Saturday, April 8, 2017

Born Today April 8: Alfred Bunn


English songwriter Alfred Bunn was born on this day in London in 1796 or possibly 1797.  He best remembered for being a highly successful theater manager. After making his was up through the theatrical ranks, and finally becoming a stage manager in Drury Lane, he became a keen and frequent promoter of opera.  In 1826 he graduated to management of the Royal Theater in Birmingham, and by 1833, he took on the dual duties of both managing Drury Lane and Covent Garden at the same time.  By the 1840's he was writing a few libretti for opera himself.  He is best remembered in the music world for his lyrical songs.  He even makes a brief appearance in James Joyce's Ulysses, when Leopold Bloom misremembers one of Bunn's lyrics.  In terms of film, his lyrics first made an appearance on screen in title cards in the year 1906 with the song "The Heart Bowed Down" in the short of of the same name.  His lyrics were not used again until the dawn of the talking era in the 1930 in Song o' My Heart.  The most recent use of his music in a movie came in the 2011 horror/mystery The Shadows.  Bunn died on the 2nd of December in Boulogne, France at the age of 63 or 64.  There are currently no details on his burial, but it would have been strange if he were not brought back to England for burial at Covent Garden's St. Paul's.

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