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Cellier, Alfred

Cellier, Alfred

Cellier, Alfred, English conductor and composer; b. London, Dec. 1, 1844; d. there, Dec. 28, 1891. He was a chorister at London’s Chapel Royal and a student of Thomas Helmore. After working as a church and concert organist, he went to Belfast in 1866 as conductor of the Phil. He had his first success as a composer with his operetta Charity Begins at Home (London, Feb. 7, 1872). Following a period as music director at London’s Court Theatre, he held that position at Manchester’s Prince’s Theatre (1871–75), where he brought out his successful comic opera The Sultan of Mocha (Nov. 16, 1874). Returning to London, he composed for various theaters and in 1877 he became a conductor at the Opéra Comique. From 1878 he conducted Richard D’Oyley Carte’s company in performances throughout England, the U.S., and Australia. His own success as a composer culminated in his comic opera Dorothy (London, Sept. 25, 1886), which scored the longest run on the 19th century British musical stage. Its song Queen of My Heart was the popular favorite for years.


DRAMATIC (all 1st perf. in London unless otherwise given): Charity Begins at Home, operetta (Feb. 7, 1872); Dora’s Dream, operetta (July 3, 1873); Topsyturveydom (March 21, 1874); The Sultan of Mocha, comic opera (Manchester, Nov. 16, 1874; rev. version, London, Sept. 21, 1887); Tower of London, comic opera (Manchester, Oct. 4, 1875; rev. as Doris, London, April 20, 1889); Nell Gwynne, opera (Manchester, Oct. 17, 1876; rev. as Dorothy, London, Sept. 25, 1886); 2 Foster Brothers, operetta (March 12, 1877); The Spectre Knight, operetta (Feb. 9, 1878); Belladonna, or The Little Beauty and the Great Beast, opera (Manchester, April 27, 1878); After All, vaudeville (Dec. 23, 1878); In the Sulks, vaudeville (Feb. 21, 1880); The Masque of Pandora (Boston, Jan. 10, 1881); Too Soon (N.Y., Feb. 18, 1883); The Carp (Feb. 13, 1886); Mrs. Jarramie’s Genie, operetta (Feb. 14, 1888; in collaboration with F. Cellier); The Mountebanks, comic opera (Jan. 4, 1892; completed by I. Caryll); incidental music.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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