Our Omnibus-Box. The Theatre New series 1885 February 2 5: 94-95
(the complete "Our Omnibus-Box" section occupies pp. 92-104 of this issue)
Miss Jessie Bond, whose photograph in character,
from "The Sorcerer," appears in this number, was born in London. She made
her first public appearance, when only eight years of age, as a pianist,
at Liverpool. She repeatedly performed in public until she was twelve years
old. Her début as a vocalist was made, before she was seventeen
years of age, at St. George's Hall, Liverpool. Subsequently, Miss Bond
became the leading contralto singer at St. Peter's Catholic church in the
same city. She then entered as a student at the Academy of Music, under
Emmanuel Garcia, and afterwards was a pupil of Mr. J. B. Welch. She made
her first appearance on the dramatic stage on May 25, 1878, at the Opéra
Comique, as Hebe, in the first performance of "H.M.S. Pinafore." She then
went to America, where she appeared as Hebe, and, on the production of
the "Pirates of Penzance," in New York, "created" the rôle of Edith.
After an absence of eight months, she returned to the Opéra Comique,
where also she acted Edith; and, on December 16, 1879, the part of Maria
in "After All," a one-act vaudeville, written by Frank Desprez, composed
by Alfred Cellier, and then first acted. Miss Bond has since played the
following important original parts in Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan's operas:
Lady Angela, in "Patience;" Iolanthe in the opera of that name; and Melissa,
in "Princess Ida." She is at present appearing as Constance, in the successful
revival of "The Sorcerer," at the Savoy Theatre. It is a fact worthy of
note that Miss Bond has been under the management of Mr. R. d'Oyly [sic]
Carte during the entire period of her connection with the stage, a period
close upon seven years.
In her special "line" – that is to say, as what is professionally called a "singing soubrette" – Miss Bond deservedly occupies a leading position on the stage devoted to comic opera and operetta. Her vioce is a pretty one, and she produces it very agreeably. Nature has been kind to her in the matter of "externals;" she is gifted with a bright intelligence, and a lively sense of humour, which, however, never tempts her to commit any of the vulgar extravagances which the public of to-day is too apt to tolerate, nay, to encourage, in its favourites. Having entered her profession at the bottom of the ladder, she has worked her way upwards, rung by rung, with a steadiness of purpose and manifest resolve to win laurels by legitimate labour that do her infinite credit. It is something for so young an artist to have attained the status achieved by Miss Bond in the Savoy company, of which she is one of the most highly valued members, having proved a distinct attraction to the public in every Sullivanesque-Gilbertian work produced at that theatre. Miss Bond has every reason to be satisfied with her career up to the present time; and we entertain no manner of doubt that its future will brilliantly fulfil the promise of its past.
Photograph of Jessie Bond.
"From a photograph taken specially for "The Theatre" by Barraud, 263, Oxford Street, W."
The Theatre 1885 February 2 New series 5: facing page 53
transcribed by Helga J. Perry, 15 November 2000
updated 13 February 2001