Thursday 20 June 1901 8:45PM

Charity Concert: Colliery explosion in Wales

Michiels, Wallace, Hawley and more


  • Century Orchestra* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Johann Davids conductor* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Harrison Brockbank baritone* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Belle Napier reciter* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Louise Atkinson soprano* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Blanche Selig voice* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Edith Clegg contralto* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Anderson Nicol tenor* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Robert Maitland bass-baritone* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Arthur Royd tenor* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Katherine Knight voice* *International Debut
  • Kenneth Wynne voice* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Grace Ellis piano* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Harry Brand reciter* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Sydney Faulks accompanist* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Giovanni Clerici accompanist* *Wigmore Hall Debut
  • Edith Merrylees accompanist* *Wigmore Hall Debut

The explosion at the Universal Colliery in Senghenydd, Wales in May 1901 in which 81 miners lost their lives was a precursor to the one that followed in 1913, which was to kill 439 people, becoming the worst mining accident in British history. This charity concert in aid of those affected by the earlier disaster was the first of its kind at Wigmore Hall, beginning a long history of concerts held here on behalf of all kinds of causes, from the Red Cross to the RSPCA and the Distressed Gentlefolks' Aid Association.

Information on some of the performers in this concert is scarce – often, the line-up for events like these consisted of whomever was available at the time, or had connections to the charity in question. Belle Napier was a New Zealand actress who had great success in her home country with her recitation programmes; baritone Harrison Brockbank was familiar to London opera audiences. Best-known were the four singers who performed Liza Lehmann's cycle The Daisy Chain and took part in the first performance of Wynken, Blynken and Nod by Ethelbert Nevin, all of whom at the time appeared frequently in opera and as soloists in mixed recitals.

  • This concert was in aid of sufferers in the colliery explosion in the Aber Valley, South Wales
  • Gustave Michiels (1845-1911)
        • Czardas No. 1
  • William Wallace (1860-1940)
      • Freebooter Songs
        • Son of Mine (Cradle Song)
        • The Rebel
  • Stanley Hawley (1867-1916)
        • The Birth of the Opal
  • Ethelbert Nevin (1862-1901)
        • Wynken, Blynken and Nod (arr. Sydney Faulks) (world première)
  • Arthur Hervey (1855-1922)
        • Once
  • Reginald Somerville (1867-1948)
        • Suite for orchestra
  • William Davies (1859-1907)
        • O na byddai'n haf o hyd
  • Owain Alaw (1821-1883)
        • Peidiwch a dweyd wrth fy nghariad
  • Adam Geibel (1855-1933)
        • Kentucky Babe
  • George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
        • Chaconne
        • Recitation: Perfectly Dreadful
  • Sydney Faulks
        • Daffodils
  • Liza Lehmann (1862-1918)
        • The Daisy Chain

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