The Bailie In Question
Les Cloches de Corneville was a comic opera popular in the first half of the twentieth century with amateur operatic societies in Britain. I have never actually seen it performed, but as far as I can gather it had something of a Gilbert and Sullivan feel to it, and like the various comic operas of that famous pair, it features a leading comic part, in this case the bailiff (or Bailie) of the French town of Corneville. The high point of his performance will have been a song during Act 2 entitled “I have lost my head and my wig!“
It was not unusual for local operatic societies to have pictures taken of their leading actors and actresses, and issue these as postcards to publicise an upcoming performance. This card would appear to be an example of this. Someone has kindly added details of the part, the play and the date – but alas, not the place of the performance. On the reverse of the card there appears to be a signature which could be J.K. Harding – which could well be the Bailie in question.