A 247th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
We start where we left off in Garland 246 with some
lesser-known figures from the English musical stage. John Storer,
who was brought up in Scarborough (Yorks), composed two comic operas,
The Punch Bowl, or The Royal Brew (1888) and Gretna Green
(1888). The former was toured provincially, the latter reached the Opera
Comique, but only for 16 outings.
Even at that period women composers from time to time
had opportunities on the musical stage. I know little about Jennie
Franklin, apart from the mere existence of her musical Cissy,
also entitled Love’s Devotion, toured in 1890. The other two
ladies in this paragraph both had a serious music background. Popsie
Rowe, a descendant of Sir George Smart and sometime pupil of Sir
Julius Benedict, the composer of The Lily of Killarney, write
the score for the "romantic comedy opera" Jackeydora, or
The Last Witch, which was reasonably successful when it was toured
in 1890. And Julia Woolf, born in 1835, a one-time Royal Academy
student who had previously confined herself to composing chamber music,
piano solos and an overture to Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale,
earned reasonable success in a lighter sphere when her Carina, or
Twelve o’Clock ran for 116 performances at the Opera Comique in
1888. But she did not return to the stage.
Coming more up to date for our last name we remember
the violinist Jack Rothstein (1925-2001) who played in, amongst
other, the Boyd Neel Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Northern Sinfonia
and The Academy of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, as well as various salon
orchestras not to mention playing for many years for TV’s The Last
of the Summer Wine. His compositions included music for the TV serial
The House of Eliot.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.