Gilbert & Sullivan's First Prima Donna
Routledge – 2003 – 208 pages
This biography tells the story of Alice May, a touring prima donna in the nineteenth century who travelled from England to Australia, New Zealand, India and the US, taking part in pioneering performances of the popular light operas of the day. Along the way she took part in many premieres, including the first production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer and the first authorised American production of The Mikado . This colourful life story will appeal to theatre historians, fans of the melodrama, burlesque, and the musical stage.
"This biography of a forgotten performer is doubly welcome as a reminder of the many other singers like her who have devoted their lives to pursuing the phantom of fame while bringing pleasure to their audiences." -- Joe K. Law, The Open Quarterly