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Gladys Moncrieff at a premiere at Prince Edward Theatre in Sydney

Date: 28 March 1936
Medium: Emulsion on nitrate film.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Nitrate negative
Object No: 00021143
Place Manufactured:Sydney
Related Place:Prince Edward Theatre,

User Terms

    This photograph depicts the Australian opera singer Gladys Moncrieff attending the premiere of 'Rose of the Rancho' at the Prince Edward Theatre in Sydney on 28 March 1936. On 4 April 1936, 'The Australian Women's Weekly' reported on the event and noted the singing sensation's appearance:

    'Our own fine singer, Gladys Moncrieff, in orchid chiffon with huge spray of lily-of-the-valley at the shoulder, among appreciative audience.'
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    HistoryGladys Lillian Moncrieff was born in 1892 in Bundaberg, Queensland. From a young age, Moncrieff sang in various performances in her hometown as well as Townsville. As a teenager she pursued her singing career in vaudeville theatres in Brisbane before she travelled to Sydney with her mother.

    She was awarded a contract in 1911 after she impressed one of Australia's most well-known opera singers, Dame Nellie Melba, and Hugh Ward, the director of J C Williamson Theatres. In the three years that followed, Moncrieff trained hard and eventually worked in Williamson's Australasian Gilbert and Sullivan season in 1914. As a direct result of this success, she travelled abroad to South Africa.

    Moncrieff then achieved recognition for her role as Teresa in 'The Maid of the Mountains' at the Theatre Royal in Melbourne in 1921. The show was so successful, it was extended to more than two years and Moncrieff appeared in it about 2,800 times.

    By the mid-1920s, Moncrieff was one of the highest paid performers in the history of Australian theatre. Throughout the 1930s, after pursuing theatrical endeavours as far as London, she returned to Australia and continued to sing in stage performances and appearances in cinemas.

    During World War II, she entertained armed forces in Papua New Guinea. When she returned home, Moncrieff undertook charity work. Throughout the 1950s she made various performances on radio and television before her final public performance in 1962 after which she retired and moved to the Gold Coast, Queensland.

    Gladys Moncrieff died on 8 February 1976.

    Source: Burgis, Peter, 'Moncrieff, Gladys Lillian (1892–1976)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,
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    Web title: Gladys Moncrieff at a premiere at Prince Edward Theatre in Sydney

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