Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Bodda Pyne, Louisa Fanny

1497212Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement, Volume 1 — Bodda Pyne, Louisa Fanny1912Frederick Corder

BODDA PYNE, Mrs. LOUISA FANNY (1832–1904), soprano vocalist, born in London on 27 Aug. 1832, was youngest daughter of George Pyne, alto singer (1790–1877), and niece of James Kendrick Pyne, tenor singer (d. 1857). She studied singing from a very early age under (Sir) George Smart, and in 1842, at the age of ten, made a successful appearance in public with her elder sister Susan at the Queen's Concert Rooms, Hanover Square. In 1847 the sisters performed in Paris, and in August 1849 Louisa made her debut on the stage at Boulogne as Amina in 'La Sonnambula.' Lablache offered to take her to St. Petersburg and Moscow, but she declined because the engagement would have involved her singing on Sunday, to which she had a strong objection. Some years later Auber made her an advantageous offer to appear at the Opera Comique in Paris, which she refused on the same grounds. Her first original part was Fanny in Macfarren's 'Charles II,' produced at the Princess's Theatre on 27 Oct. 1849. On 14 Aug. 1851 she performed the Queen of Night in Mozart's 'II Flauto magico' at Covent Garden, and during the season fulfilled many important oratorio and concert engagements. In August 1854 she went to America with William Harrison (1813-1868) [q .v.], and was received there with great enthusiasm, staying through three seasons. On her return to England in 1857 she went into partnership with Harrison, lessee of the Lyceum and Drury Lane Theatres, for the performance of English opera. The Harrison-Pyne enterprise was inaugurated with success at the Lyceum on 21 Sept. 1857, and was transferred to Covent Garden next year, where the performances continued each winter till 19 March 1862. No other undertaking of the kind lasted so long. Nearly a dozen new operas, by Balfe, Benedict, Glover, Mellon and Wallace were produced, but the success of the venture was not maintained. Pungent, not to say derisive, notices in 'The Musical World' finally assisted to kill the enterprise. Subsequently Miss Pyne transferred her services to Her Majesty's Opera House and the Haymarket. In 1868 she married Frank Bodda, the baritone singer. She then retired from public life and successfully engaged in teaching in London. Her husband died on 14 March 1892, aged sixty-nine. She received a civil list pension of 70Z. in 1896, and died without issue in London on 24 March 1904. Her sister Susan, who married Frank H. Standing, a baritone vocalist known as F. H. Celli, died in 1886.

[Grove's Dict. of Music; Brown and Stratton's Dict. of Musicians; Musical World, 1857; Athenæum, 26 March 1904; Musical Times, April 1904; Kuhe's Reminiscences; H. Saxe-Wyndham, Annals of Covent Garden; Hays' Women of the Day, 1885.]

F. C.