Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)


Lily Elsie’s biggest success came in creating the title role in the English-language version of The Merry Widow in the London production. Edwardes took Elsie to see the original German version (Die Lustige Witwe) in Berlin. Elsie was at first reluctant to take on the demanding part, thinking her voice too light for the role, but Edwardes persuaded her to accept. Edwardes brought her to see the famous designer, Lucile, for a style coaching. Lucile later wrote, “I realised that here was a girl who had both beauty and intelligence but who had never learnt how to make the best of herself. So shy and diffident was she in those days that a less astute producer than George Edwardes would in all probability have passed her over and left her in the chorus.” The production, with English lyrics by Adrian Ross, opened in June 1907 and ran for 778 performances at Daly’s Theatre. Elsie created the role at Daly’s and toured with it beginning in August 1908. The show was an enormous success for its creators and made Elsie a major star. One critic at the opening night praised “the youthfulness, the dainty charm and grace, the prettiness and the exquisite dancing with which Miss Elsie invests the part. I share the opinion of most of the first-nighters, who considered it could not have been in better hands, and could not have been better handled. The night was a genuine triumph for Miss Elsie, and she well deserved all the calls she received.”

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)

Vintage: Portrait of Miss Lily Elsie (1900s and 1910s)


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