Vol. 2 No. 2 (Fall 1981)

SARAH BERNHARDT'S VISITS TO CANADA: DATES AND REPERTORY

John Hare and Ramon Hathorn

This article, the first comprehensive repertory of Sarah Bernhardt's numerous visits to Canada, covers the period 1880-1918. It lists the year, city, theatre of each visit as well as quotations from reviewers' columns about Bernhardt and her supporting cast. Certain ads are also included, as well as ticket prices and other miscellaneous information. An introduction comments on various implications of the contents.

Cet article, le premier répertoire d'envergure des visites nombreuses de Sarah Bernhardt au Canada ayant lieu entre 1880 et 1918, indique l'année, la ville et le théâtre en question. Puisant dans des comptes rendus d'un grand nombre de représentations, il contient des commentaires sur Bernhardt et les membres de sa troupe, ainsi que des annonces publicitaires, le prix des billets et d'autres renseignements utiles. Une introduction fait l'analyse de certains aspects de la documentation.


PRELIMINARY REMARKS

In May 1977, the authors prepared a first version of this repertory of Bernhardt's visits to Canada which was distributed in xerox form to participants of the colloquium 'The International Stage in the Bernhardt Era' held at the University of Guelph. Random references in various Quebec journals to Sarah's visits to French Canada are known to francophone scholars. However, this calendar groups them together into a cohesive, chronological sequence and includes as well a recently discovered visit to Montreal in 1917 in which Bernhardt, caught in the dangerous currents of Canada's conscription crisis, found herself not only ignored by her formerly faithful French-Canadian fans but also excluded from the pages of the French press in Montreal and Ottawa. Since 1977, the first draft of this repertory has been dramatically expanded, thanks to the discovery of many visits to English Canada, and to the West in particular. Almost all biographies of Bernhardt make at least passing reference to her 1880 visit to Montreal as described in her memoirs. We now know that she performed in most major Canadian cities at some point in her travels and that she performed on the Canadian stage on eight of her nine North American tours. (Between November 1900 and April 1901, Sarah, in a very brief visit, remained in the United States.) This repertory, then, provides theatre historians and biographers with the first comprehensive record of Bernhardt's theatrical activities in Canada between 1880 and 1918. It proves, as well, that Canada represented a lucrative market in terms of box office receipts. The rich and varied repertory presented in Montreal and the one-week stays underline the importance for Bernhardt of what was probably the largest francophone audience outside France.

The format has been kept as simple and clear as possible. A heading consisting of the year, the city and the theatre is followed, where appropriate, by three others: Dates and Repertory, Critical Opinion and Miscellaneous. The first, self-explanatory, includes the titles of plays and, where feasible, the names of their authors. The second contains a selection of critical comments about Bernhardt and, sometimes, her supporting cast. We did not attempt to provide a quotation for every play. The vague Miscellaneous allows us to include material that may be valuable: ticket prices, tour manager's names, amusing or informative excerpts from advertisements. For example, in 1917, both Kingston and Montreal papers display ads which point out that Bernhardt is not seen in a moving picture but in person. Ads in both cities announce on the same pages the patriotic film The Mothers of France (Les Mères françaises) and in Montreal, the film version of Adrienne Lecouvreur, in both of which Bernhardt played the heroine.

Quite apart from the traditional tedious culling of sources and the reading of poor microfilm copy, the problem of conflicting evidence and misinformation arose on several occasions. The 1916 visit to Montreal was by far the most frustrating and confusing to document. Bernhardt was to have arrived from Europe via New York to play on the evening of 10 October. A complete repertory including Les Cathédrales by Eugène Morand and Le Vitrail by René Fauchois, announced in advance, was suddenly changed because Sarah arrived in Montreal one day late. The 12 October matinée was then cancelled and the evening selection changed, these facts being found in brief allusions as a news item while the earlier ad still suggested the program as originally proposed.

Similarly, La Paix chez soi, a one-act comedy was added to the two selections offered on the afternoon and evening of Sarah's final day in Montreal. With respect to Hécube, announced for the 12 October matinée but eliminated, the authors are listed in the ads as Maurice Bernhardt and René Clarence. The latter, upon lengthy investigation, turned out to be René Chavance! Let the researcher beware!

The spelling, or rather the misspelling, of proper names was another hazard to be faced. The actor Decoeur is spelled 'Decouer' in several reviews, necessitating lengthy searches which were necessary to confirm the correct version. M Deneubourg, in almost all newspapers, found the spelling 'Denenbourg', Morgan Powell's review being a notable exception. A 1911 playbill for His Majesty's Theatre in Montreal, recently located at the Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec, caused consternation with its 'Denenbourg' but the incorrect spelling of the title Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (printed as Le Procèss de Jeanne d'Arc) raised the spectre of unilingual anglophones and/ or myopic typesetters. Louis Verneuil, the husband of Bernhardt's granddaughter Lysiane, confirmed Deneubourg's orthographic birthright. Here then is a case where the official Bernhardt advertising initiated a whole series of incorrect spellings of a prominent actor's name. This same playbill (see illustration), lists a matinée performance of La Dame aux Camélias on 24 January and a Thursday matinée of L'Aiglon on 26 January which were not presented at all during the January 1911 stay in Montreal.

The titles of plays might also cause confusion for the unwary. The English title, Camille and La Dame aux Camélias are listed almost interchangeably. Frou-Frou is the spelling seen in Canadian newspapers; some French critics prefer Froufrou. Similarly, Izéyl is the spelling most frequently advertized though various versions (some incorrect) have been seen. (Verneuil prefers the phonetically appropriate Izéïl). In all citations, we have used the spelling of proper names as it appeared in the printed source. One further example: Madame X, part of the 1911 repertory, appears in at least three forms in books of criticism. La Femme X appears in the Paris press.

Bernhardt performed in Canada on thirty-two separate occasions, sometimes visiting the same city twice in one tour, with visits ranging in length from a one-night stand to a six day session with matinées included as well. Montreal audiences saw her nine times, Toronto six and Winnipeg three. Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver welcomed her twice, and Edmonton once. Quebec City's welcome was merely lukewarm. The numerous and lengthy visits to Montreal invariably included the most varied choice of roles of all Canadian cities. In 1917, for example, Sarah gave nine performances in Montreal, played eight different roles twice and two of these (Hécube and Camille) a third time each. The following year, she spent a week in Winnipeg and Vancouver, giving twelve performances in each city (six of Camille and six of Du Théâtre du champ d'honneur).

The one-night (or one day) stands in Toronto contrast sharply with the richer Montreal offerings and suggest that the latter was much more theatrically-oriented and attuned than Toronto. Was this merely because of the fact that Montreal audiences understood Bernhardt's French? Much of her support came as well from the English cultural community. (Indeed, she was booked by an English theatre, His Majesty's). Notably absent from Bernhard's theatrical map are the Maritimes. Might one then assume that here there was little interest in drama or merely poor physical facilities? Or did the East represent an expensive detour by railway coach with a minimal return because of small population centres?

The language of performance is worth mentioning. Ristori acted in Italian in her first visit to the United States and was well received. On a later visit, she learned and gave her lines in accented English, disappointing both herself and her audiences. Tomaso Salvini played the role of Othello in Italian, while his supporting cast used English in the same performance. On all her visits to North America, Bernhardt acted only in French. What incredible powers of communication she must have had, to attract and keep in their seats packed houses of people who understood not a word!

Many critical articles stress the evocative power of her physical gesture, the beauty of the costume and, of course, the 'golden voice' described by Canadian critics as 'eery', 'guttural' and 'weird'. This linguistic fact should be kept in mind when reading reviews of Sarah's acting by English critics. Very few Canadian ones understood her French; they relied heavily on 'prepackaged' materials, and outlined at length highlights of the plot. However, most of Bernhardt's roles were well known, programs containing both the French and English text of plays were available, so that anglophone audiences probably followed the highlights of the plot with a modicum of awareness. Reviews of the same role by different critics occasionally contradict each other. Speaking of Bernhardt's interpretation of Portia in 1917, for example, a Hamilton writer suggests that Sarah's portrayal is unsuitable for an English audience. In Kingston, one day later, we read in the British Whig that, 'although the same part is played in French, it appeals more strongly to the audience' than one might expect.

A perusal of ticket prices offers a point of interest to the theatre historian. In Toronto, for example, ticket prices remained relatively constant: in 1881, 1887, 1891, 1896, 1910 and 1911, they ranged in cost from $1.00 to $3.00. Loges, obviously more expensive: they hit a Toronto high of $15.00 and $25.00 in 1896; in Montreal five years earlier, they were available at $25.00 and $40.00. Prices appear to have been carefully chosen in light of the realities of the marketplace. Bernhardt's first and only visit to Edmonton in 1913 saw full houses paying from $1.00 to $3.00; in Calgary, the next day, the price of tickets ranged from 50¢ to $2.50, with $3.00 boxes and loges. And in 1918, Bernhardt, with an amputated leg, played only excerpts of the plays listed in the Western repertory, being the highlight of a series of vaudeville presentations. Tickets now sold at the phenomenally low prices (25¢ to $1.00 in Winnipeg and Calgary; 15¢ to 80¢ in Vancouver), with Winnipeg box seats going for the bargain price of $1.00. A sad indication that Sarah's career was coming to a close.

The documenting of any repertory would be impossible without the help of libraries. We are most grateful to the many individuals who replied to inquiries and supplied references where possible: to Nicole Dufresne, Département des Manuscrits, Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec; Anne Goddard, Public Archives of Canada; Dr. R.H. Hubbard, Rideau Hall; Ralph Beslin, Ottawa Public Library, Heather McCallum, Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library; Mr. W. Morley and Stuart MacKinnon, Douglas Library, Queen's University; Miss Deborah Defoe, Kingston Public Library; Sandra Haase, Niagara Falls Public Library; Miss Spicer, London (Ontario) Public Library; Reference Librarians at the Hamilton Public Library; Doris Sloan, Winnipeg Public Library; Ken Chamberlain, Architecture and Fine Art Library, University of Winnipeg; and the Reference Librarian of the Winnipeg Tribune.

Particular thanks to members of the Inter-Library Loan Section of the University of Guelph who searched and verified many ILLO requests for microfilmed newspapers over the past four years; to Susan Sinclair and Joan Weatherly who patiently typed drafts and revisions of this calendar several times; to Sharon Tallon, Research Assistant, who came across the Bernhardt visit to Toronto of 6 June 1911; and to Michèle DuCharme for her assiduous cutting, pasting and typing of the final draft.


 
 

DATES AND REPERTORY



1880 MONTREAL L'Académie de Musique

DATES AND REPERTORY
December
23 eve Adrienne Lecouvreur (Scribe & Legouvé)
24 eve Frou-Frou (Meilhac & Halévy)
25 mat La Dame aux Camélias (A. Dumas)
25 eve Hernani (V. Hugo)

CRITICAL OPINION
Adrienne Lecouvreur: '...elle a maintenu la réputation qu'elle s'est faite d'être une des artistes les plus spirituelles et les plus vraies do théâtre parisien.' (La Patrie, 24 December 1880)



1881 TORONTO Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
March
19 mat Camille
19 eve Frou-Frou

CRITICAL OPINION
Camille: 'The imperfections of the company were, however, of no great consequence, because the great Sara actually filled the stage in 'Camille' and forced a strained attention to herself.' (Globe, 21 March 1881)

Frou-Frou: 'The audience, somewhat backward in applause, were completely swept away by the tide of her passion while approaching "Louise", and galleries and lower house broke into repeated storms of approval.' (Globe, 21 March 1881)

Camille: 'The Armand of M Angelo was simply deplorable; it was wooden; and who can forget the air with which he assisted in the death scene? Instead of an agonized lover, he looked and moved like a man much discomfitted. and inclined to regret that he had arrived in time for a deucedly unpleasant experience.' (Globe, 21 March 1881)

Frou-Frou: 'Mlle Jeanne Bernhardt, a very pleasing light comedy actress, was communicated with profound skill (Globe, 21 March 1881)

MISCELLANEOUS
'Mlle Sarah Bernhardt supported by Henry E. Abbey's Company'
Tickets: $3.00, $2.00, $1.00



1887 TORONTO Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
June
11 eve Fédora (Sardou)

CRITICAL OPINION
Fédora: 'In Sarah Bernhardt's acting there seems to be no husbanding of force for the sake of brilliant and startling effects, and yet there never comes an anti-climax; and while there is strength and intensity always apparent, the stronger passages flash out in dazzling contrast, like lightening out of the darkest thunder cloud....

The company was a strong one which rendered admirable support, while the costumes, especially Mme Bernhardt's, were magnificent.' (Globe, 13 June 1887)

MISCELLANEOUS
'Mme Sarah Bernhardt and full Dramatic Company under the direction of Henry E. Abbey and Maurice Grau.'

Tickets: $3.00, $2.50, $2.00 and $1.00 General admission: $1.50 and 50¢



1891 MONTREAL L'Académie de Musique

DATES AND REPERTORY
April
6 eve Fédora (Sardou)
7 eve Jeanne d'Arc (Barbier, music by Gounod)
8 eve La Tosca (Sardou)
9 eve La Dame aux Camélias
10 eve La Tosca
11 mat Jeanne d'Arc
11 eve Frou-Frou

CRITICAL OPINION
Jeanne d'Arc: 'impression profonde' (La Minerve, 8 April 1891)

Frou-Frou: 'pièce médiocre' (La Patrie, 13 April 1891)



1891 VANCOUVER Vancouver Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
September
21 eve Fédora
22 eve La Tosca

CRITICAL OPINION
Fédora: 'Her whole soul and body seemed to enter so completely the character she assumed, that for the time being she was the veritable "Fedora", clever, passionate, crafty and a mistress of duplicity when duplicity suited her ends.' (Daily News Advertiser, 22 September 1891)

Fédora: 'The parts taken by the other members of the Company were very subordinate indeed. The heavy work of the play was done by Louis lpanoff (Mons. Duquesne); de Siriex (Mons. Angelo) and Comptesse Olga (Mdme Giebert), who were all perfect in their parts, and even of these three the parts taken by the latter two were not important.' (Daily News Advertiser, 22 September 1891)

La Tosca: 'Though the attendance last night ... was much smaller than on Monday evening, the audience was much more appreciative and after each act Mme Bernhardt was obliged to return to the stage to acknowledge the hearty applause accorded.' (Daily News Advertiser, 23 September 1891)

La Tosco: 'M Duquesne, as Scarpia, and M Fleury, as Mario, are actors of rare merit.' (Daily News Advertiser, 23 September 1891)

MISCELLANEOUS
'Five carloads of special scenery and stage fittings are carried for the production of this play, and in it the whole company of 50 people will appear.' (Daily News Advertiser, 18 September 1891)

Manager of the Company: Mr. Henry E. Abbey



1891 TORONTO Academy of Music

DATES AND REPERTORY
October
29 eve La Tosca

CRITICAL OPINION
La Tosca: 'When Bernhardt was on the stage there was enough interest centering around her to hold the closest attention, but without her the English ears were inclined to become inattentive....

'The famous actress as La Tosca satisfied her critical audience ... The strongest acting was her killing of Scarfia ... she was the incarnation of desperation...

'Whether the support which Bernhardt received from her company was good or bad did not matter to these of the audience who did not understand French.' (Globe, 30 October 1891)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: $1.00, $2.00, $2.50 and $3.00



1891-1892 MONTREAL L'Académie de Musique

DATES AND REPERTORY
December
29 eve Pauline Blanchard (Darmont)
30 eve La Tosca
31 eve Adrienne Lecouvreur

January
1 eve Cléopâtre (Sardou & Moreau)
2 mat Cléopâtre
2 eve Cléopâtre

CRITICAL OPINION
Pauline Blanchard: 'Quant à la note morale, elle fait malheureusement défaut comme dans la plupart des piéces modernes.' (La Minerve, 30 December 1891)



1896 MONTREAL L'Académie de Musique

DATES AND REPERTORY
February
26 eve Izeyl (Sylvestre & Morand)
27 eve La Tosca
28 eve Gismonda (Sardou)
29 mat La Dame aux Camélias
29 eve Adrienne Lecouvreur

CRITICAL OPINION
La Tosca: '... la voix d'or est toujours Sarah et Sarah est toujours; la voix d'or; souriante, troublante, toujours maîtresse d'elle-même...' (La Minerve, 28 February 1896)

Gismonda: 'un des meilleurs succès de Mme Bernhardt à Montréal.' (La Minerve, 29 February 1896)



1896 TORONTO Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
April
6 eve Izeyl
7 eve Gismonda

CRITICAL OPINION
Izeyl: 'Mme Bernhardt proved herself still divine in her art ... In the superb scene in the third act, where the converted wanton kills the young Rajah to defend what honour she has left, the audience was simply carried away by the magnetic power of this marvellous woman.' (Toronto Evening Star, 7 April 1896)

Gismonda: 'Bernhardt had another fashionable and cultured audience last night.' (Toronto Evening Star, 8 April 1896)

Gismonda: 'The character of Gismonda with its swift alternations of tenderness and almost tigerish ferocity, of generosity and unfaithfulness, is a typical Bernhardt one, and presents some curious enigmas ... one is certainly not disposed to quarrel with a plot which lends itself to so many strong situations and to so many opportunities for the display of Bernhardt's varied and wonderful powers.' (Globe, 8 April 1896)

MISCELLANEOUS
'Mme Sarah Bernhardt supported by her own Company from the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Paris.'

Tickets: $1.00, 1.50, 2.00, 2.50 and 3.00. Boxes: $15.00 and $25.00



1896 LONDON ONTARIO Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
April
8 eve La Tosca (Victorien Sardou)

CRITICAL OPINION
La Tosca: 'Though all the lines were spoken in French and few could follow them closely and coherently, this drawback was dwarfed and forgotten in the charm of Bernhardt's personality, and in the clear interpretation of passion which every gesture and play of her mobile and expressive features afforded.' (London Evening Free Press, 9 April 1896)

La Tosca: 'Her support was first class in every particular.' (London Evening Free Press, 9 April 1896)



1905 MONTREAL Théâtre Français

DATES AND REPERTORY
November
27 eve La Sorcière (Sardou)
28 eve La Dame aux Camélias
29 mat Adrienne Lecouvreur
29 eve Angélo, tyran de Padoue (V. Hugo)
30 eve La Tosca

December
1 eve Fédora
2 mat La Femme de Claude (Dumas fils)
2 eve Phèdre (Racine)

CRITICAL OPINION
La Sorcière: 'L'immense talent de Sarah Bernhardt gêne énormément ... mais enfin, il y a des mérites qui ont toujours leur place.' (La Presse, 28 novembre 1905)



1905 QUEBEC CITY L'Auditorium

DATES AND REPERTORY
December
4 eve Camille (La Dame aux Camélias)
5 mat Angélo
5 eve Adrienne Lecouvreur

CRITICAL OPINION
Camille: 'Madame Bernhardt scores a magnificent success.' (Quebec Chronicle, 5 December 1905)

Camille: 'Dialogues un peu risqués [mais des] beaux moments ... invocations touchantes à Dieu.' (Le Soleil, 5 décembre 1905)



1905 OTTAWA Russell Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
December
6 eve Adrienne Lecouvreur
7 eve Camille

CRITICAL OPINION
Adrienne Lecouvreur: '... the enthusiastic reception accorded her was magnificent, though it must be considered a reproach on the theatre going public that there were a few, though only a few, vacant seats. For certainly no more wonderful personage or wonderful acting has been seen on a Canadian stage ...

The play is staged in a lavish manner. The supporting company is also decidedly capable, M. de Max being particularly good.' (Morning Citizen, 7 December 1905)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: $1.00, 1.50, 2.00, 2.50, 3.00



1905 KINGSTON Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
December
8 eve Adrienne Lecouvreur

CRITICAL OPINION
Adrienne Lecouvreur: 'Bernhardt was transformed into the character she played. At the conclusion of the first act, as she speaks words of despair and anguish, the audience forgot she was Bernhardt. That power of penetration, the gift of the poetic, cast its spell over the listeners and only the sad figure of 'Adrienne' was to the view....

Every role was perfect. Next to Bernhardt were M. Habay as l'Abbé Bouret and M. de Max as Dominique ... Both were most forcible. Another strong character was Madame Barbier as the Duchess de Bouillon. Adrienne's lover, the Count of Saxe, was capably filled by M. Decouer.' (Daily Whig, 9 December 1905)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: $1.00 (Gallery), $1.50 (Balcony family circle), $2.00 (Balcony chairs), $3.00 (Ground floor), $5.00 (Box Seats)



1905 HAMILTON Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
December
9 eve Adrienne Lecouvreur

CRITICAL OPINION
Adrienne Lecouvreur: 'It seemed impossible that with her weight of years the great Bernhardt could so play upon the feelings of an audience .... The play of her voice, now pleading, now plaintive, then commanding, and again denouncing, was in itself a study.' (Hamilton Spectator, 11December 1905)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: 50¢, $1.00, $1.50, $2.50, $3.00



1906 WINNIPEG Auditorium Rink

DATES AND REPERTORY
May
1 eve Camille

CRITICAL OPINION
Camille: 'Auditorium Rink was crowded last night with an audience delighted with the French tragedienne... What matter that the acoustic properties were everything they shouldn't be, what matter the building was cold as charity, what matter that a dozen rows from the stage one could hardly hear a word....

In the third act... Madame Bernhardt proved conclusively that she had lost none of her powers and that she still stands a great figure in the ranks of her profession.' (Winnipeg Telegram, 2 May 1906)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: Side Sections - $1.00, $2.00, $3.00; Main Floor - $2.00, $3.00; General Admission - $1.00



1910 LONDON ONTARIO Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
November
24 eve L'Aiglon (Act II); Camille (Act IV; Jeanne d'Arc (Act II)

CRITICAL OPINION
L'Aiglon: 'That speech ran like a veritable flame through the audience, while the quieter, more subtle work of Bernhardt herself seemed to miss fire (sic)... How the house rose to that fine speech delivered by M Decoeur as Flameau.' (London Free Press, 25 November 1910)

Camille: 'The two scenes from Camille were naturally enough the star scenes of the evening.... The acting of the ensemble was natural and easy, while that of M Denenbourg as Gaston, M Coutier as De Varville and Mme Boulanger as Prudence ... reached a high plane of verisimilitude ... M Tellegen as Armand played ... in a realistic French manner.' (London Free Press, 25 November 1910)

Jeanne d'Arc: 'Again the famous actress is too old to create an illusion [of youth]. Moreover, the native simplicity of 'la Pucelle' escapes her.' (London Free Press, 25 November 1910).

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: $3.00 for lower floor and first 5 rows of balcony; $2.00 for the remainder of the balcony and $1.00 for the gallery reserved



1910 TORONTO Princess Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
November
25 eve L'Aiglon (Rostand)
26 mat Camille
26 eve Jeanne d'Arc (Moreau)

CRITICAL OPINION
L'Aiglon: 'Mme Bernhardt in moments of emotional stress still speaks with extreme rapidity and marked emphasis, but in her quieter and contemplative moments her utterances are still honeyed with sweetness and distinct with clearness.... The supporting company is remarkable throughout, well-balanced and appropriately cast, but special mention may be made of Mons. Decoeur who as Flambeau roused the audience to enthusiasm ..... (Globe, 26 November 1910)

Camille: 'The distinguished actress won a great triumph in this tragic love play, each of the five acts being replete with remarkable revelations of histrionic ability on the part of the star, who seized the possibilities of the role with superfine instinct that was not in any way marred by exaggerated emotionalism.... The support accorded Madame was excellent, M Bary acting the part of Armand Duval, with plenty of abandon and amatory warmth. Mme Seylor made a most engaging Nanine.' (Globe, 28 November 1910)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: $1.00, $2.00, $3.00



1911 MONTREAL His Majesty's

DATES AND REPERTORY
January
23 eve L'Aiglon (Rostand)
24 eve Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (Moreau)
25 eve La Tosca
26 eve Madame X (Bisson)
27 eve L'Aiglon
28 mat Madame X
28 eve Extraits de Phèdre, Fédora, Jeane d'Arc et La Dame aux Camélias

CRITICAL OPINION
L'Aiglon: 'Pour cette tragédienne les années passent inaperçues et, incapable de progresser parce qu'elle a depuis longtemps la perfection de son art, elle réussit' (La Patrie, 24 janvier 1911)

Jeanne d'Arc: 'Sarah Bernhardt a fait revivre hier soir l'immortelle fille de la Lorraine.' (La Presse, 25 janvier 1911)



1911 TORONTO Princess Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
June
6 eve Sister Beatrice (Maurice Maeterlinck) preceded by Jean Marie (André Theuriet)

CRITICAL OPINION
Sister Beatrice: 'The audience was not large, the season being late for serious drama... What everyone in the audience could appreciate... was the wonderful preservation of the music of her utterances, the grace and significance of her gestures... and the occasioned vivid flashes of emotion in the intense episodes.' (Globe, 7 June 1911)

MISCELLANEOUS
Ticket Prices: $3.00, $2.00, $1.00 Direction: W. F. O'Connor

'By universal request return engagement and positively last appearance previous to her departure to Paris on June 22 of the world's greatest artiste, Mme Sarah Bernhardt and Her Own Company from the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris, France.'



1911 MONTREAL His Majesty's

DATES AND REPERTORY
June
7 mat Madame X; Jean-Marie (Theuriet)
7 eve Soeur Béatrice (Maeterlinck)

CRITICAL OPINION
Soeur Béatrice: 'An undeniable triumph... the audience was stilled into silence and paid the actress the unusual compliment of fearing to break the spell by applause.' (Montreal Gazette, 8 June 19 11)



1913 WINNIPEG Orpheum Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
January
6 mat & eve Lucrezia Borgia (V. Hugo), Act III
7 mat & eve La Tosca, Act III
8 mat & eve A Christmas Night Under the Terror (Une Nuit de Noël sous la Terreur) (Bernhardt-Cain)
9 mat & eve A Christmas Night Under the Terror
10 mat & eve Camille, Act V
11 mat & eve Camille, Act V

CRITICAL OPINION
Lucrezia Borgia: 'But the feature of all the acting of Madame Bernhardt are those guttural notes which come so often and give such a weird tinge to such weird sounds and events.' (Manitoba Free Press, 7 January 1913)

La Tosca: 'No paraphernalia was necessary to bring the audience to a realization of what was supposed to be going on in the torture chamber. It needed no interpreter to translate the speeches. Bernhardt showed superbly what La Tosca must have suffered ...' (Manitoba Free Press, 8January 1913)

A Christmas Night Under the Terror: ' ...in the climax of the denunciation, she displayed her monumental genius: the range of her voice, from the tenderness of pleading through the biting accents of sarcasm to the hoarse tones of scorn carrying the deepness of her passion.' (Manitoba Free Press, 9 January 1913)



1913 EDMONTON Empire Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
January
13 mat & eve La Dame aux Camélias (Act V)

CRITICAL OPINION
La Dame aux Camélias: 'In the last tragic moments of the Lady of the Lillies ... there were few among the hundreds present who did not pay the great actress a tribute of tears, for handkerchiefs were flying to wet eyes all over the audience ... M Tellegen as Armand was precisely right.' (Edmonton Bulletin, 14 January 1913)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: Matiné - 50¢, $1.00, $1.50, $2.00; Evening - $1.00, $2.00, $2.50, $3.00



1913 CALGARY Sherman Grand

DATES AND REPERTORY
January
14 mat & eve Lucrezia Borgia (Hugo), Act III
15 mat & eve Camille (one act)

CRITICAL OPINION
Lucrezia Borgia: 'Not one of her auditors but felt that the woman before him was passing through the deep and changeful emotions Lucretia experienced in the drama ... Mme Bernhardt is well supported by the members of her own company ... The part of the Duke of Ferrara was excellently sustained by M Lou Tellegen.' (Calgary Daily Herald, 14 January 1913)

Camille: '... after seeing her in Camille, it is doubtful whether Calgary audiences will ever be satisfied with any other Camille.' (Calgary Daily Herald, 15 January 1913)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: Matinée - 25¢, 50¢, 75¢, $1.00, $1.50, Boxes and Loges; $2.00; Evening - 50¢, $1.00, $1.50, $2.00, $2.50, Boxes and Loges $3.00



1916 MONTREAL His Majesty's

DATES AND REPERTORY
October
11 eve La Mort de Cléôpâtre,- (M Bernhardt & Cain) Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
12 eve La Mort de Cléôpâtre; Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur.
13 eve Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc; La Dame aux Camélias; La Paix chez soi
14 mat Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur; La Mort de Cléôpâtre; La Paix chez soi
eve Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc; La Dame aux Camélias; La Paix chez soi

CRITICAL OPINION
La Mort de Cléôpâtre: 'Sarah fait voir l'âme française.' (La Presse, 12 octobre 1916)

'La voix de Sarah n'a pas changé.' (La Presse, 13 octobre, 1916)

'... le plus admirable voyageur des lettres françaises.' (La Patrie, 12 octobre 1916)

... on n'y trouve guère de ces pièces où foisonnent les doctrines dissolvantes qui ont fait du théâtre trop souvent une doctrine de démoralisation.' (La Patrie, 14 octobre 1916)



1917 HAMILTON Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
November
22 eve Cleopatra (The Death Scene); Portia - The Merchant of Venice (The Trial Scene)

CRITICAL OPINION
Portia: '...as Portia, Mme Bernhardt impressed with her power of impersonation' (Daily Times, 23 November 1917)

Portia and Cleopatra: 'Splendid support was given by the members of Mme Bernhardt's company, notably M Gervais as Shylock and M Jean Angelo as Mark Antony. Others in the company were Mlle Baguer, Mlle Elisabeth Ormeby Caubet, M Denenbourg, M De Varny, and M Caubet.' (Daily Times, 23 November 1917)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: 75¢ to $2.00 Gallery - 50¢



1917 KINGSTON Grand Opera House

DATES AND REPERTORY
November
23 eve The Death of Cleopatra (as Cleopatra); The Merchant of Venice (as Portia)

CRITICAL OPINION
The Death of Cleopatra: 'The Death of Cleopatra is a tragic episode which affords Bernhardt one of those opportunities of ranging up and down the gamut of emotional expression which she has ever handled with astonishing ease.' (Daily British Whig, 24 November 1917)

The Merchant of Venice: 'Bernhardt's conception of the role of Portia in The Merchant of Venice is different from that of most English-speaking actresses, and although the part is played in French, it appeals perhaps more strongly to the audience than that to which the theatregoer is usually accustomed.' (Daily British Whig, 24 November 1917)

MISCELLANEOUS
'Engagement Extraordinary
Not a moving picture
Mme Sarah Bernhardt herself'
'With complete productions, scenery and effects and her own company of 34 artists from Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris.'

Ticket prices: 50¢, 75¢, $1.00, $1.50, $2.00
Direction: William F. O'Connor
Leading Man: 'Jean Angelo son of the famous Angelo who was Bernhardt's leading man when she came to America in 1889.' (Edouard Angelo accompanied Bernhardt on the 1880 and 1886 American tours as well).



1917 OTTAWA Russell Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
November
24 mat Camille; The Wounded Soldier (Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur)
eve Cleopatra; Portia (from The Merchant of Venice)

CRITICAL OPINION
Camille; The Wounded Soldier: 'Her Camille has always been a classic and her interpretation was equal to the best in which she has been seen. In The Wounded Soldier her dying scene, wrapped in her beloved flag, is a wonderful piece of acting. Another dying scene is that of Cleopatra, and Bernhardt's portrayal of the Queen of Egypt was majestic and inspiring. As Portia she appeared as a woman of thirty more than the actress of over half a century on the stage.' (Ottawa Citizen, 24 November 1917)

MISCELLANEOUS
Leading man: 'Jean Angelo (who received special permission from the French Government to make the tour)'
'Artists to appear during intermission.'
Ticket prices; mat 50¢ to $1.50; eve 50¢ to $2.00



1917 MONTREAL His Majesty's

DATES AND REPERTORY
November
26 eve Hécube; Portia
27 eve La Mort de Cléôpâtre; L'Aiglon
28 mat L'Etoile dans la nuit; Camille
eve Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (Trial Scene) Hécube
29 mat Hécube; L'Aiglon
eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur; Camille
30 eve A Star in the Night; Portia

December
1 mat La Mort de Cléôpâtre; Portia
eve Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc; Camille

CRITICAL OPINION
Hécube: 'Perhaps no better tribute to the breadth and resourcefulness of Bernhardt's art could be cited than the ease with which she has adapted herself to the limitations of physical movement imposed upon her ... that voice, which no longer the glorious voix d'or of her early years is yet an organ of marvellous quality.' (Montreal Daily Star, 27 November 1917)

La Mort de Cléôpâtre: 'She sweeps up and down the gamut of histrionic utterance with unchallenged mastery and deceptive ease still....

M Angelo's Marc Antony remains a noble figure of heroic cast. M Denenbourg repeats his effective portrayal of Pharos and the balance of the company is always in true perspective for the picture.' (Montreal Daily Star, 28 November 1917)

Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur: '...It is as if Bernhardt came to us with the smoke of the battlefields still clinging about her, having learned its terrible lessons, and with a genius to mimic death itself with a deeper insight than before.' (The critic refers to Bernhard't interpretation of the role of a dying French soldier cf. Montreal Daily Star, 30 November 1917)

MISCELLANEOUS
'Mme Sarah Bernhardt in Repertoire with complete productions, scenery and effects, and her own company of 24 artists from the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt, Paris. Direction of W.F. Connor.'

Ticket Prices: Wednesday and Thursday matinées: 25¢ to $1.50 Evenings and Saturday matinée: 50¢ to $2,00



1918 WINNIPEG Orpheum Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
May
25 mat & eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
28 mat & eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
29 mat & eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
30 mat & eve La Dame aux Camélias (Act V)
31 mat & eve La Dame aux Camélias (Act V)

June
1 mat & eve La Dame aux Camélias (Act V)

CRITICAL OPINION
Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur: 'In her portrayal of the role of the wounded actor Madame Bernhardt gave a spirituality that carried the acting even beyond the realness of her consummate art. There was no falling off of virility. No slacking of power.' (Winnipeg Tribune, 28 May 1918)

La Dame aux Camélias: 'Watching the death of Marguerite as portrayed by Madame Sarah, one is in the very presence of dissolution. The beautiful bird-like voice, broken at intervals by coughing ... yet rising and failing in indescribable sweetness as it keeps pace with the emotions that shake Camille's frail shell, carries the listener on its cadences.' (Manitoba Free Press, 31 May 1918)

Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur: 'Madame Bernhardt's support is adequate, M Gervais as the wounded English officer being particularly good.' (Winnipeg Tribune, 28 May 1918)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: Matinées - 15¢, 25¢, 35¢, 50¢ Box seats 75¢; Evenings - 25¢, 50¢, 75¢, $ 1.00 Box seats - $1.00



1918 CALGARY Grand Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
June
3 eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
4 mat Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
eve La Dame aux Camélias
5 mat La Dame aux Camélias
eve La Dame aux Camélias

CRITICAL OPINION
Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur: 'As the climax is approaching even those who were unable to understand the lines were held almost spellbound by the power and magnetism that swayed out from the small figure occupying the centre of the stage.' (Calgary Daily Herald, 4 June 1918)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: Matinées - 25¢ and 50¢; Evenings - 25¢, 50¢, 75¢, $1.00



1918 VANCOUVER Orpheurn Theatre

DATES AND REPERTORY
June
17 mat & eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
18 mat & eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
19 mat & eve Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur
20 mat & eve La Dame aux Camélias, Act V
21 mat & eve La Dame aux Camélias, Act V
22 mat & eve La Dame aux Camélias, Act V

CRITICAL OPINION
Du Théâtre au champ d'honneur: 'Time has dealt kindly with Bernhardt and her years hang lightly about her and one forgets that one is watching a woman who by three years has outlived the allotted span of three score and ten.' (Daily Province, 17 June 1918)

MISCELLANEOUS
Tickets: Matinées - 15¢, 30¢, 55¢, 80¢; Evenings and Saturday Matinee: 25¢, 55¢, 80¢, $1.10