and musical direction of Mr. Packer. Madama ANNA BISHOP. The Lesseo has much pleasure in announcing that he has effected an arrangement with the above favourite and eminent Artiste, for FIVE NIGHTS ONLY, who will make her first appearance, THIS EVENING, in the Grand Opera of NORMA. First apponrnnoo of EMILE COULON and Mons. LAGLA1SE. THIS EVENING, Saturday, August 16th, will be produced the entire of Bellini's grand Opera of NORMA, with all the original music, choruses, &c. Pollio, Mons. Laglaise; Flavius, Mr. Fisher; Oroveso, M. Emile Coulon; NORMA, high Priestess of the Pagan God Esus, in Gaul, Anno Mundi 3404, Madame ANNA BISHOP; Clotilda, Mrs. Gibbs; Adalgisa, Mrs. Guerin; Priests, Priestesses, Roman Soldiers, &c. NOTICE. - This engagement cannot be prolonged; as prior engagements in Victoria requires her presence . . .

"ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE", The Sydney Morning Herald (18 August 1856), 4 

This theatre was remarkably well and fashionably attended on Saturday evening last, on the occasion of the re-appearance of Madame Anna Bishop for a limited engagement. The performance comprised the whole of Bellini's grand opera of Norma. Madame Bishop in the role of Norma, Mons. Coulon as Oroveso, Mons. Laglaise as Polio, and Mrs. Guerin as Adelgisa. The first appearance of the prima donna on the stage produced almost an ovation, the plaudits continuing for nearly ten minutes, and the pit rising en masse to welcome back the popular vocalist. We have before criticised the performance of this lady, and we need scarcely refer again to that of which the musical amateurs of Sydney must be aware, nor need we draw comparisons, though the Casta Diva of Madame Cailly was fresh in our memory from the preceding evening. Throughout, Madame Bishop was loudly applauded, though no encore was called for; and at the end of each act the prima donna was brought before the curtain to receive the bouquets of the audienc . . .

19 and 23 August 1856, The elixir of love (Donizetti)

21 and 26 August 1856, selections from Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti)

"ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE", Empire (22 August 1856), 5 

"PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 August 1856), 4 

The performances at this theatre last evening consisted of what was called in the bills Donizetti's opera of Lucrezia Borgia, consisting in fact only of selections from that composition of the famous Maestro; the challenge duetto from Lucia di Lammermoor, and the Mexican Fantasia of La Pasadita . . .

"ENGLISH OPERA HOUSE", The Sydney Morning Herald (25 August 1856), 4 

The performances of Madame Anna Bishop have consisted of Norma, Donizetti's opera of L'Elisir D'Amore, part of Tancredi and Lucrezia Borgia, the challenge scene from Lucia di Lammermoor, and the celebrated Mexican piece entitled La Pasadita. Of the Norma of Madame Bishop we have frequently recorded an opinion; nor have we reason to suppose the lyric stage presents so perfect an embodiment as that of the high priestess of this distinguished and accomplished artiste. So essential to a finished delineation is the fusion or combination of musicale with dramatique qualifications, that we are prepared to find many aspirants for public favour fail in their attempted impersonation of this great character. However exquisite the talents of a vocalist may be, nevertheless, without the aid of certain physical attributes and the genius to feel and depict the many phases of passion which so strongly distinguish the role of Norma, we find that success, if attained, is not so decided as that which attends the union of those qualifications which, in the aggregate, we so rarely witness. Of the merits of Madame Anna Bishop, whether her Norma is considered, or the elaborate and artistic rendering of her Lucrezia Borgia, as performed on the evening of Thursday last, we may venture the assertion that her vocal powers do not alone call forth the admiration of her audience. In the picturesque positions - the commanding and dignified gait - the repose and ease which characterise her style of acting - the graceful deportment, and in the facial expression of joy, sorrow, anguish, revenge, and despair, we may trace much of the success achieved by this accomplished lady. Operatlc fame is not so simple a matter as is that popularity which is gained in the concert-room. To portray faithfully Norma or Lucrezia, a considerable amount of stage knowledge, and a high order of dramatic or histrionic genius are requisite and essential.

The houses during the week have been fully attended, and the engagement of the present company is hailed with satisfaction by all lovers of the divine art. The corps musicale, including as it does Messrs. Coulon and Laglaise, and other well-known artistes, is of a nature to afford the people of our city an opportunity of witnessing operatic productions in an ensemble or entirety not hitherto attempted among us. The orchestral department, led by Mr. Gibbs, and conducted by Mr. Charles Packer, is some guarantee that those popular musicians will make the most of the material at their disposal. Madame Anna Bishop, in company with Mr. G. Loder and Messrs Laglaise and Coulon, leave nest week for Victoria.

27 August 1856, Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Bishop's benefit

29 August 1856, grand oratorio

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (30 August 1856), 1 

The favourite ballad, "Oft in the Stilly Night," by Thomas Moore, illustrated with a portrait of Madame Anna Bishop 3s.
Also, a new edition of Katty Darling, as sung by Madame Bishop, 2s. 6d.
Home, Sweet Home, as sung by Madame Bishop, 2s. 6d.
John Anderson my Joe, as sung by Madame Bishop, 1s. 6d.
I'll Pray for Thee (Lucia di Lammermoor), sung by Madame Bishop, 2s. 6d.
Marseillaise Hymn, 2s. 6d., sung by Madame Bishop.
Post free, 2d. each extra.
WOOLCOTT and CLARKE - Music Hall, George-street.

MUSIC (Woolcott and Clarke editions): Home sweet home (Bishop) (with other cover: "as sung by Miss Catherine Hayes"); The Marseillaise Hymn (arranged by Emile Coulon); I'll pray for thee (Donizetti)

"DEPARTURES", The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (1 September 1856), 190 

August 30. - Telegraph (s.), 650 tons, Captain Gilmore, for Melbourne. Passengers - Madame Anna Bishop, Miss Fayland . . . Messrs. M. Schultz, G. Loder . . . E. Coulon, - Laglaise . . .

Anna Bishop; Edmund Thomas, 1856, on the cover of Oft in the stilly night (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857])

6 September 1856, Sydney, NSW, publication of Oft in the stilly night (Moore and Stevenson), "as sung by Madame Bishop"

Oft in the stilly night by Thomas Moore, as sung by Anna Bishop (Sydney: Woolcott and Clarke, [1856])


[Advertisement], Empire (6 September 1856), 8 

PUBLISHED THIS DAY, price 3s, as sung by Madame BISHOP, the favourite song, "OFT IN THE STILLY NIGHT, with portrait of Madame Anna Bishop. WOOLCOTT AND CLARKE, Music Hall.

Oft in the stilly night by Thomas Moore, as sung by Anna Bishop (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (13 June 1857), 8 

. . . New edition of Oft in the stilly night . . . J. R. CLARKE, musicseller . . .

Melbourne, VIC (1 September to 3 November 1856)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED (HOBSON'S BAY)", The Argus (2 September 1856), 4 

September 1. - Telegraph, steamer, 358 tons, George Gilmore, from Sydney 30th ult. Passengers - cabin: . . . Madame A. Bishop, Miss Fayland . . . Messrs. . . . Laglaise, Coulon, Gordon, Loder, Schultz . . .

he Irish peasant girl, by Walter Bonwick (Melbourne, 1856)

27 October 1856, performance and publication of The Irish peasant girl (Bonwick)

The Irish peasant girl, the new ballad, sung with great applause by Madame Anna Bishop, composed by Walter Bonwick . . . (Melbourne: Published for the benefit of the Benevolent Asylum, [1856]) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Argus (27 October 1856), 8 

MADAME ANNA BISHOP. - By particular request Madame Bishop will sing this evening "The Irish Peasant Girl," composed by Walter Bonwick, teacher of Singing to the children of the Benevolent Asylum, Melbourne; words by Mrs. W. Boute. To be published for the benefit of the Asylum.

ASSOCIATIONS: Walter Bonwick (composer)

Adelaide, SA (6 November to 10 December 1856)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. ARRIVED", South Australian Register (7 November 1856), 2 

Thursday, November 6 - The steamer White Swan, 330 tons, W. H. Lamond, master, from Melbourne November 3 . . . Passengers - Madame Bishop, Miss Phelan . . . Messrs. . . . Schultz, Geo. Loder, Seide . .

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. CLEARED OUT", Adelaide Times (10 December 1856), 2 

Tuesday, December 9 - The screw-steamer Burra Burra, 196 tons, Allan Harper, for Melbourne. Passengers - Messrs. . . . Loder, Schultage, Seide [sic] . . . Madame Anna Bishop and servant . . .

Portland, Belfast (Port Fairy), Warrnambool, VIC (12 December 1856 to 1 January 1857)

Notwithstanding notices of their arrival at Melbourne by the Burra Burra on 13 December, Bishop and her party had in fact left the ship at Portland, as planned, and gave concerts there

"SHIPPING. ARRIVED (HOBSON'S BAY)", The Age (15 December 1856), 4 

The Burra Burra put into Twofold Bay [sic] to land Madame Anna Bishop and suite.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (19 December 1856), 2 

Madame Anna Bishop gave a second concert last Wednesday evening in Mr. McDonald's new assembly room. It was attended as numerously and respectably and was received as enthusiastically as the first. The programme was very varied and well arranged and well calculated to exhibit the varied and tasteful excellencies of Madame Anna Bishop's wonderful singing powers, Mr. Siede's celebrated flute performances, and Mr. Loder's piano and vocal acquirements. Madame Anna Bishop has the rare accomplishment of combining perfect taste with a high degree of talent. Her appreciation of the sentiment in her ballads is from the penetration of natural genius rather than from the rules of art; consequently her rendering of the sentiment into music has the more thrilling effect. Madame Anna Bishop and company have been prevented, in consequence of the vessel being detained by contrary winds, from proceeding to Belfast this week as was arranged. Another concert is therefore to be given this evening for which second class tickets at reduced prices are issued. This will enable many who were unable to do so on former evenings, to enjoy a musical treat such as can very rarely come in their way.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (24 December 1856), 2 

Madame Anna Bishop gave a concert of sacred and secular music on Monday evening last, at Mr McDonald's Assembly Room . . . Madame Anna Bishop and company left Portland yesterday morning by steamer, Champion, for Belfast; and at parting expressed themselves gratified with the reception they had met with in Portland.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Argus (26 December 1856), 5 

. . . From Portland Madame Bishop was to proceed to Belfast and Warrnambool.

Madame Anna Bishop as Lucrezia (Edmund Thomas, 1856)

Madame Anna Bishop as Lucrezia Borgia; by Edmund Thomas, 1856; in The Australian album 1857 (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, 1857) (DIGITISED)


Melbourne, VIC (2 to 15 January 1857)

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Argus (3 January 1857), 4 

January 2. - Champion, s.s.s., 300 tons, Frank Helpman, from Portland 1st instant. Passengers: cabin - Madame Anna Bishop . . . Miss Phalen . . . Messrs. . . Schultz, Loder, Sude [sic] . . .

Tasmania (16 January to 28 February 1857)

"Ship News", The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (17 January 1857), 4 

Passengers per Clarence, from Melbourne. - Madame Anna Bishop and servant . . . Schultz . . .

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Hobarton Mercury (23 January 1857), 3 

Mr. Rees has arrived in Hobart Town to make the necessary arrangements for a limited number, not exceeding four, concerts, to be given by Madame Anna Bishop, Mr. George Loder, and Herr Siede; and the public, we understand, will be gratified by the performances of this accomplished cantatrice in the course of next week.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", The Courier (16 February 1857), 2 

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Hobart Town Mercury (16 February 1857), 2 

This talented Cantatrice proceeds on a Musical tour into the interior, and will give a Concert at Oatlands on Wednesday evening. Our friends in the country have been already apprised of the extraordinary vocal accomplishments of Madame Bishop, and we can assure them, they have in store an entertainment, to which Mr. G. Loder and Herr Siede will contribute, such as they have never hitherto, enjoyed.

"COMPLIMENTARY Concert to Madame Bishop", The Cornwall Chronicle [Launceston, TAS] (28 February 1857), 5 

Melbourne and country Victoria (1 March to 25 June 1857)

"SHIPPING", The Age (2 March 1857), 4 

March 1 - Black Swan, s.s.s., 129 tons, A. T. Woods, from Launceston 28th ult. Passengers - cabin: Madame Anna Bishop and suite . . . Messrs. Schultz, Herr Siede, Loder . . .

Take back the ring, dear Jamie, by Stephen Massett (Sydney, 1857)

16 April 1857, first notice of publication of Stephen C. Massett's Take back the ring dear Jamie

Take back the ring, dear Jamie, as sung by Madame Anna Bishop, new song by S. C. Massett (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]) (DIGITISED)

"NEW MUSIC", The Sydney Morning Herald (16 April 1857), 5 

TWO fresh pieces of music have just been issued by Mr. J. R. Clarke, of George-street. The first is the "Columbian Mazurka," by Boulanger . . . The next is the new song by S. C. Masset, "Take back the Ring, dear Jamie," as sung by Madame Anna Bishop. The title of the piece is sufficiently suggestive of its nature. The words, which are Scotch, are by James Linen, and the music is very appropriate. Both are printed from engraved plates, and worthy the notice of every lover of music.


22 April 1857, opening of the Princess's Theatre, Melbourne, Norma (Bellini)



"THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. PRINCESS'S THEATRE", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (25 April 1857), 2 

"LUCREZIA BORGIA", The Argus (30 April 1857), 4 

The character of the illustrious poisoner is the one in which Madame Anna Bishop's powers, both as a vocalist and an actress, are exhibited to the greatest advantage. In this opera, she demonstrates beyond dispute that in either department of her art she is equally great. In most lyrical dramas you are struck by the incongruity which subsists between the action of the piece, which is to a certain extent natural, and the musical dialogue, which is unnatural. This incongruity is almost entirely forgotten while listening to Madame Bishop's brilliant vocalisation and observing her impressive acting in the part of Lucrezia Borgia. We were about to say that the vocalist also looks the Duchess to perfection, but remembering the golden tint of the lock of hair which is still preserved together with this terrible woman's love-letters (some of the tenderest ever written) to Cardinal Bembo, in the Ambrosian Library, at Milan, we must withhold the remark.

From the moment the Borgia appears upon the stage, until her agonizing cry is uttered above the murdered body of her son, the prima donna's identification of herself with the character she assumes is absolute and continuously sustained. The complex emotions which are successively awakened in the breast of the poisoner, - the passionate affection she entertains for Gennaro; the agitation she experiences when detected and reviled by the masquers; her implacable indignation against the mutilators of her escutcheon; the vehement conflict of feeling which ensues on the discovery that the offender is Gennaro; her appeal to the clemency of her husband; the fierce determination to avenge his victim's death; the momentary resurrection of a hope; the sudden revulsion of despair; the fierce joy excited by the success of her adroit plan to facilitate the escape of Gennaro, and to neutralize the poison he has unwitting imbibed; her agony and amazement at the discovery of her son among the poisoned revellers at the Negroni Palace; and the wild woe which finds a distracted utterance in her dying wail above the body of her boy - are all depicted with consummate power by the vocalist.

There are points both in the vocalisation and acting of Madame Bishop so subtle and delicate in their character as to escape the attention of the superficial observer of her performances, but which to those who study her singing and acting carry the conviction that the intelligence which interprets, is second only to that which creates, the lyric drama in which she is taking part. Witness the whispered horror of her "Che vegg'io?" in the second scene of the first act; witness the shuddering fear of a mere "aside," like the exclamation "Io gelo! Io tremo!" and the touching remonstrance "Non pella spada?" uttered with such a mournful reiteration in the same scene; and witness, too, the wild cry for help, instantaneously succeeded by the desolating conviction that the invocation is too late; and the bitter agony of grief with which she flings herself upon the corpse of her child and, in a frenzy of hopeless lamentation, raises the shriek "e spento," and appears to burn her heart in the extremity of her maternal anguish. The actress and vocalist who can thus identify herself so thoroughly with the character she assumes (and such a character) really deserves the epithet of " great."

Last night it devolved upon the prima donna and the orchestra almost entirely to sustain the opera. The tenor was suffering from a sore throat and a defective memory; the representative of the Duke was new to his arduous and important part, and hence Madame Bishop was compelled to strain all her powers to keep alive the interest of a numerous and critical audience. And in truth she sang and acted superbly, unarming the attention and compelling the applause of her auditors, while the passion and pathos she infused into the closing scene brought down the curtain amidst enthusiastic demonstrations of applause.

The never-tiring music of the opera was most spiritedly and effectively rendered by the orchestra, and the choruses, taken as whole, were highly creditable to all parties concerned. The Orsini of Madame Sara Flower is also entitled to a special meed of praise, and the celebrated "Brindisi" narrowly escaped receiving the only encore of the evening.

Notwithstanding the untoward state of the weather, the dress circle was crowded, and the other parts of the house, the pit excepted, were well attended.

THEATRICALS AND MUSIC. PRINCESS'S THEATRE - THE OPERA", Bell's Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (2 May 1857), 2 

The "Sonnambula" was produced on Saturday night, to an audience numerous and of the first respectability. Madame Bishop was of course the Amina, and by her clever acting and vocalisation, reaped a splendid harvest of applause . . .

The fine lyrical drama "Lucrezia Borgia," was performed on Wednesday evening, and repeated on Thursday with increased success. The "Borgia" is the most powerful of Madame Bishop's assumptions, and in respect of both histrionic and vocal effect has certainly never been equalled on the colonial stage. The dramatist, it is true, has made fine opportunities for the actress, but they are of that class which could only be adequately made available by a thorough adept in her art. Such is our prima donna, whose impersonation of the Ferrarese Duchess amounted to a complete identification of herself with the part. From her entrance, to the grand coup de theatre in the last act, every gesture and movement was consistent and significant. Her vocalisation of Donnizetti's essentially dramatic music was equally meritorious. The beauties of the rendering were especially manifest in those passages where the violence of passion is to be demonstrated to the audience. In an inferior actress, such situations often lose their due effect either through tameness or exaggeration. Instead of the passionate fervour of the Italian, being developed by the interpreter, the character is made insipid by a kind of feline rendering, in which the great passion of anger degenerates into petty spite, or is unduly amplified into vulgar rage, such as would be exhibited by an importunate laundress whose little account has too long escaped the notice of her debtor. Madame Bishop errs in neither direction; her forte undoubtedly lies in declamation, and this quality is specially regarded in such music as that of this opera. Her animated countenance lends double effect to her pantomime, and while, so rarely indeed, is the slightest opportunity missed, of giving breadth of colouring to the historic picture which the audience have before them, it will be admitted by all who have witnessed this great impersonation, that, in no respect, is any tendency exhibited to rant, or by note, gesture, or act, to "tear a passion to tatters." The "Come bello" was made the very eloquence of music, while the rapid fioriture passages in the brilliant cabaletta which immediately succeeds, were thrown off with a correctness, and expressive grace, that proved equally the executive power of the musician and the taste of the artist . . .

We are alluding to the second performance of the opera, the first having been marred in many essentials by defects in other quarters, which however operated in a painful degree to Madame Bishop's prejudice. The duet in the first act with Gennaro was completely spoiled on both occasions by the imperfections of the tenor, for whom, however, we are inclined to make certain allowances, to which we shall refer presently. The finale to the act was, on the occasion to which, as we have said, we particularly refer, admirably sung and acted by all concerned, the celebrated denunciatory couplets being given by the representatives of Orsini and his friends with energy, and supported with propriety of action. The concerted music in the second act was laudably rendered throughout; and the famous scene in which Gennaro swallows the poisoned wine, administered by Alphonso, was a complete masterpiece of acting on the part of Madame Bishop and Herr Schluter, of whom we have more to say directly. The various passions which alternately contend for the possession of the Borgia's mind, fear, pity, anger, and horror, are depicted with a daguorrean force of truth. The characteristic music, although allied to words in a language incomprehensible to eleven-twelfths of the audience, is thus translated to them, and the story made intelligible. Although Mr. Sherwin is at present quite unequal to the impersonation of so important a character as Gennaro, yet in the fine duet in which Lucrezia urges her son to swallow the antidote, he was more successful than we could have expected, in seconding the efforts of Madame Bishop, and the piece narrowly escaped an encore.

The last scene of the opera was on Thursday evening performed under most extraordinary circumstances. "The board was spread, the guests were met." Orsini had trolled out the Brindisi, and the sepulchral tones of the penitents, warning the thoughtless revellers of their approaching doom, were heard. Suddenly the heavy drapery at the back of the stage are drawn aside, and the Borgia, attired in the "hues of death," is discovered, the expression of exultation by which her features are made terrible, indicating as much as the fearful evidences of preparation which accompany her entrance - the coffins with the names of their destined occupants inscribed upon them ranged in view of the spectators, and the cloaked and hooded sbirri - the approaching realization of her vengeance. The alarmed guests shrink back awe-stricken at the appearance of such unexpected horrors.

At that moment every light in the theatre except the row of gas jets in the flies went out, leaving no objects but the stage and its occupants visible to the audience. The rain at the same moment descended with such violence that although Madame Bishop, with the courage of a thorough heroine, never hesitated for a moment, she was at times almost inaudible through the heavy dash of the streams of water that poured upon the roof of the theatre. The effect was wild and fantastic in the extreme. One half of the stage was in the deepest shadow, while the flickering lights overhead dimly and fitfully illuminated the dark forms of Lucrezia Borgia and her ministers of vengeance. This extraordinary scene appeared to completely seize the imagination of the audience, for instead of manifesting any indications of a panic, they outvied the noise of the falling shower by their applause. The gas was subsequently relighted, but the lights again became extinguished, and it being found impossible to proceed with the farce, an apology was made for its omission, and accepted . . .

When the moon on the lake is beaming, Stephen Massett (Sydney, 1857)

15 June 1857, publication of Stephen C. Massett's When the moon on the lake in beaming, "as sung by Madame Anna Bishop"

When the moon on the lake is beaming, sung with the most enthusiastic applause by Madame Anna Bishop, to whom it is respectfully dedicated, by the composer. Stephen Massett (Sydney: J. R. Clarke, [1857]) (DIGITISED)

"MR. STEPHEN MASSETT'S SONGS", The Sydney Morning Herald (15 June 1857), 4 

"When the Moon on the Lake is Beaming," and "Take back the Ring, dear Jamie," the former written and composed by Mr. Massett, and the latter composed by him, have just been published by Mr. J. R. Clark. These songs are highly popular, and have been repeatedly sung by Madame Anna Bishop. Mr. Massett left Sydney yesterday, in the Tasmania, but will return in a few weeks, when he will again appear before a Sydney audience.

Following earlier American editions, see for instance (New York: William Hall and Son, [1853]) (DIGITISED)

The first Australia edition had appeared previously in Melbourne, in W. H. Williams's The illustrated journal of Australasia (February 1857), 56-59 (DIGITISED)

Sydney, NSW (27 June to 23 September 1857)

"SHIPPING. ARRIVALS", The Sydney Morning Herald (29 June 1857), 4 

June 27. - Wonga Wonga (s.), 734 tons, Captain David Walker, from Melbourne 25th instant. Passengers - Madame Anna Bishop, Madame Sarah Flower . . . Miss Phelan, Mrs. Capper, Miss Chalker . . . Messrs. Farquharson . . . Kitts, Schultz . . . Gregg . . .

July 1857

August 1857

1 August 1857, Bishop's benefit, Royal Victoria Theatre, Flotow's Martha

3 August 1857, Royal Victoria Theatre, Flotow's Martha

4 August 1857, Royal Victoria Theatre, Donizetti's Linda di Chamounix

6 August 1857, Royal Victoria Theatre, Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore

8 August 1857, Royal Victoria Theatre, Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore

10 August 1857, Royal Victoria Theatre, Weber's Der Freischütz

11 August 1857, Royal Victoria Theatre, Weber's Der Freischütz

13 August 1857, Royal Victoria Theatre, Weber's Der Freischütz

15 August 1857, last night of the opera season, Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, Bellini's Norma

"ORATORIO IN THE CATHEDRAL", Freeman's Journal (15 August 1857), 2 

Many years have now elapsed since we were treated to a grand Oratorio. The very phrase "Oratorio in St. Mary's Cathedral," which we see pasted in monster characters about the city, recalls to our minds beloved names which now we seldom hear - Wallace, Bushelle, Rust, Cavendish, &c. An oratorio in our Cathedral was always a great treat. The present one, we feel sure, will be the greatest one. In saying this we do not go on the principle that the last bit is the sweetest; but we feel sure that the list of talented artistes, who have kindly volunteered, or have been engaged, surpasses any that we have hitherto had, or are likely to have for some time. The Prima Donna (Madame Anna Bishop), who was the prime mover in the business, is one of first in the world. We have never heard a better Contralto than Madame Sara Flower. Mr. Laglaise as Tenor is first-class, and Mr. Farquharson beyond all doubt is ditto. The chorus contains many accomplished artistes, and the orchestra we believe is very efficient. We have not had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Julius Siede, but fame classes him among the first performers on the instrument which in quality of tone ranks next to the human voice. Of the conductor, Mr. George Loder, nothing need be said, since the manner in which he brought out the Operas spsaks volumes in his praise. The programme is one of the best we have over seen. The price of the tickets is very moderate; and we expect a crowded audience and charming music. We advise every one who intends to go, at once to secure their tickets, and to be early at the Cathedral on Tuesday evening to secure their places.

18 August 1857, grand oratorio, St. Mary's Cathedral

25 August 1857, ballad concert, Prince of Wales Theatre

27 August 1857, charity benefit, for the children of the late James Gordon Griffiths

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (27 August 1857), 1 

PRINCE OF WALES THEATRE. - Grand BENEFIT CONCERT, given by Madame ANNA BISHOP, THIS EVENING, in aid of the Young Children of the late J. G. GRIFFITHS, formerly manager of the Sydney Theatres. The notice of the charitable public is requested to the above last appeal which can be made to them in the above benevolent cause, and which they have already so generously supported. Unavoidable circumstances have rendered it imperative that it should take place TO-NIGHT, as it is the only occasion upon which Madame Bishop could give her valuable aid, and it is therefore hoped the public will finish the work they so nobly commenced at the Victoria Theatre in the same cause, and more especially when it is remembered that the "Prince of Wales" was built under the late Mr. Griffiths' personal superintendence, and that the object in view is to support the helpless young members of his family. Sydney, 27th August.


Little Nell, by Charles Packer (Sydney, 1857)

29 August 1857, publication of Charles Packer's Little Nell

Little Nell, founded on an incident in "Master Humphrey's clock", the poetry by Charlotte Young, such, with enthusiastic applause, by Madame Anna Bishop, to whom it is dedicated, by her friend and fellow student, the composer Charles S. Packer (Sydney: W. J. Johnson, [1857]) (DIGITISED)

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (29 August 1857), 8 

LITTLE NELL. - This charming Ballad, composed by Charles S. Packer, sung with such enthusiastic applause, by Madame Anna Bishop; published THIS DAY by JOHNSON and CO.; 57, Pitt-street. Price, 2s. 6d.

31 August 1857, charity concert, in aid of the Sydney Infirmary

[Advertisement], Empire (31 August 1857), 1 

September 1857

3 September 1857, grand oratorio, Prince of Wales Theatre

[Advertisement], Empire (3 September 1857), 1 

"GRAND ORATORIO", The Sydney Morning Herald (5 September 1857), 5 

[Advertisement], Empire (19 September 1857), 8

PIANOFORTE FOR SALE. - The property of Madame Anna Bishop - To be SOLD, an elegant Spanish Boudoir Cottage Pianoforte, by ERARD, with patent action, two pedals, metallic plate, 6-8 [6 1/2] octave. The above instrument was the one used by Mr. George Loder, at the concerts lately given at the Prince of Wales Theatre, and may be seen, and every information obtained, on application to W. JOHNSON, Music Seller, Pitt-street.

"MUSIC AND THE DRAMA", The Sydney Morning Herald (10 September 1857), 9 

Under this head, the chief feature of interest since our last summary has been the performance of grand oratorio, at St. Mary's, in aid of the Catholic Cathedral fund, Rossini's magnificent "Stabat Mater," formed the leading feature of interest, and would, for but the sanctity of the edifice, have elicited rapturous applause. The choral parts were those most particularly noticed, evincing a training and skill on the part of the choir that evidently took those present by surprise. All the leading musical celebrities of Sydney gave their assistance on the occasion, rendering the whole one of the richest musical treats with which our colony has been regaled.

In opera the same dull round of compositions have continued up to the so-called close of the season, the only production really new to a Sydney audience having been the comic opera of Martha. Der Freischutz is old to a Sydney as to every other operatic audience, and its performance here is in no respect, save one, worthy of particular notice; the incantation scene, which is supposed to blend all that is fearful and horrible, was suggestive of laughter from the very ludicrous notion the management seemed to have entertained of the demoniac power of eliciting dread.

Madame Bishop, after several interlocutory farewell nights, at length advertises a decided farewell for Saturday next. We believe that arrangements are being made for an opera season in Melbourne, Madame being engaged as prima donna, should these hang fire, we may expect a few more farewells, or, perhaps, a short season by "particular request" . . .

21 September 1857, final farewell concert

"GRAND CONCERT", The Sydney Morning Herald (21 September 1857), 7

The detention of the Manitou, as we mentioned on Saturday, enables Madame Anna Bishop to give a Concert of Sacred and Secular Music, this evening, at the School of Art. The entertainments are under the immediate patronage of the Philharmonic Society . . .

"MADAME BISHOP'S CONCERT AT THE SCHOOL OF ARTS", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1857), 5 

Last evening this charming and popular songstress gave what we suppose will prove her farewell concert, at this institution. There was a very large and fashionable attendance - indeed, the hall was as crowded as it could conveniently be. Whether it was because it was the last opportunity, or not, we cannot say; but it really appeared as if she never sang with greater effect. Every song was encored, and with charming good nature she gave different specimens of her varied repertoire. The first part of the concert consisted of a selection of sacred music, and included those favourite masterpieces that may safely be said to have an eternal hold on the public mind, namely, "Angels ever bright and fair," by Handel, and "With Verdure clad," by Haydn. In these beautiful pieces the organ accompaniment told with fine effect. In the secular part of the entertainment a very fine pianoforte of Erard's was used, and under the master hand of Mr. George Loder "discoursed most excellent music." The Messrs. Howson sang various pieces with great taste and acceptance. We may congratulate Mr. John Howson on his improvement. His delivery of "Cujus Animam" was excellent altogether. Indeed, Madame Anna Bishop's last trial proved one of the best that has been offered to the citizens of Sydney, and her absence will be long regretted by the lovers of "sweet sounds."

The following address was presented to Madame Anna Bishop by the committee of the Philharmonic Society:

Committee Rooms, Philharmonic Society, Sydney, 18th September, 1857.
Madam, - The repeated and enthusiastic applause which you received at the Society's Concert on Monday last must have proved to you more clearly than any mere words how highly the members collectively appreciate your talents, and how deep a sense they entertain of your kindness towards the Society. But, as members of the committee of management, we feel that we should not allow you to proceed on your voyage from these colonies without a special acknowledgment from us of the great services which you have rendered to the Society, and an expression of our thanks for the very kind and cordial manner in which, during your visits to Sydney, you have supported, by your gratuitous assistance at their concerts, the efforts of the Society to raise the standard of musical taste in this young community. The foremost claim which you have upon the regard of the public here is doubtless that founded upon your generous application of your talents to the furtherance of objects of charity. On this, however, it is not for us now to dwell. But as representing the Sydney Philharmonic Society it is properly our province to acknowledge, as entitling you to a grateful and lasting remembrance amongst us, the beneficial influence exercised upon the cause which we are associated to promote, by your refined taste, artistic excellence, and efforts to produce the compositions of the great masters of the musical art with the utmost effect which the means at your disposal would allow. With our best wishes for your prosperity, and your professional success in the countries which you are about to visit, we remain, Madame, yours very faithfully.
J. H. Plunkett, president of the society; F. L. S. Merewether, W. M'Donell, Henry Spyer, W. H. Aldis, B. Mountcastle, Charles Younger, J. M. Richardson, T. A. Boesen, members of the committee; John Dean [sic], secretary.

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (23 September 1857), 8 

St. KILDA HOUSE - Vacant Wednesday next, the Suite of Apartments now occupied by Madame Bishop, Woolloomooloo-street.

23 September 1857, Bishop and Schultz depart for South America; Loder and Rees for London

"DEPARTURES", The Sydney Morning Herald (19 September 1857), 4

"CLEARANCES", The Sydney Morning Herald (22 September 1857), 4

September 21. - Manitou . . .

"DEPARTURES", The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (28 September 1857), 218 

September 23. - Manitou, ship, 1481 tons, Captain Honeywell, for Callao, in ballast. Passengers Madame Anna Bishop, Mr. Scholtz [sic], Mrs. Gardner, Mr. Marriotts, Mr. G. Roberts, Mrs. Honeywell and 3 children.

September 24. - Electra, ship, 1226 tons, Captain Wegman, for London. Passengers - Mrs. Reynolds, Mr. and Mrs. Tuting, Mr. G. Loder, Mr. G. Rees [sic] . . .

[Advertisement], The Sydney Morning Herald (24 September 1857), 1 

MADAME ANNA BISHOP having intrusted W. J. JOHNSON and CO. with the SALE of her Pianoforte, by "Erard," they beg to inform the Public that it is now on view »t their Repository, 57, Pitt-street, near King-street, price, seventy guineas.

After first Australian tour (1858 to 1868)

"LETTER FROM LIMA", Daily Alta California (21 April 1858), 1 

LIMA, January 13, 1858 . . . MADAME ANNA BISHOP. Of Madame Anna Bishop, who arrived here about the same time [several weeks ago], I cannot tell you as much. She gave several concerts in the theatre, which were but poorly attended. She has not altered in appearance or in voice; she seems to be one of those privileged beings on whose countenances neither time nor adversity leave their merciless traces. I was shown the drawing of a marble monument which she erected in honor of her former teacher and companion Charles Bochsa, Esq. It represents the shattered trunk of a powerful tree, with a harp, with severed strings, attached to one of its maimed limbs, and a female, the allegorical figure of music, with a wreath in her hand, prostrated before it. The pedestal has some simple and very appropriate words. Madame Anna Bishop has gone from here to Valparaiso and Santiago, where I hope she may meet with better success; from thence, it is said, that she intends to return to England. MACK-KAUL.

"MADAME BISHOP", Sacramento Daily Union (1 February 1858), 3 

Madame Anna Bishop arrived in Valparaiso by the steamer on the 5th of December from Peru. She would visit Buenos Ayres.

"European", Sacramento Daily Union (1 May 1858), 7 

A late Liverpool journal mentions the fact that the Lord Mayor of Liverpool [London], at the close of a business meeting at the Mansion House, called the attention of the public to the shockingly destitute condition of the family of the late Sir Henry Bishop. Owing to the death of Sir Henry, five young children were actually suffering from want and his Lordship added that, believing the case would not only interest the benevolent classes, but especially the musical world, he had mentioned it; and any money which might be contributed, he would personally undertake to apply in the way most conducive to the interest of the family. Sir Henry Bishop, it will be remembered, was once the husband of Madam Anna Bishop, the vocalist, well known throughout the world aa the companion and professional tourist of Bochsa, the celebrated harpist. Sir Henry, when the husband of Madam Anna, used to abuse her shamefully; even, it is said, actually descending to the character of a brute, by striking her. Bochsa, then in the zenith of his popularity, saw her, admired her, and finally effected the peculiar relationship which resulted in years of companionship, touring it all over the world together. Bochsa was, twenty years ago, about the handsomest man of his time, and ranked as the highest in the line of his profession. The present children of the late Sir Henry are not those of Madam Anna.

"THE LATE SIR HENRY BISHOP", Northern Times (2 June 1858), 4 

Reprints a letter to the editor of The times (London, from Anna Bishop's brother, Robert Riviere

[News], Daily Alta California (27 October 1858), 1 

Mme. Anna Bishop has finished her South American and Australian operatic tour, and is now in England.

"PERSONAL", Sacramento Daily Union (4 December 1858), 4 

Madame Anna Bishop has arrived in London. She is to give a concert at Oxford, and engagements are pending for her appearance at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham.

[Advertisement], Preston Chronicle [Lancashire, England] (23 October 1858), 1

THEATRE ROYAL. The new National ENGLISH OPERA COMPANY, consisting of the following distinguished artistes: - MISS FANNY HUDDART, MISS DYER, MADAME A. BISHOP, MR. HENRY HAIGH, MR. E. ROSENTHAL, MR. HY. HORNCASTLE, MR. TEMPLE, Conductor and composer, who will preside at the pianoforte, MR. J. H. TULLY, Leader, MR. WELDON And an efficient BAND and CHORUS, Will make their first appearance in Preston on Monday, November 1st, 1858, when will be produced (first and only time), in the English language, Flotow's beautiful Opera of MARTHA, OR THE STATUTE FAIR, now being nightly represented with unparalleled success at the Theatre Royal, Drury-lane. See Times. The chorus will consist of 28 members of the Royal Italian Opera and Her Majesty's Theatre Choirs, 24 of them having been originally engaged in its production at the Royal Italian Opera. On Tuesday, November 2nd, IL TROVATORE! To conclude each evening with a MUSICAL AFTER PIECE . . . Box tickets for the series of six operas, 16s. . . .

"LEICESTER. THEATRE ROYAL", The Era [London] (14 November 1858), 12

On Friday, the 5th inst., Miss Fanny Reeves took her benefit, all parts of the house being well filled. An apology was made at the commencement for Mr. Elliot Galer, who, it appears, was suffering from illness; but being anxious not to disappoint the audience, made an effort to enact his character. As misfortunes seldom come alone, Madame Bishop was labouring under a severe cold, and the opera was with some difficulty got through, but not completed, some of the best songs being left out altogether . . .

13 December 1858, Exeter Hall, London (first public appearance since return)

[News], The Times [London] (14 December 1858); reprinted in "MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Age [Melbourne, VIC] (12 February 1859), 6 

The return of Madame Anna Bishop, after more than ten years wanderings in search of artistic honor and profit, has restored a genuine vocalist to our musical circles. Of such an acquisition the metropolis has long stood in need, and, though Madame Bishop is no longer young, she is merely in the same predicament as Madame Novello, for some time past the only really great English "soprano" to be heard in the London concert rooms, whether as a singer of sacred or of secular music. Madame Bishop has visited the United States, California, Australia, and other remote parts of the globe; and, considering the elements for musical performance and the specimens of musical taste she must have encountered on her travels, it is no little to be able to say of her that she has rather advanced than retrograded in her art. In 1846-7, when she was last heard in this country, every connoisseur recognised in Madame Bishop an accomplished artist, with a voice more remarkable for sweetness and flexibility than for power. Highly finished, too, as was her execution, faultless her intonation, and entirely satisfactory to the most practised ear her manner of phrasing in passages of expression, the dramatic fire was generally admitted wanting, and her otherwise perfect singing thus accused of coldness. Now - or we are much mistaken - the coldness has disappeared, and the dramatic fire once missing usurped its place. The marble statue, praised for its symmetry alone, now breathes the breath of life, and, instead of an ingeniously-contrived mechanical instrument, a creature of flesh and blood - a woman - now utters melodious sounds, recites, declaims, and sings.

It was not from one performance alone that the impressions we have endeavored to describe were due, but to the general effect of Madame Bishop's singing last night upon the audience assembled in Exeter Hall, as upon ourselves. A mistress of her art was undeniably before us, and the oftener she sang the stronger became the conviction that true fueling and expression, which constitute the essence of music, were there, no less than art. The ballad-singing, it must be owned, impressed in the least, although, if put to the task, we should be puzzled how to criticise it, unless with the general charge of being somewhat over-labored. Perhaps the striking inferiority in a musical sense of "Oft in the stilly night" (we, of course, make reservation for the words), and worse, of such a faint gush of sentimentality as the American ballad, "Oh! come again to-morrow" (in which an episode from Mr. Dickens' "Curiosity Shop" has but poorly inspired the composer) to the other pieces comprised in the programme may have been the reason why the ballad singing of Madame Bishop seemed less spontaneous, less irreproachable than the rest. Be that as it may, we were thoroughly pleased with her "Gratius agimus," one of the few things that remain to us of Guglielmi, and good enough to make tho revival of more from the same source worth consideration, with her share in the comic duet, "Quanto Amore!" from Donizetti's "Elisir," and best of all with her "Infelice," into which magnificent inspiration of Mendelssohn she entered heart and soul. In these Madame Bishop's singing, both with respect to style and elocution, was calculated to satisfy the most scrupulous judgment. It was artistic in the highest sense, combining the greatest finish with the most perfect expression. Here, too, the acquisition of strength, roundness, and quality of voice since her last appearance in England was most undeniably evident.

In "Gratias agimus" the clarinet accompaniment of Mr. Lazarus was worthy all praise, and in the duet from "L'Elisir" Signor Bellotti sang the part of Dulcamara with his accustomed fluency and skill. Nothing could be more enthusiastic than the reception accorded to Madame Bishop by the audience, and nothing heartier or more unanimous than their recognition of her merits. She was summoned back to the platform amid acclamations after every piece, and, in obedience to universal demand, repeated the ballad of "Oft in the stilly night." Her success, in short, was as complete as could have been desired by the warmest partisans of her talent.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", Morning Advertiser (14 December 1858), 3

After an absence from England of some years, Madame Anna Bishop presented herself before a London audience last evening at Exeter-hall . . . in a new ballad, composed expressly for her Charles Packer, entitled "Oh, come again to-morrow," written upon the episode of Little Nell and her grandfather, in Dickens's Old Curiosity Shop, she again displayed so much truthfulness, delicacy, and judgment as a ballad singer, as to make it evident that she had the greatest possible command over her voice, and that she could adapt it at will to every phase of the vocal art . . .

"MADAME BISHOP'S CONCERT AT EXETER HALL", Morning Chronicle (14 December 1858), 4

Madame Anna Bishop, who has recently returned from an extended muisical tour, gave a grand concert at Exeter-hall last evening, making her first appearance in the metropolis for a considerable period. Madame Bishop's still-remembered popularity drew an audience which filled, though it did not crowd, the principal room. A concert overture, which commenced the programme, by G. Loder, led by the composer, was full of force and spirit, and had a corresponding effect on the audience. Madame Bishop, who was welcomed most enthusiastically, then sang the "Gratias agimus" of Guglielmi, with a clarionet accompaniment by Mr Lazarus. At first starting she evidently suffered from a nervousness which affected her execucution, but entirely recovering before the termination of the aria, she created a most unmistakeable impression. Ricci's aria of "Solla-poppa," sung by Belletti, succeeded; and was followed by Weber's "Concert Stuck," the pianoforte part by Miss Goddard. Madame Bishop then rendered Moore's ballad of "Oft in the stilly night" with great taste and expression, and subsequently a new ballad, "Oh come again to-morrow," the words by Lovell, the author of the "Wife's Secret," the music being expressly composed for her by Charles Packer. In this she was most happy, and I at once established herself in her old position in public favour. The programme was varied by a selection from "The Huguenots," played by the Flugel Horn Union, and an air varie de Vieuxtemps, played with such wonderlul precision and rapid execution by M. Wieniawski, as to elicit a tumultuous encore, when, in obedience to the vociferous demands of the audience, he accomplished that piece de resistance of all violinists, "The Carnaval de Venise."

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", The Musical World (18 December 1858), 804

After an absence of ten years Madame Anna Bishop has returned to the country of her birth, the scene of her early artistic successes, and with laudable ambition has at once placed herself before the tribunal of public opinion. "Am I," she might inwardly have speculated before the numerous audience assembled on Monday night, in Exeter Hall, to welcome her, "Am I much changed since I last sang before you - have I retrograded, or have I advanced as a proficient in my art? In both cases the response, had the interrogation been audibly tendered, would have been decidedly favourable. Mad. Anna Bishop, if changed, is changed for the better, being now stout and buxom, while retaining all those attractions of physiognomy that used to lend a charm to her slender personal exterior . As an artist she must also be congratulated, for besides the perfect justness of intonation, agreeable quality of tone, fluency and uniform correctness of execution for which she was deservedly renowned from the first, her voice has considerably gained in force, her style in expression and what may be termed dramatic vigour.

Mad. Bishop's reception on Monday night was enthusiastic beyond measure; and her performance in the old-fashioned sacred bravura of Guglielmi (a contemporary of Mozart's) entitled "Gratias agimus tibi," with clarinet obbligato (Mr. Lazarus), was so irreproachable as at once and unequivocally to entitle her to the highest honours. Later in the evening, the fire and passion she infused into Mendelssohn's superb "concert scena" known in Italian as Infelice, showed her equally at home in another and a nobler school. A duet from Donizetti's Elisir d'Amore (with Signor Belletti), with a couple of sentimental ballads, "Oft in the stilly night," and a ballad about Mr. Dickens's "Little Nell," not quite up to the calibre of Thomas Moore, were Mad. Bishop's other contributions to the programme. In every piece she was successful, her ballad singing being quite on a par with her bravura, and with her more serious exertions in the fine composition of Mendelssohn. She was recalled after each performance, and enthusiastically encored after "Oft in the stilly night." In short, our great harmonic societies, sacred and secular, and it may be surmised our lyric stage, have now at command a new singer, thoroughly efficient and more than ordinarily endowed - an artist at all points, equal to any emergency, and exactly suited to fill up the gap which has so long yawned in the terra firma of metropolitan musical entertainments. Madame Clara Novello has found an honourable competitor in the concert room, and Miss Louisa Pyne on the operatic boards.

The concert was otherwise rich in attractions, although the members of the orchestra were at fault all the evening, and even in Weber's familiar Concert-stück played so badly, so out of time and out of tune, that had not the pianist been the accomplished Miss Arabella Goddard, whose executive proficiency is so great that nothing can wholly disconcert her, it is doubtful whether they would have got to the end of it. Happily the audience were not over-critical, and Miss Goddard was loudly recalled at the termination of the performance; while in her solo "Home, sweet home," where she had no such antagonist elements to fight against, she took what our friends on the other side of the Channel term une éclante révanche, playing with such exquisite refinement and such dazzling brilliancy of finger as fairly enraptured the audience, who recalled her with acclamations and compelled her to repeat the whole. Another interesting feature was the masterly performance by M. Wieniawski (from M. Jullien's concerts) of a solo by Vieuxtemps. This being unanimously redemanded, the great Polish violinist introduced the popular Carnaval, in which the well-known variation in harmonics was, as usual, encored. Mr. and Mrs. Weiss and Signor Belletti swelled the list of vocalists, and the Italian artist was deservedly recalled, after Ricci's air. "Sulla poppa del mio brik," which he gave with genuine spirit, and repeated with increased effect. 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 Frieschütz, &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 - the less said the better."

[The other morning papers are agreed with the Herald as to the merits of Madame Anna Bishop, but at issue with regard to those of Mr. George Loder's overture, which they pronounce extremely clever, and which we were not fortunate enough to hear. - Ed. M. W.]

"Madame Anna Bishop's Concert", The Era [London] (19 December 1858), 10

The return of this celebrated vocalist to her native country, after a long locomotive absence in the remoter regions of the world, is likely to be an event of considerable importance in our circles, inasmuch as the ten or eleven years which have elapsed since the lady in question appeared in the metropolis have produced those fruits which could only come of indefatigable physical cultivation and wide experience. It is not often that so marked an improvement is visible in the case of an artist who reappears after a prolonged secession from the public eye. Madame Anna Bishop may now unquestionably take rank with the greatest singers of the day. The faults which were apparent during the earlier period of her career no longer exist, while she has acquired a largeness and felicity of expression which denotes the full possession of an intelligent and highly dramatic instinct.

The concert of Madame Bishop took place last Monday at Exeter Hall, and the success which she achieved was beyond doubt or question. Her personal aspect will not have been forgotten by the frequenters of the theatre and the concert room in the year 1847. The slight elegantly formed brunette now assumes the dimensions of the matured woman, the deteriorations that usually attend a life of occupation in many climates being but lightly imprinted upon her handsome face. She was received with all the welcome due to English artist who had earned the best honours that America and our most prosperous antipodean colonies had to bestow. The specimens which she gave of her present powers were sufficiently comprehensive, inasmuch as they embraced Cherubini's [sic] once famous "Gratias agimus," Moore's' Oft in the stilly night," Mendelssohn's fine scena "Infelice," the comic duet from the Elisir, "Quanto amore," and a ballad or two. The air by Cherubini, the floride divisions of which tax the mechanical proficiency of the singer to the utmost, and the lively duet by Donizetti displayed not only the force and variety of her executancy, but the truth and beauty of the vocal organ. While more highly finished, or natural excellencies more winning and prepossessing, could not possibly be met with, and the audience freely appreciated the consummate merits of the one and the physical charm of the other. In the scena, by Mendelssohn, her dramatic talents were brought into play, and the breadth and vigour of her declamation were no less remarkable than the spirit and appropriateness of her conception. This performance was probably the most effective that she undertook - effective in the best sense of the word, because it dealt with music of the noblest character in a style commensurate with the grandeur and nobility of the theme. After these exploits the delivery of the two ballads scarcely requires notice; but it is due to Madame Anna Bishop to say that into these bagatelles she infused the proper amount of feeling, and that without artifice or exaggeration. Altogether, Madame Bishop completely won the hearts of those among the spectators who had not heard her before, and strengthened those who had in their former good and complimentary opinions.

The concert, which was conducted by Mr. G. Loder, contained other attractive features . . .

1858 - Marriages solemnized at St. Pancras's Church in the parish of St. Pancras in the county of Middlesex; Camden, St. Pancras, marriage register 1857-59, page 77; London Metropolitan Archives

[No.] 154 / Dec 20 [1858] / Martin Schultz, full [age], Bachelor, Merchant, [residence] St. Pancras, [father] David Schultz, dead;
Anne Bishop, full, Widow, - , [St. Pancras], David Valentine Riviere, dead / . . . in the presence of Robt. Riviere, Eliza Riviere

"MR. STIMPSON'S CONCERT", Aris's Birmingham Gazette (3 January 1859), 3

lt is very rarely the case that M. Jullien visits us without drawing very full attendance . . . The Concert of Thursday evening last was only another proof of the great attractive power of his name . . . Madame A. Bishop, in her singing of the aria of Guglielmi [Gratias agiumus], gave proof that she had not lost her cleverness in dealing with mere management of the voice or of the more telling parts of the composition, which is of a very florid character; but although her singing was distinguished for its tact and cleverness, it was not really artistic, her voice being evidently much worn since the time she was last England . . . Packer's ballad, "Oh, come again tomorrow," which, although in the extremely sentimental style, is nevertheless distinguished containing some rather effective melody, was sung in so pleasing manner by Madame Bishop that at its termination, in obedience to an encore she sang "Home, sweet home," with considerable expression. This song would have been more effective had she infused into its execution a little more grace of manner . . .

"EXETER HALL - MADAME ANNA BISHOP'S CONCERT", The Illustrated Magazine (25 January 1859), 52

"THEATRE", Preston Chronicle [Lancashire, England] (22 January 1859), 4

On Thursday and last evenings, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mathews appeared at our Theatre . . . To-night Mr. and Mrs. Mathews take their benefit. On Tuesday next, Jullien's band will appear at the Theatre, assisted by Madame A. Bishop and Sig. Wienawski [sic].

"MADE. ANNA BISHOP", The players: a dramatic, musical and literary journal [London] (3 November 1860), 137-38 

Second and third Australian tours

"ARRIVALS", The South Australian Advertiser (13 May 1868), 2

"CLEARANCES", Empire (17 December 1868), 2

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", South Australian Register (17 April 1869), 2

Since her visit to the colony [South Australia] in June last, Madame Bishop has visited Melbourne, Sandhurst, Echuca, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Kyneton, Geelong, Ballarat, Sydney, Newcastle, Maitland, Brisbane, Ipswich, Auckland, Nelson, Christ Church, Lyttelton, Dunedin, Launceston, Hobart Town, and back again to Melbourne.

"MAIL STEAMER", South Australian Register (24 May 1869), 2


[News], Empire (10 November 1874), 2

"DEPARTURES", The Sydney Morning Herald (9 August 1875), 4

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Mercury (14 August 1875), 2

Anna Bishop's death (18 March 1884) and obituaries

"DEATH OF MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Sydney Morning Herald (3 May 1884), 6

The death of Madame Anna Bishop was recently announced in a telegram from New York. She was (says the Times [London]) an English vocalist of world wide celebrity in her day, though almost forgotten by the present generation. She was the daughter of a Mr. Riviere, an artist, and was born in London in 1815. Early in life she evinced musical taste, and entered the Royal Academy of Music, where she soon distinguished herself. In 1831 she became the second wife of Sir Henry Rowley Bishop, the musical composer. Madame Bishop quickly obtained a prominent position as a vocalist, though she had at first intended to devote her attention to instrumental music. She sang at Vauxhall, and at the so-called "oratorios" during Lent at the theatres, of which her husband undertook the speculation for some successive seasons, and she was before long engaged at all the most important concerts in and out of London. In 1838 she sang as prima donna at the Philharmonic concerts, and at the great musical festivals given in the cathedral towns of Gloucester, Worcester, York, and Hereford. At first she had chiefly sung the productions of Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven; but eventually devoting herself to the Italian school of music, she appeared at the Royal Italian Opera-house at a concort given there. Her first first Continental visit was to Copenhagen in 1839, and in 1840 she visited Stockholm, where, notwithstanding the presence of Jenny Lind, Madame Bishop created a complete furore. She next visited St. Petersburg, where she achieved an equal success. Proceeding southwards, she afterwards appeared at Novgorod, at Kasan in Turkey (where she sang in the Tartar language), at Odessa, and eventually reaching Vienna added still further to her laurels. Returning home through various German cities, she sang at Munich. In 1843 she visited Italy, and sang at Florence, Venice, &c., becoming prima donna at Naples, at the Theatre of San Carlo. At Rome she undertook the roles of Amina in "La Sonnambula," and of Lucia in "Lucia di Lammermoor," and in the Eternal City, as also at Palermo, she was received with the greatest enthusiasm. She afterwards appeared at several concerts in England, and in 1846 visited the New World, travelling in the United States, Mexico, and California. In 1853 [sic, recte 1855] she left San Francisco for Sydney, and appeared also at Melbourne and Adelaide. South America was her next destination [sic], and after singing at Valparaiso and other places she returned to England in 1858. Having then sung at various concerts in this country she gave her farewell one on the 17th of August, 1859, and shortly afterwards sailed for America. Sir Henry Bishop, her first husband, died in 1855, and she married, secondly, Mr. Schulz, of New York. Madame Bishop twice [sic, thrice] visited Australia.

"MADAME ANNA BISHOP", The Argus (3 May 1884), 10

Madame Anna Bishop, one of the first soprano singers of her day, has died in New York at the age of 70. She was born in London the year before the battle of Waterloo, and was educated for the musical profession long before it was discovered that she possessed a voice of exceptional power, sweetness, and flexibility. Entered at an early age in the Royal Academy of Music, she soon became a skilful pianiste and was placed under the tutorship of Moscheles, who was then at the height of his reputation. He discovered that her organ was a pure and expressive soprano sfogato, and under his care it was cultivated and developed so as to qualify her to appear in public. She did so with so much success that she was engaged for the Ancient and Philharmonic concerts, and at the musical festivals of Gloucester, Worcester, York, and Hereford. The Italian school of music next fascinated her, and in the month of July, 1839, she appeared at Her Majesty's Theatre in company with Grisi, Viardot, Garcia, and Persiani, Rubini, Tamburini and Lablache, Thalberg and Dohler presiding at the piano, and Bochsa being the harpist on the occasion. In the midst of these splendid vocalists and performers the young Englishwoman achieved a decided success. Previously to this we should have mentioned that at the age of 17 Miss Riviere - for this was her maiden name - had given her hand to Mr., afterwards Sir Henry, Bishop. Enough to say that he was 32 years her senior, and that the match proved to be an uncongenial one.

After having established her position in her native land Madame Anna Bishop made a professional tour through Europe and sang in the principal cities of Scandinavia, Russia, Moldavia, Hungary, and Bavaria. Gifted with a handsome face and figure, and a most charming manner, in addition to her vocal qualifications, she became a general favourite wherever she went, and her linguistic accomplishments enabled her to sing the ballads of every country she visited. She held her own at Stockholm, in competition with Jenny Lind, whose wonderful voice had just reached its highest stage of perfection, and she left the Danish and Swedish capitals with many substantial tokens of royal and popular favour. At St. Petersburg during the greater part of 1840 and 1841, she excited a complete furore, the Czar presented her with a magnificent set of diamonds, and in Moscow she performed the extraordinary feat of sustaining the character of Alice in "Robert the Devil" in the Russian language. Subsequently at Kasan, the capital of Tartary, she won the hearts of all her hearers by singing the national airs of the country in the native dialect. In Vienna she brought her lengthened engagements to a close by giving the two first acts of "Lucrezia Borgia" in the German language. After a number of concerts in Hungary, Germany, and Bavaria she visited the principal cities of Italy, where her success was so pronounced that she was engaged for two years as prima donna assoluta at San Carlo, where she sang 327 times in 24 operas. From Naples she proceeded to Rome, where her Amina and Lucia were immensely popular. So much so, that one night in the latter character she was recalled before the curtain 23 times. On her way back to England she gave a series of concerts in Switzerland and Belgium, and after spending the musical season in the mother country she crossed the Atlantic in 1847, and sang with her customary success in the United States and Mexico.

From California she made the transit of the Pacific to Australia. This was in 1855, when her voice was still in the plenitude of its power and sweetness, and old playgoers will remember the charm of her ballad singing in Coppin's Olympic, as well as the operas in which she appeared at the Princess's theatre with Laglaise, Coulon, Barre, and Sara Flower.

From this city she set sail for Lima [sic], gave operatic performances in that city, in Valparaiso, and in Santiago. Thence, with masculine courage, she crossed the Andes and the Great Pampas, occupying a fortnight in the hazardous journey, and appeared as fresh as ever in Pavana [sic], Buenos Ayres, Montevideo, and Rio de Janeiro. She arrived in England in the month of September, 1858, and made the tour of the country in company with Jullien. At the Crystal Palace she sang Rossini's "Stabat Mater" in the presence of 38,000 people and gave a farewell performance at the Savoy Music hall in August, 1859; after which she paid a second visit to the United States where she remained for seven years. During that time she gave concerts, as well as operatic performances, in all parts of the continent, including Canada and Mexico.

As steam communication had been established between San Francisco and Honolulu, she determined on visiting the Sandwich Islands, where she met with a cordial reception and on the 18th of February, 1866, Madame Anna Bishop, Mr. Schultz (to whom she had been previously married), and Mr. Lascelles, whom many of our readers will remember as a clever buffo singer, and a still more clever caricaturist, sailed for Hong Kong in the bark Libelle. A fortnight afterwards the vessel was wrecked on a desolate and waterless coral island. Here the passengers and crew, 22 in number, remained for three weeks, and then they embarked in a boat for the Ladrone Islands, a distance of 1,400 miles, with a scanty stock of food and a short supply of water. After 13 days of exposure to a blistering sun and tropical rains, the gallant navigators were fortunate enough to reach their destination, although with the loss of everything they possessed. They remained for three months at Guahan before they could get away to Manila, where Madame Bishop gave some concerts with unvarying success, and thence proceeded to Amoy, Foochow, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In each of these places as subsequently in Calcutta, Jummalpore, Dinapore. Allahabad, Cawnpore, Lucknow, Agra, Delhi, Lahore, Simla, Jubbulpore, Nugpore, Bombay, Bangalorw, Madras, and Ceylon, the evergreen vocalist was greeted with the applause of crowded audiences, and with special marks of favour from the Viceroy of India, the governors of the provinces, and the native rajahs in some of the more important of these cities, one baboo presenting her with a thousand rupees, and others with valuable presents of jewellery.

Madame Anna Bishop next paid a second [sic] visit to these colonies. She was approaching 00 years of age, and her voice, although worn, still retained much of its original sweetness and resonance. Time had dealt very leniently with her person, and those who had heard her in 1855-6 were pleased to renew their acquaintance with one who had given them such unqualified delight in those early years, when Melbourne Punch depicted the occupants of the dress circle at the Olympic as "drowning the world with plenteous tears," while listening to her almost incomparable singing of "Home, sweet home."

On her return to the United States, she engaged in teaching. Her great earnings as a vocalist seemed to have melted away in her wanderings over the globe, but her elastic spirits and hopeful nature were never permanently depressed by adverse fortune. She had seen so much and mixed with all manner of people, from emperors and kings on the real theatre of life to scene shifters and prompters on the mimic stage, that her mind was a storehouse of remarkable experiences and her memory a picture gallery filled with the living images of distinguished personages. She was devoid of pretension, frank, cordial, genial, and sympathetic. Upon the boards in the zenith of her powers, she was a true artiste. In private she was a delightful companion, full of anecdote, shrewd in her observations of life and character, and generous in her appreciation of the talents displayed by her professional sisters and brethren. Her nomadic life had rendered her cosmopolitan in her tastes, habits, and feelings. Her bright, engaging, natural manner made her friends wherever she went, quite irrespective of her special gifts, and to be admitted to her friendship was to secure a permanent place in her esteem. Few vocalists have had a longer or a more brilliant career, and it is not more than eight years ago that she made her last appearance as a singer before an English audience.

The cause of her death is stated to have been an attack of apoplexy. One of her nieces, the wife of Professor Halford, is resident in this colony.

ASSOCIATIONS: Louisa Millar Halford (niece)

Musical editions
American editions of music performed in Australia 1855-57

On the banks of Guadalquiver, Lavenu (New York, 1847)

On the banks of Guadalquiver ([Lavenu, from Loretta], insertion aria in Linda di Chamounix)

The banks of the Guadalquiver composed by L. Lavenu, as sung by Mrs. Bishop, in the opera of Linda di Chamounix (New York: Atwill, [16 August 1847]) (DIGITISED)

On the banks of Guadalquiver with recitative (Ah! when I came), the favorite ballad, as sung by Madame Anna Bishop in Linda di Chamounix, the only correct edition, edited by N. C. Bochsa (New York: Firth, Hall & Pond, [25 August 1847]) (DIGITISED)

La sfogato, medley overture (Bochsa)

The celebrated medley overture to La sfogato introducing the most popular and celebrated airs, sung by Madame Anna Bishop, composed and arranged for two performer on the piano forte by N. C. Bochsa (Philadelphia: A. Fiot, [1849]) (DIGITISED)

Je suis la bayadere, French, arr. Bochsa (New York, 1848)

Je suis la bayadere (French, arr. Bochsa)

I am the bayadere, the celebrated tamborine song . . . composed by N. C. Bochsa (New York: Firth, Pond & Co., [1848]) (DIGITISED)

I am the bayadere (Je suis la bayadere), the tamborine song, with French and English words, sung by Madame Bishop, arranged & adapted by N. C. Bochsa, fifth edition (New York: Firth, Pond & Co., [1848]) (DIGITISED)

La pasadita, Mexican, arr. Bochsa (Philadelphia, 1850)

La pasadita (Mexican, arr. Bochsa)

La pasadita, a satirical Mexican song, as sung with rapturous applause by Madame Anna Bishop, in the cities of Mexico, with English words adapted (Philadelphia: A. Fiot, [1850]) (DIGITISED)

Other US editions (Bochsa and Bishop):

Library of Congress search: 

Levy Sheet Music Collection, Johns Hopkins:

Other Bochsa editions:,_Nicholas_Charles 

Australian editions (1855-57)

Katty Darling (after Bellini) (Sydney, 1855)

The Irish peasant girl (Walter Bonwick) (Melbourne, 1856)

The last rose of summer (Moore and Stevenson) (Sydney, 1856)

Oft in the stilly night (Moore and Stevenson) (Sydney, 1856)

Take back the ring, dear Jamie (by Stephen Massett) (Sydney, 1857)

When the moon on the lake is beaming (by Stephen Massett) (Sydney, 1857)

Little Nell (by Charles Packer) (Sydney, 1857)

Bibliography and resources

Sainsbury 1824

"BOCHSA", in John Sainsbury (ed.), A dictionary of musicians from the earliest ages to the present time . . . vol. 1 (London: printed for Sainsbury and Co., 1824), 102-03 (DIGITISED)

Bishop 1852

Travels of Anna Bishop in Mexico, 1849 (Philadelphia: Charles Deal, 1852) (DIGITISED)

Walford 1862

"Bishop, Lady Anna", in Edward Walford, Men of the time: a biographical dictionary of eminent living characters (including women) (London: Routledge, Warne, & Routledge, 1862), 71-72 (DIGITISED)

Squire 1886

William Barclay Squire, "Bishop, Ann", Dictionary of national biography (1885-1900), volume 5 (1886), 89-90,_Ann_(DNB00) (DIGITISED)

Brewer 1893

Francis Campbell Brewer, The drama and music in New South Wales, published by authority of the New South Wales Commissioners for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893 (Sydney: Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1892), 61, 70 (DIGITISED)

[61] . . . Madame Anna Bishop, once cantatrice at La Scala, and who had acquired a reputation in Europe, arrived in Sydney in 1855, and was accompanied by another celebrated musician, the Chevalier Bochsa. This renowned harpist and composer was, on his arrival, suffering from dropsy, and, though he took his place in the orchestra in the Prince of Wales Theatre on the first night of Madame Bishop's appearance, and on three other occasions (when he had to be carried in), his death occurred at the Royal Hotel a few weeks after his arrival. His remains are interred in the Newtown Cemetery, over which Madame Bishop placed a monument, surmounted by a harp with broken strings. A few days before his death Bochsa composed a requiem, which was sung at his funeral. Madame Bishop's debut in Sydney took place at a concert given in the Prince of Wales Theatre on the 16th August, 1855 [sic]. Public enthusiasm had been so exhausted over Catherine Hayes that there was apparently little left to bestow on her rival, and the house, though well filled, was not by any means crowded; the welcome accorded her was, however, genuine and spontaneous. As a singer of ballads, particularly of the Irish and Scotch plaintive class, Madame Bishop was not equal to Kate Hayes; but, as an operatic artiste and a musician Bishop was far her superior; during the first visit of the latter to Sydney she did much for the advancement of colonial taste in music. Her stay in the colonies extended to two years; she introduced several operas, new to Australia, during her sojourn, "Lucrezia Borgia," "Martha," and "Linda di Chamouni" being among the number. Her "Norma" has never been equalled; the only approach to her in this character was Barratti, who certainly gave a fine rendering of the part. It was fortunate for Madame Bishop that in scenes selected from opera, given during her first season, she had the support of a very good tenor, M. Laglaise, and afterwards of an English opera company, through whom she was able to produce full opera. Laglaise was a "French tenor," a quality distinct from Italian or English, being more demonstrative than melodious. This artiste did not remain long in the colonies; he returned to Paris and secured an engagement at the Opera House there for second parts . . .

[70] . . . Madame Anna Bishop returned to Sydney in 1868, and began a series of concerts at the School of Arts on September 21, and on October 13 re-opened at the Opera House as "Norma" . . .

Willard and Livermore 1893

"Bishop, Anna", in Frances E. Willard and Mary A. Livermore (eds), Women of the century, fourteen hundred-seventy biographical sketches . . . of leading American women in all walks of life (Buffalo: Charles Wells Moulton, 1893), 85 (DIGITISED)

Pougin 1907

Arthur Pougin, "Un musicien voleur, faussaire et bigame", Le ménestral 73 (19 January 1907), 19-20, and as follows: (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

(2 February 1907), 36-37 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

(9 February 1907), 44 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

(16 February 1907), 52-53 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

(23 February 1907), 59-61 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

(2 March 1907), 67-68 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

(9 March 1907), 75-76 (DIGITISED) (DIGITISED)

Walker 1962

Frank Walker, The man Verdi (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962), 135-41 (DIGITISED)

Lea-Scarlett 1969

E. J. Lea-Scarlett, "Bochsa, Robert Nicholas Charles (1789-1856)", Australian dictionary of biography 3 (1969)

Davis 1997

Richard Davis, Anna Bishop: the intrepid prima donna (Sydney: Currency Press, 1997)

Gyger 1999

Gyger 1999, Civilising the colonies 

Langley 2000

Leanne Langley, "Sainsbury's Dictionary, the Royal Academy of Music, and the rhetoric of patriotism", in Christina Bashford and Leanne Langley (eds), Music and British culture, 1785-1914: essays in honor of Cyril Ehrlich (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 65-94 (PREVIEW) 

Faul 2003

Michel Faul, Nicolas-Charles Bochsa, harpiste, compositeur, escroc (Sampzon: Editions Delatour, 2003) 

Faul 2006

Michel Faul, Les tribulations mexicaines de Nicolas-Charles Bochsa, harpiste: conteées par son secrétaire (juin 1849 - mai 1850) (Sampzon: Editions Delatour, 2006) 

Agati 2009

Luke Agati, "A far-famed cantatrice tours Tasmania: Anna Bishop in concert in 1857", Papers and proceedings, Tasmanian Historical Research Association 56/3 (December 2009), 191-206;dn=547836230167348;res=IELAPA (PAYWALL)

Skinner 2011

Graeme Skinner, Toward a general history of Australian musical composition: first national music, 1788-c. 1860 (Ph.D thesis, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, 2011), passim, esp. 338-39 (DIGITISED)

Hallo 2014

Rosemary Margaret Hallo, Erard, Bochsa and their impact on harp music-making in Australia (1830-1866): an early history from documents (Ph.D thesis, University of Adelaide, 2014) (DIGITISED)

"Anna Bishop", Wikipedia 

"Nicolas-Charles Bochsa", Wikipedia 

W. B. Squire, revised by J. Gilliland, "Bishop [née Riviere], Anna (1810-1884)", Dictionary of national biography online (PAYWALL)

Nicholas Temperley, "Bishop [née Riviere], Anna (1810-1884)", Oxford music online (PAYWALL)

Other references

Edward Vaughan Kenealy, The trial at bar of Sir Roger C. D. Tichborne, Bart., in the Court of Queen's Bench at Westminster . . . for perjury, commencing Wednesday, April 23, 1873, and ending Saturday, February 28, 1874, volume 8 (London: "Englishman" office, 1880), 806

22, Queen-street, City, E.C., London, 7th August 1870. - SIR - REGINA v. CASTRO (TICHBORNE) - As supplementary to my letter to you of the 2nd Inst., I beg now to send you the statements of Messrs. MARTIN SCHULTZ, and BARTHOLOMEW REES, corroborating the fact that in 1855 Captain BARRY did come from San Francisco to Sydney with a Red Indian boy . . .

Robert Edmund Graves, "Riviere, Henry Parsons", Dictionary of national biography (1885-1900), volume 48, 334,_Henry_Parsons_(DNB00) (DIGITISED)

William Younger Fletcher, "Riviere, Robert", Dictionary of national biography (1885-1900), volume 48, 334-35,_Robert_(DNB00) (DIGITISED)

Robert Edmund Graves, "Riviere, William, Dictionary of national biography (1885-1900), volume 48, 335,_William_(DNB00) (DIGITISED)

"Charles Bochsa (17..?-1821)", 

"Charles (Karl) Bochsa", Wikipedia (de) 

"Robert Riviere", Wikipedia 

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2020