On the French penchant for inventing things already in existence elsewhere

François Dominique Séraphin, Bourbon favourite and reputedly the father of ombres chinoises (shadow puppetry), began operating 15 years later than is generally thought, and may have copied his techniques from an itinerant Italian or a London Alsatian. Featuring the memoirs of the valet to the later Louis XVII, early descriptions of the delights of the renovated Palais Royal (including a pygmy show), jolly old Baron Grimm on the lamentable state of French opera, shadow plays, and marionettes, and William Beckford’s favourite designer of theatrical perversions.

Philip James de Loutherbourg's Eidophusikon around 1782.

Your street organ repertoire proposals

Collected via the form. I’ve done basic arrangements of around 50 for the configuration that will be available to me and I’ll brush them up when I get hold of the instrument and can try things out. I’ll probably also post a few samples here in the interim. I’m not on Facebook any longer (yep,…

Petrushka

If you’re interested in organs and theatre, quite soon you will visit Mr Stravinsky & Co and their lenten feast. Some background: The play Petrushka seems to derive from a native older Russian buffoon and minstrel tradition and the Western European puppet theater tradition with its roots in the Italian commedia dell’arte. Possible evidence of…