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ROSS, Adrian [ROPES, Arthur Reed] (b Lewisham, 23 December 1859; d London, 10 September 1933). The British stage's senior lyricist through several eras of musical theatre.

A King's College, Cambridge, history graduate who had won the Chancellor's Medal for verse, and subsequently a fellow and a lecturer at Cambridge, Ross made his first attempt at stage writing with the libretto and lyrics for a burlesque, Faddimir. Faddimir got itself a showing at a showcase matinee and won sufficient praise for its author and his fellow Cambridge man, Frank Osmond Carr, who had composed the music, to be commissioned to write a burlesque for George Edwardes. Edwardes did, however, take the precaution of pairing his new writer with the experienced comedian John Shine on his first outing. Joan ofArc (`I Went to Find Emin', `Round the Town', `Jack the Dandy-O') was a big success, and Ross and Carr were promptly put to work – this time unaided – on another, slightly different kind of piece for Edwardes. In Town, with its cocky tale of backstage and society doings, broke away from the burlesque pattern and helped set the up-to-date style for the famous series of Gaiety musicals which followed. For these early works, Ross worked on both libretto and lyrics but, as from his next piece, Morocco Bound ('Marguerite from Monte Carlo'), he limited himself almost entirely to writing lyrics, and his few subsequent ventures into original book-writing were the less successful side of a remarkable career.

During the great days of the Gaiety Theatre, Ross contributed many lyrics to virtually all of that theatre's shows from The Shop Girl ('Brown of Colorado') onwards, sharing in all the greatest international hits of the Edwardes `Gaiety' era of musical comedy. Edwardes also put him to writing additional numbers for the shows at Daly's Theatre and, after small contributions to An Artist's Model and The Geisha, he became a fixed part of the Daly's `team' from A Greek Slave onwards, a function increased on the premature death of Daly's Theatre's lyricist-in-chief, Harry Greenbank. He remained in `the Guvnor's' service through the whole Daly's Theatre era of British musicals and, when Edwardes switched to importing Continental shows, he took over the function of adapting the lyrics of those shows into English. His first assignment was Die lustige Witwe, and his songwords to The Merry Widow (`Vilja' etc) became the standard English version of that piece, performed throughout the world for many decades and rarely equalled by subsequent adaptors. Amongst the other Continental musicals which Ross anglicized were The Girl in the Train, The Marriage Market, The Dollar Princess and The Count of Luxemburg, all of which had a wide and enduring success in their English versions.

After writing song words for Edwardes's shows, both original works and adaptations, through more than 20 years, Ross continued, after the producer's death, to supply his successors at the Gaiety, Daly's and the Adelphi, whilst also working for other managements on other successful shows. With the advent of the revue, he even ventured into that area, working with Herman Darewski on Three Cheers (1917) and with Monckton on Airs and Graces, but revue was no more his field than it was that of Monckton or Jones or Stuart, and he worked only once more on a major London revue, much later, when he wrote the lyrics for the Palladium's Sky High.

In the postwar years, he nevertheless kept up the extremely heavy schedule of his earlier days, collaborating on such hit shows as the musicalized French comedy Theodore & Co, the Pinero musical The Boy, the memorable musicalization of Booth Tarkington's Monsieur Beaucaire (`Philomel') and, in 1922, supplying both the libretto and the lyrics for the enormously successful English version of Das Dreimdderlhaus, produced in Britain as Lilac Time. In his late sixties and his seventies he eased his work-load, and contributed his last original work to the London stage in 1927 when he collaborated with Australian composer Dudley Glass on a musical version of W J Locke's The Beloved Vagabond. His final farewell came three years later, with the English version of Ludwig Herzer and Fritz Lohner-Beda's libretto to the Leith. Operette Friederike and a musical version of Austin Strong's The Toymaker of Nuremberg played as a Christmas entertainment at the unfavoured Kingsway Theatre.

Ross wrote regularly and extensively with all of the most successful British-based composers of his time, from Caryll, Monckton, Lutz and Stuart at the Gaiety to Sidney Jones at Daly's and, in later days, Howard Talbot and Andre Messager, through more than 40 busy years which included uncountable hit shows and hit songs in and beyond the theatre. If, in the manner of the day, much of what he wrote was ephemeral and banal in its subject and sentiments, it was nevertheless tailored precisely to its producer's needs. Ross never wrote a Gaiety song for Daly's, or vice versa, and the result was a personal success inside the general success of, in particular, the Edwardes shows. His many adaptations were literate and to the point and, in spite of the vast changes in speech patterns during the 20th century, those for the most popular shows are still performed today.

1889 Faddimir, or The Triumph of Orthodoxy (F Osmond Carr) Vaudeville Theatre 29 April

1891 Joan of Arc (Carr/w John L Shine) Opera Comique 17 January

1892 The Young Recruit (Les Dragons de la Reine) English lyrics w Harry Greenbank, Harry Nicholls (Newcastle)

1892 In Town (Carr/w `James Leader') Prince of Wales Theatre 15 October

1893 Morocco Bound (Carr/Arthur Branscombe) Shaftesbury Theatre 13 April

1893 Don Juan (Meyer Lutz/James T Tanner) Gaiety Theatre 28 October

1894 Go-Bang (Carr) Trafalgar Square Theatre 10 March 1894

The Shop Girl (Ivan Caryll, Lionel Monckton/w Henry J Dam/Dam) Gaiety Theatre 24 November

1894 Mirette revised English version (Savoy Theatre)

1895 Bobbo (Carr/w Tanner) 1 act Prince's Theatre, Manchester 12 September

1896 Biarritz (Carr/w Jerome K Jerome) Prince of Wales Theatre 11 April

1896 My Girl (ex-The Clergyman's Daughter) (Carr/Tanner) Gaiety Theatre 13 July

1896 Weather or No (Luard Selby/w W Beach) 1 act Savoy Theatre 10 August

1896 The Circus Girl (Caryll/w Harry Greenbank/Tanner, Walter Palings) Gaiety Theatre 5 December

1897 His Majesty, or The Court of Vignolia (Alexander Mac-Kenzie/w F C Burnand, Rudolf C Lehmann) Savoy Theatre 20 February

1897 The Ballet Girl (Carl Kiefert/Tanner) Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton 15 March

1897 The Grand Duchess (La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein) new English lyrics (Savoy Theatre)

1898 The Transit of Venus (Napoleon Lambelet/Tanner) Dublin 9 April

1898 Billy (Carr/w G Cooper) Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle 11 April

1898 A Greek Slave (Sidney Jones/w H Greenbank/Owen Hall) Daly's Theatre 8 June

1898 Milord Sir Smith (ex-Campano) (Edward Jakobowski/ad Arthur Roberts etc) Comedy Theatre 15 December

1899 The Tree-Dumas-Skiteers addition to Milord Sir Smith (Comedy Theatre)

1899 The Lucky Star (L Etoile) (Caryll/w Aubrey Hopwood/ad J Cheever Goodwin et al) Savoy Theatre 7 January

1899 San Toy (Jones/w H Greenbank/Edward Morton) Daly's Theatre 21 October

1900 The Messenger Boy (Caryll, Monckton/w Percy Greenbank/Tanner, Alfred Murray) Gaiety Theatre 3 February

1901 The Toreador (Caryll, Monckton/w P Greenbank/ Tanner, Harry Nicholls) Gaiety Theatre 17 June

1901 Kitty Grey (Monckton, Talbot etc/w Paul Rubens/ J Smyth Piggott) Apollo Theatre 7 September

1902 A Country Girl (Monckton/w P Greenbank/Tanner) Daly's Theatre 18 January

1903 The Girl from Kays (Cecil Cook, Caryll etc/w Claude Aveling/Hall) Apollo Theatre 15 November

1903 The Orchid (Monckton, Caryll/w P Greenbank/Tanner) Gaiety Theatre 26 October

1904 The Cingalee (Monckton/w P Greenbank/Tanner) Daly's Theatre 5 March

1905 The Spring Chicken (Monckton, Caryll/w P Greenbank/ad George Grossmith) Gaiety Theatre 30 May

1906 The Little Cherub (Caryll/Hall) Prince of Wales Theatre 13 January

1906 Naughty Nero (Augustus Barratt) 1 act Oxford Music Hall March

1906 See-See (Jones/w P Greenbank/C H E Brookfield) Prince of Wales Theatre 20 June

1906 Les Merveilleuses (Hugo Felix/Victorien Sardou ad Basil Hood) Daly's Theatre 27 October

1907 The Girls of Gottenberg (Caryll, Monckton/w Basil Hood/Grossmith, L E Berman) Gaiety Theatre 15 May

1907 The Merry Widow (Die lustige Witme) English lyrics (Daly's Theatre)

1908 A Waltz Dream (Ein Walzertraum) English version (Globe Theatre)

1908 Havana (Leslie Stuart/w George Arthurs/Graham Hill, Grossmith) Gaiety Theatre 25 April

1908 King of Cadonia (Jones/Frederick Lonsdale) Prince of Wales Theatre 3 September

1909 The Antelope (Felix) Strand Theatre 28 November

1909 Our Miss Gibbs (Caryll, Monckton/w P Greenbank/ Tanner, `Cryptos') Gaiety Theatre 23 January

1909 The Dashing Little Duke (Frank E Tours/Seymour Hicks) Globe Theatre 17 February

1909 The Dollar Princess (Die Dollarprinzessin) English lyrics (Daly's Theatre)

1910 Captain Kidd (Stuart/Hicks) Wyndham's Theatre 12 January

1910 The Girl in the Train (Die geschiedene Frau) English lyrics (Vaudeville Theatre)

1911 The Quaker Girl (Monckton/w P Greenbank/Tanner) Adelphi Theatre 5 November

1911 Castles in the Air (Frau Luna) English lyrics (Scala Theatre)

1911 The Count of Luxemburg (Der Graf von Luxemburg) English lyrics w Hood (Daly's Theatre)

1912 Gipsy Love (Zigeunerliebe) English lyrics (Daly's Theatre)

1912 The Wedding Morning (Lachlan McLean) 1 act Tivoli 30 September

1912 Tantalising Tommy (Felix/w Michael Morton) Criterion Theater, New York 2 October

1912 The Dancing Mistress (Monckton/w P Greenbank/ Tanner) Adelphi Theatre 19 October

1913 The Girl on the Film (Filmzauber) English lyrics (Gaiety Theatre)

1913 The Marriage Market (Lednyedsdr) English version (Daly's Theatre)

1913 The Girl from Utah (Jones, Rubens/w Rubens, P Greenbank/Tanner) Adelphi Theatre 18 October

1914 The Belle of Bond Street revised The Girl from Kays (Shubert Theater, New York)

1915 Betty (Rubens/w Rubens/Lonsdale, Gladys Unger) Daly's Theatre 24 April

1915 The Light Blues (Talbot, Hermann Finck/Mark Ambient, Jack Hulbert) Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham 13 September; Shaftesbury Theatre 14 September 1916

1916 The Happy Day (Rubens, Jones/w Rubens/Hicks) Daly's Theatre 13 May

1916 Theodore & Co (Ivor Novello, Jerome Kern/w Clifford Grey/Grossmith, H M Harwood) Gaiety Theatre 19 September

1916 Oh! Caesar (Nat D Ayer, Arthur Wood/Alexander M Thompson, Max Pemberton) Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh 23 December

1916 The Happy Family (Cuthbert Clarke/w Arthur Aldin) Prince of Wales Theatre 18 December

1917 Arlette English version (Shaftesbury Theatre)

1917 The Boy (Talbot, Monckton/w P Greenbank/Fred Thompson) Adelphi Theatre, 14 September

1919 Monsieur Beaucaire (Andre Messager/Lonsdale) Prince's Theatre 19 April

1919 The Kiss Call (Caryll/w Grey, P Greenbank/Thompson) Gaiety Theatre 8 October

1919 Maggie (Marcel Lanes/Thompson, H F Maltby) Oxford Theatre 22 October

1919 The Eclipse (Herman Darewski, Melville Gideon/w Davy Burnaby/E Phillips Oppenheim, Thompson) Garrick Theatre 12 November

1920 Medorah English lyrics (Alhambra Theatre)

1920 The Love Flower (Herman Finck/w James Heard/Robert Marshall) Theatre Royal, Brighton 8 March

1920 A Southern Maid (H Fraser-Simson/w Harry Graham/ Graham) Daly's Theatre 15 May

1920 The Naughty Princess (La Reine s 'amuse) English lyrics (Adelphi Theatre)

1921 Faust on Toast (Willie Redstone, Gideon/w Firth Shephard) Gaiety Theatre 19 April

1921 Love's Awakening (Wenn Liebe ermacht) English book and lyrics (Empire Theatre)

1922 Lilac Time (Das Dreimaderlhaus) English book and lyrics (Lyric Theatre)

1922 The Cousin from Nowhere (Der Vetter aus Dingsda) English lyrics w Furber, Robert C Tharp (Prince's Theatre)

1923 Head Over Heels (Fraser-Simson/w Graham/Hicks) Adelphi Theatre 8 September

1927 The Beloved Vagabond (Dudley Glass) Duke of York's Theatre 1 September

1930 Frederica (Friederike) English version (Palace Theatre)

1930 The Toymaker of Nuremberg (Glass/w Austin Strong) Kingsway Theatre 20 December

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