Florence Smithson 002

Updated Jan 18, 2018
Anjel Candy
Anjel Candy shared a photo
on Jan 15, 2018 6:11 AM
A photo of Florence Annette Smithson (1882-1936) - British Soprano and Stage Actress - "The Welsh Nightingale" was born on 13 March 1882 in Leicester, Leicestershire to parents theatrical manager, William Smithson (1859-1927) (formerly Smith) and Laura Mary Courts (1865-1947). She was raised mostly in Wales where her father owned and managed the "New Theatre Royal and Opera House" in Merthyr Tydfil which opened in 1893.

After attending The London College of Music, Florence was performing with a small opera company in "La Fille Du Regiment" when she was spotted by impresario, Robert Courtneidge (1859-1939). She toured with his company as "Nanoya" in "The Cingalee" and made her London debut in 1905 at The Lyric Theatre as "Chandra Nil" in "Blue Moon". In what is regarded as the highlight of her celebrated career she appeared as "Sombra" in "The Arcadians" which ran for a remarkable 809 performances. Twice touring in Australia (1914 and 1923) she also visited South Africa in 1926. She formed her own theatre company in 1928 in a production called, "Evening Stars" and last appeared on stage in 1932.

Florence first married George William Robinson in 1901. They had one son William Robinson born in 1903. She then married comedic actor, Alfred Herbert Taylor aka Dan Rolyat (1879 – 1927) in 1904. They had one daughter Florence Lilian Rolyat born in 1907. Florence Smithson died following an operation on 11 February 1936 in Cardiff, Wales aged 53.

additional information

Thanks to enthusiasts, a number of Florence Smithson recordings can still be found on the internet including; The Waltz from Tom Jones, Temple Bell, Sings My Samisen and others.
Date & Place: Unknown

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AncientFaces commented on Jan 18, 2018
An autographed photo of "The Welsh Nightingale". Born in 1882 England, she grew up in Wales, where her father owned a theater in Merthyr Tydfil, later becoming a celebrated singer and actress in Great Britain. Some of her recordings can still be found on the internet!
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