Sunday, 22 February 2015

Del Sarte's Rooms (Concert Hall)

Among the music-loving public of Tasmania, and more especially that of Hobart Town, no name was more familiar in years gone by than that of Camille Del Sarte. Camille Del Sarte was a native of Paris, but he arrived in this colony from the island of Java around 1855. Soon after his arrival here he purchased what now forms the residence of the Venerable Archdeacon Davies, and for some years he resided there.

He had not been long in Hobart Town before his name as a practical and theoretical teacher of music became a household word in Tasmania and so rapid was his early success that in 1856 he had built for the purposes of his profession and at his own cost a substantial new venue in Harrington Street for the presentation of dramatic and musical events which was originally known as Del Sarte's Rooms. It featured a lantern type roof structure which was designed to provide natural light into the large hall below.

The rooms were the scene of the debut performance by Madame Amy Sherwin who was known as the “Tasmanian Nightingale”. Madame Sherwin was a Tasmanian soprano who went on to garner international acclaim throughout her career.

The enterprise was not, however, the success its enterprising proprietor had anticipated and eventually he was forced to part with the property. Del Sarte went on to hold the position of bandmaster in the Artillery Corps, and within two years he was entrusted with the conductorship of the Hobart Town City Band. Around  the year 1869 he left Hobart Town and took up residence in Sydney, and for a time he had an excellent practice.

He remained in Sydney about seven years, and only returned to Hobart Town around 1875. His long absence from the Tasmanian colony, however, had almost completely broken the connection which he had formerly made and although his reputation as a master in his profession was as great as ever, he was not able to regain the high position which he had occupied before he left the colony.

By around 1871, the building had been taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows who inaugurated the building as a lodge and the building was subsequently known as Odd Fellows Hall. The building was later to become the headquarters of the Royal Yacht Club and in its current guise, serves as offices for a lawyers firm.

Main Text & Information Source – 
Australian Dictionary Of Biography – Amy Sherwin
Amy Sherwin Photograph - Wikipedia (Amy Sherwin)