George Arnold (m.d., 1881-82, 1882-88, 1890-95)

George A. Arnold spent the better part of 15 years as Musical Director for a variety of D’Oyly Carte’s touring companies. His first tour, from August 22 through December 17, 1881, was with the recently formed "D" Company, directing the first Provincial production of Patience. In May and June 1882 he was with Carte’s No. 1 Patience Company, but soon left the Carte organization and, next month, was directing a comic opera called The Captain of the Guard at Margate and, subsequently, on tour.

He returned to the D’Oyly Carte in December 1882, touring with Planquette’s Rip Van Winkle though July 1883, when he took over the No. 1 Iolanthe Company from P. W. Halton. From December 26, 1883, until it was disbanded on February 2, 1884, he directed the Pinafore and Pirates Company. He then directed the No. 1 Iolanthe (or "F") Company from March 3 until December 6, 1884, when it too was disbanded. Between April 6 and July 11, 1885, he toured with Carte’s "C" (Repertory) Company, presenting H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Patience, Iolanthe, and the "curtain raiser" Round & Square. In October of that year, he took over the "D" Company, presenting The Mikado and only The Mikado for the balance of 1885, all of 1886, and into January 1887. In February 1887 he directed two matinee performances of Ruddigore at the Savoy but did not, it appears, accompany the cast to America. Arnold’s next assignment with the Carte organization came in April 1887 when he directed a company on tour with H.M.S. Pinafore, Patience, and The Mikado in Germany and Austria, through February 1888.

After his return, Arnold did not rejoin the Carte organization until May 12, 1890, when he took over D’Oyly Carte’s American Opera Company upon its return to Dublin. They performed The Gondoliers on tour in Ireland, Scotland, and England until July 5. From August 4 though December 6, Arnold directed the touring "D" Company in The Mikado and The Yeomen of the Guard. The "D" Company was not reformed again until August 1891. With Arnold directing, they toured The Nautch Girl until December. In March 1892, Arnold and "D" Company were on the road again with The Vicar of Bray and Quite an Adventure. With a break in the schedule in July, Arnold directed the "B" Company for a time in The Yeomen of the Guard, returning to "D" Company July 25 and its double bill. Arnold and "D" Company continued to tour The Vicar of Bray into the 1893, in repertory with Haddon Hall that year. On Boxing Day 1893 they switched to Utopia Limited, once again adding The Vicar of Bray in November 1894. Still with "D" Company from December 1894 through November 1895, Arnold directed Utopia Limited and The Vicar of Bray throughout the year. The repertory also included Mirette (December-June), The Chieftain (February-August, accompanied by Cox and Box beginning in May), and Princess Ida (beginning in September). Arnold left the Company in November, shortly before the end of the tour, and never worked with the Carte organization again.

In 1896 and 1897 he served as Conductor at London’s Vaudeville Theatre, before touring with musical comedy in 1897-98. Returning to London, he had brief stints as Musical Director at the Avenue, the Strand, and Terry’s Theatres in 1899 and 1901.

Page modified November 30, 2001 © 2001 David Stone