Sunday, 2 May 2010

Sir Arthur Sullivan Arrives in New York

I recently found this clipping from the New York Times: it makes an interesting little vignette.
As the little steamer Pomona was made fast at the Barge Office yesterday, preparatory to landing the passengers of the Cunard steamer Etruria, a dark little gentleman, whose chubby cheek supported an eyeglass, stepped hastily across the gangplank, deposited a small satchel under the letter S., muttered as few words to a lanky youth in grey, who was evidently a valet, and was lost in the crowd to be seen no more. This was the passenger whose name on the passenger list was set down as Mr. A. Seymour. It was in reality Sir Arthur Sullivan, the popular composer of Pinafore and Patience. Sir Arthur preferred adopting the name of Seymour instead of his natal surname, Sullivan as he wished to escape any manifestoes or welcomes.
“Guess he thought we was all a-going to join and sing him a piece from Pinafore, said one of the Custom House officers to the lanky youth in grey who was left in charge of Sir Arthur’s baggage, which bore the composer’s name in large letters.
Sir Arthur went immediately to a private address in this city where he will stay for two days, after which he will leave for California, returning here after a short stay on the Pacific coast. Just before the departure of the Etruria for America, the London Daily Telegraph published a statement to the effect that Sir Arthur Sullivan was crossing the Atlantic to superintend the rehearsals of the Mikado here. Sir Arthur wrote very promptly to the paper, denying that such was the case, and even stating that it was not his intention to sail until September, immediately after which he sailed.

The New York Times 30 June 1885 (with minor edits)

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