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Gladys Moncrieff, 1963

an unknown artist

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 25.2 cm x 20.3 cm, image: 24.7 cm x 19.8 cm)

Gladys Moncrieff (1892-1976), soprano, grew up in Queensland, where she first toured as 'Little Gladys - The Australian Wonder Child' with a small musical road show. She made her stage debut in HMS Pinafore in Sydney in 1914. Seven years later she cemented her reputation with a two-year run as the Maid of the Mountains, which opened in Melbourne in 1921 and toured extensively; early in its run critics noted the 'snowy purity and velvet lusciousness' of the young star's voice. Moncrieff's repertoire comprised The Merry Widow, Floradora, many Gilbert and Sullivan parts, and other roles that have long since lain dormant. By the mid 1920s she was established as one of the highest-paid performers in the history of the Australian stage. After proving herself on the London musical comedy scene from 1926, receiving good notices in shows such as Franz Lehar's The Blue Mazurka, she returned to Australia in 1928. Henceforth she revelled in great popularity, earning the soubriquet 'Our Glad' in about 1935 and enjoying especial success as The Merry Widow. During World War 2 she performed for army personnel in the region, a commitment she reprised in Korea and Japan in 1951. After retiring in 1959, she settled in Surfers Paradise.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008

Accession number: 2008.35

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Gladys Moncrieff OBE (age 71 in 1963)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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