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Richard D'Oyly Carte

(1844—1901) theatre impresario


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(b London, 1844; d London, 1901).

English impresario and producer of light operas, who brought together the librettist Gilbert and the composer Sullivan for Trial by Jury, 1875. Partnership so successful he built theatre, the Savoy, which opened 1881 with Patience. His attempt to launch English grand opera with Sullivan's Ivanhoe, 1891, failed. His widow Helen (d 1913) continued management of ‘Savoy operas’, followed by son Rupert (1876–1948) and granddaughter Bridget. The Gilbert and Sullivan operas were generally presented in Britain professionally by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Co. until 1982 (they were known more widely as ‘D'Oyly Carte operas’ than as ‘Savoy operas’) but the D'Oyly Carte's exclusive ownership of them ended with expiry of Sullivan's copyright in 1950 and other opera companies have produced them, e.g. ENO, with prods. by Jonathan Miller and Ken Russell.

Subjects: Music.


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