The Music master
- David Warfield found one of his most enduring vehicles in this three-act Charles Klein melodrama, produced by David Belasco, which opened on 26 September 1904 for 627 performances at the Belasco Theatre. Warfield played Anton von Barwig, a formerly admired Viennese conductor who abandoned his career to search for his daughter. The baby had been taken to New York by his wife when she deserted him for another man. In New York, Barwig subsists by giving music lessons to wealthy girls. Barwig discovers that one of them, Helen Stanton, is his daughter. Before he can reveal himself to her, the girl's stepfather intervenes, threatening to ruin Helen's forthcoming marriage unless Barwig gives up all contact with her. The music master selflessly assents for the sake of the girl's happiness. Of course, the action culminates in an emotional father-daughter recognition scene. The play's phenomenal popularity on the road led to the publication of a novelized version. Warfield revived it in New York in 1916 for 159 performances. A motion picture version was released in 1927.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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