Henry A. Lytton

Sir Henry Lytton (3 January 1865 – 15 August 1936) was an English actor and singer who was the leading exponent of the comic patter-baritone roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operas in the early part of the twentieth century. His career in these Savoy operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company spanned 50 years, and he is the only person ever knighted for achievements as a Gilbert and Sullivan performer.

Lytton began his career singing in operettas and plays, also doing odd jobs in the early 1880s. His wife, Louie Henri, performed with him and helped him get started in theatre, also serving as his music and acting coach. Lytton joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company on tour in 1884 and, after various tours, performed with the company at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1886 and 1887. After this, he played almost continuously with D'Oyly Carte touring companies for a decade as principal comedian, performing roles like Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore, Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance and Ko-Ko in The Mikado. He returned to the Savoy Theatre from 1897 to 1903, where he created a number of roles and played a large variety of roles with D'Oyly Carte, although not the principal comedian roles.

When the D'Oyly Carte company left the Savoy Theatre in 1903, Lytton left the company. He then starred in a number of successful Edwardian musical comedies for the next four years, including The Earl and the Girl, The Spring Chicken, The Little Michus and Billee Taylor. He also performed in music hall. During the D'Oyly Carte repertory seasons at the Savoy between 1906 and 1909, Lytton rejoined the company, again playing a variety of roles, but mostly not the principal comedian roles. From 1909 to 1934, Lytton performed on tour and in London with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company as its principal comedian.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 3rd, 1865 (London), Died August 15th, 1936 (Earl's Court)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1902

Roles Represented in DAHR: baritone vocal


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Gramophone 4580a 7-in. May 1902 Laughing Song Henry A. Lytton Baritone vocal solo, with piano vocalist, baritone vocal  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lytton, Henry A.," accessed July 23, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104359.

Lytton, Henry A.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 23, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104359.

"Lytton, Henry A.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 23 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104359


Send the Editors a message about this record.