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Encyclopedia > Richard D'Oyly Carte
Richard D'Oyly Carte

Richard D'Oyly Carte (May 3, 1844April 3, 1901) was an English theatrical impresario during the latter half of the nineteenth century. He is best known for producing the Savoy Operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, founding the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and building both the Savoy Theatre and the Savoy Hotel. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (447x654, 56 KB) Photo of Richard DOyly Carte by Ellis & Walery, scanned from page 6 of the 1914 edition of Cellier & Bridgemans Gilbert and Sullivan and Their Operas This image is in the public domain in the United States. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (447x654, 56 KB) Photo of Richard DOyly Carte by Ellis & Walery, scanned from page 6 of the 1914 edition of Cellier & Bridgemans Gilbert and Sullivan and Their Operas This image is in the public domain in the United States. ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... 1844 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... April 3 is the 93rd day of the year (94th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 272 days remaining. ... 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2005 est. ... An impresario is a manager or producer in one of the entertainment industries, usually Music or Theatre. ... The Savoy Operas are a series of operettas written by Gilbert and Sullivan. ... W. S. Gilbert Sir Arthur Sullivan Librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) collaborated on a series of fourteen comic operas in Victorian England between 1871 and 1896. ... The DOyly Carte Opera Company staged performances of Gilbert and Sullivans Savoy operas in the UK, Europe, America, South Africa and elsewhere from the nineteenth century to the twenty first. ... Savoy Theatre London, December 2003 The Savoy Theatre, which opened on 10 October 1881, was built by Richard DOyly Carte (1844 - 1901) on the site of the old Savoy Palace in London as a showcase for the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, which became known as the Savoy Operas... This article is about the Savoy Hotel in London. ...

Contents

Life and Career

Carte was born in Soho's Greek Street in the West End of London, the eldest of six children. Of Welsh and Norman ancestry (D'Oyly is Norman French), Carte was brought up in a cultured home. Carte's father, Richard Carte, was a flautist and a musical instrument salesman, and the younger Carte was raised with a musical background. The family spoke French at home two days a week. He attended the University School of London but left in order to take a larger role in his father's business. Soho is an area of central Londons West End, in the borough of the City of Westminster. ... Street in Soho, London, leading south from Soho Square to Shaftesbury Avenue. ... The West End of London is part of the city centre of London in England. ... A flautist demonstrates flute-playing technique A flautist or flutist is a musician who plays the flute. ...


Carte was married twice. His first wife was Blanche Julia Prowse, the daughter of a piano manufacturer. They married in 1871 and had two sons, Lucas and Rupert. Blanche died in 1885. Three years later, he married Helen Lenoir (born Susan Couper Black), whom he had originally employed as a secretary in 1877. Helen D'Oyly Carte became intensely involved in all the business affairs of her husband and had a grasp of detail, organisational ability, diplomacy and acumen that surpassed even her husband's. The couple's London home included the first private elevator. Rupert DOyly Carte, born Hampstead, London, November 3, 1876, was an English hotelier and impresario, best known as proprietor of the DOyly Carte Opera Company from 1913 to 1948. ... Helen DOyly Carte Helen DOyly Carte or Helen Lenoir (May 12, 1852 – May 5, 1913) was the second wife of impresario and hotelier Richard DOyly Carte. ...


Carte died on April 3, 1901. He is buried in the churchyard of St Andrew's church in Fairlight, East Sussex. April 3 is the 93rd day of the year (94th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 272 days remaining. ... 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Fairlight is a village in East Sussex, England within Rother district, three miles to the east of Hastings. ...


Early career

Between 1868 and 1877, Carte wrote and published the music for a number of his own songs and instrumental works, as well as four comic operas, Doctor Ambrosias—His Secret, Marie, The Doctor in Spite of Himself and Happy Hampstead. The first of these was performed at St. George's Opera House in 1868. At the same time, he was beginning to build an operatic and concert management agency, while also acting as a concert and lecture agent. In 1870, Carte suggested to Arthur Sullivan that he compose a comic opera. Sullivan was busy with other projects, and declined. Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (May 13, 1842 – November 22, 1900) was an English composer best known for his operatic collaborations with librettist W. S. Gilbert. ... Comic opera is a subcategory of opera, and denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature. ...


Founding his opera company

In 1875, he became the business manager of the Royalty Theatre, under the direction of Madame Selina Dolaro. The first show he booked was Jacques Offenbach's La Périchole. Because the opera was short, he commissioned W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan to write a one-act comic opera to fill out the evening, which became Trial by Jury. Trial was a surprise hit. The Royalty Theatre was a London theatre situated at 73 Dean Street, Soho. ... Portrait of Selina Dolaro Selina Dolaro (August 20, 1849-January 23, 1889) was an English actor, singer, theater manager, and writer. ... Jacques Offenbach Jacques Offenbach (20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880), composer and cellist, was one of the originators of the operetta form, a precursor of the modern musical comedy. ... Original poster La Périchole is an opéra bouffe in three acts by Jacques Offenbach. ... Sir William Schwenck Gilbert Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (November 18, 1836 – May 29, 1911) was an English dramatist, librettist and illustrator best known for the fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. ... Comic opera is a subcategory of opera, and denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature. ... Trial by Jury is a comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in one act (the only single-act Savoy Opera). ...


Carte hoped that English light operas would supplant the French operettas that dominated the London stage. Building on the success of Trial, he formed the Comedy Opera Company to produce the future works of Gilbert and Sullivan, along with the works of other British lyricist/composer teams. Carte leased the Opera Comique, a small theatre off The Strand. The first comic opera produced by the new partnership was The Sorcerer in 1877, and Carte's agency provided many of the artists to perform in the new work. The success of The Sorcerer showed Carte, Gilbert and Sullivan that there was a future in English comic opera. The Opéra-Comique is an opera house in Paris. ... Strand, May 2001 St. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Sorcerer The Sorcerer is the earliest surviving two-act Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. ...


It was followed by H.M.S. Pinafore in 1878. Business for the new opera was slow at first. Carte's partners in the Comedy Opera Company advocated cutting their losses and closing the show. Carte persuaded the author and composer that a business partnership among the three of them would be profitable. He used the enforced closure of the Opéra Comique for repairs to evoke a contract clause reverting the rights of Pinafore and Sorcerer to Gilbert and Sullivan, who entrusted them to him. The three each put up £1,000 and formed a new partnership, and The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company became the sole producer of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. Pinafore became a huge hit in Britain and America, and was followed by The Pirates of Penzance in 1879 and Patience in 1881. Wikisource has original text related to this article: H.M.S. Pinafore H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass that Loved a Sailor, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... Poster announcing the copyright performance at the Bijou Theatre, Paignton The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty, is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Patience (operetta) Patience (video tape cover) Patience (video tape cover) This article refers to the Savoy Opera. ...


During the years when the Gilbert and Sullivan operas were being written, Richard D'Oyly Carte also produced operas by other composer–librettist teams, either as curtain-raisers to the G&S pieces, or to fill the theatre in between G&S pieces. Carte also introduced the practice of licensing amateur theatrical societies to present works for which he had the rights, increasing their popularity and the sales of scores and libretti, as well as the rental of band parts.


Real estate interests

With profits from the success of the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership and his concert and lecture agency (his talent roster included Adelina Patti, Oscar Wilde, and Charles Gounod), Carte bought property further East along the Strand with frontage onto the Thames Embankment, where he built the Savoy Theatre and the elaborate Savoy Hotel. He chose the name to memorialize the history of the property: In 1246, King Henry III granted the land to Peter, Count of Savoy, the uncle of his wife, Eleanor of Provence. The Savoy Palace, a very large and elegant palace, was built on the property. It later passed to John of Gaunt, 2nd Duke of Lancaster, and was burned during the Peasants' Revolt in 1381. The Savoy Hotel became a well-known luxury hotel and would generate more income and contribute more to the D'Oyly Carte fortunes than any other enterprise, including the opera companies. Patti as Marguerite in Faust, 1875. ... It has been suggested that Wildes Manuscripts be merged into this article or section. ... Charles Gounod Charles François Gounod (June 17, 1818 – October 18, 1893) was a French composer, best known for his opera Faust. ... This article is about the Savoy Hotel in London. ... Henry III of England, as depicted in Cassells History of England, Century Edition, published circa 1902 Henry III (October 1, 1207 - November 16, 1272) is one of the least-known British monarchs, considering the great length of his reign. ... Coat of Arms of the Counts of Savoy Peter II of Savoy (1203 - 1268) was Count of Savoy from 1263 until his death, and built the Savoy Palace in London. ... Eleanor of Provence (c 1223 – 26 June 1291) was Queen Consort of King Henry III of England. ... The Savoy Palace was considered the grandest noblemans residence of medieval London, until it was destroyed in the uprising of 1381. ... John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (June 24, 1340 - February 3, 1399), the third surviving son of King Edward III of England, gained his name because he was born at Ghent in 1340. ... There were several Dukes of Lancaster in the 14th and early 15th Centuries. ... The end of the revolt: Wat Tyler killed by Walworth while Richard II watches, and a second image of Richard addressing the crowd The Peasants Revolt, Tyler’s Rebellion, or the Great Rising of 1381 was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval Europe and is a...


Patience transferred to the new theatre on October 10, 1881. At the time, the Savoy seated nearly 1,300 people and was the first public building to be lit entirely with electric light. At a performance shortly after it opened, Carte stepped on stage and broke a glowing lightbulb to demonstrate the safety of the new technology. Iolanthe was the first opera to open at the Savoy Theatre. October 10 is the 283rd day of the year (284th in Leap years). ... 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri, is a comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in two acts. ...


End of the partnership; Royal English Opera House

Gilbert and Sullivan had an often tumultuous relationship, and Carte frequently had to smooth over their differences with a mixture of friendship and business acumen. Carte was able to coax five more comic operas out of his partners in the 1880s. The musical establishment and Sullivan's friends put pressure on the composer to abandon comic opera, and Sullivan asked to be released from the partnership on several occasions.


During the run of the last Gilbert and Sullivan success, The Gondoliers, the three partners quarreled over production costs, including the cost of a new carpet for the Savoy Theatre lobby. The partnership temporarily ended in acrimony. Gilbert brought suit, and Sullivan sided with Carte — Carte was building the Royal English Opera House in Cambridge Circus close to Covent Garden to present Sullivan's forthcoming grand opera. The Gondoliers, or The King of Barataria, is a Savoy Opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. ... Covent Garden is a district in central London and within the easterly bounds of the City of Westminster. ... Grand Opera is a style of opera mainly characterized by many features on a grandiose scale. ...


Carte's first production at the Royal English Opera House was of Sullivan's only grand opera, Ivanhoe opening in January 1891. The opera was a success, playing for 155 performances, but no other operas shared the new opera house with it. Instead, Ivanhoe was presented every night with alternating casts. When Ivanhoe finally closed in July, Carte had no new work ready to play at the opera house, and it had to close. The opera house re-opened in November, with André Messager's La Basoche at first alternating in repertory with Ivanhoe, and then La Basoche alone, closing in January 1892. Ivanhoe is a romantic opera in three acts based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by Julian Sturgis. ... André Charles Prosper Messager (December 30, 1853 - 1929), French musician, was born at Montlucon. ...


There was nothing to replace it, and the venture soon failed. Sir Henry Wood, who had been répétiteur for the production, recalled in his autobiography that "[i]f D'Oyly Carte had had a repertory of six operas instead of only one, I believe he would have established English opera in London for all time. Towards the end of the run of Ivanhoe I was already preparing The Flying Dutchman with Eugène Oudin in the name part. He would have been superb. However, plans were altered and the Dutchman was shelved." (My Life of Music, Victor Gollancz Ltd., London 1938) Carte sold the huge opera house at a loss. It later became the Palace music hall, and is today the Palace Theatre. Sir Henry Joseph Wood (3 March 1869 - 19 August 1944) was a British orchestral conductor, the founder of the famous Promenade Concerts. ... The Flying Dutchman (German title: Der fliegende Holländer) is an opera, music and libretto by Richard Wagner. ... The Palace Theatre, London, is an imposing red-brick building that dominates the west side of Cambridge Circus. ...


Later years

After the carpet quarrel, with The Gondoliers closing and no more Gilbert and Sullivan operas being written, Carte turned to George Dance, Frank Desprez and Edward Solomon for his next piece, The Nautch Girl, which ran for a satisfying 200 performances in 1891-1892. Carte next revived Solomon and Sydney Grundy's The Vicar of Bray which ran through the summer of 1892 until Grundy and Sullivan's Haddon Hall was ready. This held the stage until April 1893. Edward Solomon (July 25, 1855 – January 22, 1895) was a prolific English composer, as well as a conductor, orchestrator and pianist. ... The Nautch Girl, or, The Rajah of Chutneypore is a comic opera in two acts, with a libretto by George Dance, lyrics by Dance and Frank Desprez and music by Edward Solomon. ... Sydney Grundy (March 23, 1848 – July 4, 1914) was an English dramatist. ... The Vicar of Bray is a comic opera by Sydney Grundy and Edward Solomon, which opened at the Globe Theatre, in London, on July 22, 1882, for a run of 69 performances. ... Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England (2002) Haddon Hall is an English country house on the River Wye at Bakewell, Derbyshire, one of the seats of the Duke of Rutland, occupied by Lord Edward Manners and his family. ...


Carte and his wife were finally able to convince Gilbert and Sullivan to collaborate on another piece, Utopia, Limited. Until it was ready, Jane Annie, by J. M. Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle, with music by Ernest Ford was produced as a stop-gap. Utopia opened in 1893, but it was the partnership's most expensive production to date, and it ran for a comparatively disappointing 245 performances, until June 1894. The Savoy then played first Mirette by Harry Greenbank and Fred E. Weatherly, with music by André Messager; then The Chieftain, by F. C. Burnand and Arthur Sullivan. This was followed by The Grand Duke, in 1896, which ran for only 123 performances and was the last collaboration between Gilbert and Sullivan. Utopia, Limited, or The Flowers of Progress is a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. ... Jane Annie, or The Good Conduct Prize was written by J.M.Barrie, Arthur Conan Doyle, with music by Ernest Ford. ... Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and the adventures of Professor Challenger. ... Mirette is an opéra comique in three acts composed by André Messager, first produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, on July 3, 1894. ... Harry Greenbank was an author from the late 19th and early 20th century. ... Frederick Edward Weatherly (1848-1929) was an English lawyer, author, songwriter and radio entertainer. ... André Charles Prosper Messager (December 30, 1853 - 1929), French musician, was born at Montlucon. ... The Chieftain is a two-act comic opera by Arthur Sullivan and F. C. Burnand based on their 1867 opera, The Contrabandista. ... From The History of Punch Sir Francis Cowley Burnand (November 29, 1836 - April 21, 1917) was an editor of Punch, taking over from Tom Taylor in 1880, until 1906, when he was succeeded by Sir Owen Seaman. ... Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (May 13, 1842 – November 22, 1900) was an English composer best known for his operatic collaborations with librettist W. S. Gilbert. ... The Grand Duke, or The Statutory Duel, was the final operetta written by William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. ...


Throughout the later 1890s, Carte's health was in decline, and Mrs. Carte assumed more and more of the responsibilities for the opera company. She profitably managed theatre and the provincial touring companies. The Savoy put on a number of shows for comparatively short runs, including Sullivan's The Beauty Stone, in 1898. In 1899, Carte finally had a success again, with Sullivan and Basil Hood's The Rose of Persia. Neither Carte nor Sullivan lived to see the success of The Emerald Isle for which Edward German completed the score. The Beauty Stone is an opera by Arthur Sullivan to a libretto by Arthur Wing Pinero and J. Comyns Carr. ... Basil Charles Hood (April 5, 1864 – August 7, 1917) was a British librettist and lyricist, perhaps best known for his libretti of a half dozen Savoy Operas. ... The Rose of Persia; or, The Story-Teller and the Slave, is a two-act comic opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by Basil Hood. ... The Emerald Isle; or, The Caves of Carrig-Cleena, is a two-act comic opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and Edward German, and a libretto by Basil Hood. ... Sir Edward German (17 February 1862 - 11 November 1936) was a musician and composer. ...


Primary works as a composer

  • Dr. Ambrosius — His Secret (1868)
  • Marie (1871)
  • The Doctor in Spite of Himself (1871) (based on a Moliere work)
  • Happy Hampstead (1876)

Carte's Parlour songs include: Molière, engraved frontispiece to his Works Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière (January 15, 1622 - February 17, 1673), was a French theatre writer, director and actor, one of the masters of comic satire. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

  • "Stars of the Summer Night" Serenade, with poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • "Questions" Song, with words by Frank Desprez
  • "Twilight" Canzonet
  • "Pourquoi?" Chansonette, dedicated to Selina Dolaro
  • "The Maiden's Watch" Song with words by Amy Thornton, composed for and sung by Adelaide Newton
  • "The Mountain Boy", sung by Florence Lancia

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Frank Desprez (February 9, 1853 – November 25, 1916) was an English playwright, essayist, and poet. ... Portrait of Selina Dolaro Selina Dolaro (August 20, 1849-January 23, 1889) was an English actor, singer, theater manager, and writer. ...

References

  • Fitz-Gerald, S. J. Adair (1924). The Story of the Savoy Opera. London: Stanley Paul & Co..
  • Baily, Leslie (1966). The Gilbert and Sullivan Book, new ed., London: Spring Books.
  • Hibbert, Christopher (1976). Gilbert & Sullivan and Their Victorian World. New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Wilson, Robin; Frederic Lloyd (1984). Gilbert & Sullivan – The Official D'Oyly Carte Picture History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc..

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Richard D'Oyly Carte
Gilbert and Sullivan
The Triumvirate:
W. S. Gilbert | Arthur Sullivan | Richard D'Oyly Carte
The Gilbert and Sullivan Operas:
ThespisTrial by JuryThe SorcererH.M.S. PinaforeThe Pirates of PenzancePatienceIolanthePrincess Ida
The MikadoRuddigoreThe Yeomen of the GuardThe GondoliersUtopia, LimitedThe Grand Duke
Other Works:
Other Works by W. S. Gilbert • Other Operas by Arthur Sullivan • Other Music by Arthur Sullivan
People:
People associated with Gilbert and Sullivan • Gilbert and Sullivan performers

 
 

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