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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(d Kensington, London, bur. Aug 28, 1784). English soprano, actress and dancer. The daughter of a Jewish merchant (or tavern keeper) she made her début as Polly in The Beggar’s Opera at the newly opened Covent Garden Theatre in December 1732, with a run of 20 nights in succession. She played Deidamia in Gay’s posthumous ...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

[Mrs Vernon, Mrs Thompson]

(b London, June 8, 1736; d after 1788). English soprano and dancer. As a child she appeared as a dancer and at the age of 14 she sang a minor role in the opera La Forza d’amore by Pietro Domenico Paradies with an Italian opera company at the Haymarket Theatre. Three years later, in May 1754, she sang the Genius of England in Thomas Arne's Eliza. She generally played spirited second-woman roles, singing Lucy in The Beggar’s Opera almost every season and creating the parts of Dorcas in Arne’s Thomas and Sally (1760) and Fanny the gypsy in The Maid of the Mill (1765). In 1762 her immodest costume while dancing shocked the party in the royal box and in Thespis she was called ‘the liveliest baggage on the modern stage’. Her Savoy Chapel marriage to the tenor Vernon in 1755 was declared invalid; she sang again as Miss Poitier from ...