The renowned Mr and Mrs Howard Paul performed at the Exchange on the 12th January, 1869. They reportedly impersonated at least a dozen different phases of life, “in the most exquisite manner”. Audiences were treated to a rich performance and gave repeated applause throughout.
Mrs Howard Paul was an English actress, singer and manager who lived in the Victorian era. She was famous for her musical impersonations, her comic roles and her involvement in the first Gilbert and Sullivan operas. She was also a woman of talent and courage, who faced many challenges in her personal and professional life.
Mrs Howard Paul had a powerful voice and a versatile style. She could sing ballads, operas, burlesques and comic songs. She could also impersonate famous singers of the day, such as Henry Russell and Sims Reeves. She was admired by many composers, who wrote songs for her to sing.
In 1877, she was cast as Lady Sangazure in The Sorcerer, the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera. She also helped her protégé, Rutland Barrington, to get a part in the same opera. She was supposed to play Cousin Hebe in the next opera, H.M.S. Pinafore, but her voice had declined so much that she had to leave the production.
Mrs Howard Paul was a remarkable woman who made a mark on the stage and the musical world. She deserves to be remembered as one of the stars of the Victorian era.