15 Facts About Alfred Cellier


Alfred Cellier was an English composer, orchestrator and conductor.

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Alfred Cellier composed over a dozen operas and other works for the theatre, as well as for orchestra, but his 1886 comic opera, Dorothy, was by far his most successful work.

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Alfred Cellier was born in South Hackney, London, the second child and eldest son of Arsene Alfred Cellier, a language teacher from France, and his wife Mary Ann Peterine, formerly Peacock, nee Thomsett.

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In January 1871, Alfred Cellier became the first conductor and music director at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

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Alfred Cellier wrote numerous separate songs and composed for orchestra and the piano; his Danse pompadour achieved particular popularity.

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In December 1877 Alfred Cellier joined the D'Oyly Carte company as musical director at the Opera Comique in London.

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Alfred Cellier was conducting the performance of Pinafore during which the partners of The Comedy Opera Company attempted to repossess the set, and he was noted for his attempts to calm the audience during the fracas.

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Alfred Cellier prepared the overture to Pirates using Sullivan's music from the rest of the score.

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Alfred Cellier returned to America later that year as music director of D'Oyly Carte's New York and touring productions of Billee Taylor, Les Manteaux Noirs and Rip Van Winkle, and Iolanthe, for the latter of which he prepared the New York overture.

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In 1883, Alfred Cellier's setting of Gray's Elegy, in the form of a cantata, was produced at the Leeds music festival.

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In 1883, Alfred Cellier left the D'Oyly Carte company, but he was back for brief periods as music director with D'Oyly Carte's touring companies for Princess Ida and The Mikado .

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In 1885, Alfred Cellier composed a song, "There once was a time, my darling", for a piece produced by George Edwardes, Little Jack Sheppard .

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Alfred Cellier returned to Australia in 1888 to conduct Dorothy and a revival of his earlier work, Charity Begins at Home, and made a final brief visit there for health reasons in early 1891, together with Stephenson.

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Alfred Cellier was a fertile melodist, and his writing exhibited elegance and refinement, although he was not able to infuse his music with humour in the way that Sullivan did.

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Alfred Cellier died at his home in Bloomsbury, London, at the age of 47.

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