D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company is a professional light opera company that staged Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy operas nearly year-round in the UK and sometimes toured in Europe, North America and elsewhere, from the 1870s until 1982. The company was revived for short seasons and tours from 1988 to 2003, and with Scottish Opera it later co-produced two productions.

In 1875, Richard D'Oyly Carte asked the dramatist W. S. Gilbert and the composer Arthur Sullivan to collaborate on a short comic opera to round out an evening's entertainment. When that work, Trial by Jury, became a success, Carte put together a syndicate to produce a full-length Gilbert and Sullivan work, The Sorcerer (1877), followed by H.M.S. Pinafore (1878). After Pinafore became an international sensation, Carte jettisoned his difficult investors and formed a new partnership with Gilbert and Sullivan that became the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. The company produced the succeeding ten Gilbert and Sullivan operas and many other operas and companion pieces, mostly at the Savoy Theatre in London, which Carte built in 1881 for that purpose. The company also mounted tours in Britain, New York and elsewhere, usually running several companies simultaneously. Carte's able assistant, Helen Lenoir, became his wife in 1888 and, after his death in 1901, she ran the company until her own death in 1913. By this time, it had become a year-round Gilbert and Sullivan touring repertory company.

Carte's son Rupert inherited the company. Beginning in 1919, he mounted new seasons in London with new set and costume designs, while continuing the year-round tours in Britain and abroad. With the help of the director J. M. Gordon and the conductor Isidore Godfrey, Carte ran the company for 35 years. He redesigned the Savoy Theatre in 1928 and sponsored a series of recordings over the years that helped to keep the operas popular. After Rupert's death in 1948, his daughter Bridget inherited the company and hired Frederic Lloyd as general manager. The company continued to tour for 35 weeks each year, issue new recordings and play London seasons of Gilbert and Sullivan. In 1961, the last copyright on the Gilbert and Sullivan operas expired, and Bridget set up and endowed a charitable trust that presented the operas until mounting costs and a lack of public funding forced the closure of the company in 1982. It re-formed in 1988 with a legacy left by Bridget D'Oyly Carte, played short tours and London seasons, and issued some popular recordings. Denied significant funding from the English Arts Council, it suspended productions in 2003. With Scottish Opera, it co-produced The Pirates of Penzance 2013 and The Mikado in 2016.

Some of the company's performers, over the decades, became stars of their day and often moved on to careers in musical theatre or grand opera. The company licensed the operas for performance in Australasia and to numerous amateur troupes in Britain and elsewhere, providing orchestra parts and prompt books for hire. The company kept the Savoy operas in the public eye for over a century and left an enduring legacy of production styles and stage business that continue to be emulated in new productions, as well as recordings.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1875

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1917 - 1927

Roles Represented in DAHR: Vocal group

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 46 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Gramophone Cc1405 12-in. 5/31/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1406 12-in. 5/31/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1407 12-in. 5/31/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1408 12-in. 3/15/1923 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1409 12-in. 5/31/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1416 12-in. 6/2/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1417 12-in. 6/2/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1418 12-in. 6/2/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1419 12-in. 6/2/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1601 12-in. 7/3/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1602 12-in. 7/3/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1603 12-in. 3/15/1923 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1604 12-in. 7/3/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1745 12-in. 7/27/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1746 12-in. 7/27/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone Cc1747 12-in. 7/27/1922 H.M.S. Pinafore D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; The Light Opera Orchestra Vocal soloists and vocal chorus, with orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2769af 12-in. 7/30/1917 The Mikado D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; John Harrison ; Violet Oppenshaw ; Edna Thornton Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2771af 12-in. 7/30/1917 The Mikado D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; Violet Essex ; John Harrison ; Edna Thornton Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2773af 12-in. 7/30/1917 The Mikado D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; John Harrison Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2775af 12-in. 7/30/1917 The Mikado D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; Violet Essex ; Violet Oppenshaw ; Edna Thornton Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2777af 12-in. 7/30/1917 The Mikado D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; Violet Oppenshaw Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2779af 12-in. 8/2/1917 The Mikado D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; John Harrison Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2781af 12-in. 7/30/1917 The Mikado D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; Violet Essex Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2782af 12-in. 7/30/1917 The Mikado George Baker ; D'Oyly Carte Opera Company ; Edna Thornton Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
Gramophone HO2790af 12-in. 8/2/1917 The Mikado George Baker ; D'Oyly Carte Opera Company Operetta : Vocal soloist(s), and/or chorus/orchestra Vocal group  
(Results 1-25 of 46 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "D'Oyly Carte Opera Company," accessed August 5, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100059.

D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100059.

"D'Oyly Carte Opera Company." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 5 August 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100059

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