THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY
|John Ayldon as Sergeant Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard|
John Ayldon (1967-82)
[Born London 11 Dec 1943, died 16 Feb 2013]
John Ayldon was known as John Arnold when he joined the DOyly Carte as a member of the chorus in March 1967. The following season, as John Ayldon, he assumed the small part of the Associate in Trial by Jury, and filled in on occasion as Sergeant Bouncer in Cox and Box, the Learned Judge in Trial by Jury, and Bill Bobstay in H.M.S. Pinafore.
By the start of the 1968-69 season he was understudy to Donald Adams in the principal bass-baritone roles, appearing on occasion as Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore, the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, the Earl of Mountararat in Iolanthe, and the Mikado of Japan in The Mikado. He also held down the tiny part of First Citizen in The Yeomen of the Guard.
When Adams left the Company in January 1969, John Ayldon took over as Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore, the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Colonel Calverley in Patience, the Earl of Mountararat in Iolanthe, Arac in Princess Ida, the Mikado of Japan in The Mikado, Sir Roderic Murgatroyd in Ruddigore, and Sergeant Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard.
For the 1969-70 season, he added Sergeant Bouncer in Cox and Box, vacated by George Cook at the end of the preceding season. He yielded Bouncer to Thomas Lawlor at the start of the 1970-71 season, but reclaimed it in March 1971 with Lawlors departure and, that same month, added Sir Marmaduke Poindextre in The Sorcerer when that opera was revived in a newly designed production.
He gave up Bouncer for good at the start of the 1973-74 season. For the 1975 D'Oyly Carte Centenary Celebration, Ayldon played all his principal bass-baritone roles as well as Phantis in Utopia Limited, and the Prince of Monte Carlo in The Grand Duke (in concert).
He continued to play all his familiar roles, with the exception of Arac, through the remaining days of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, ending on the last night February 27, 1982. He swapped Arac for Florian in Princess Ida in the 1977-78 season.
During his time with the Company he recorded Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore (1971), the Mikado in The Mikado (1973), Mountararat in Iolanthe (1974), the Foremen in Trial by Jury (1975), Phantis in Utopia Limited (1976), the Prince of Monte Carlo in The Grand Duke (1976), Mr. Grinder in The Zoo (1978), and Sergeant Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard (1979). He also appeared as Dick Deadeye in the DOyly Carte 1973 TV production of H.M.S. Pinafore. John performed that role before Queen Elizabeth II in a Command Performance of Pinafore at Windsor Castle in 1977.
Since the DOyly Cartes closure, John Ayldon has remained active in virtually all forms of musical theatre. He appeared in principal roles with Canadian Opera, Welsh National Opera, Dublin Grand Opera, and New Sadlers Wells Opera, for which he recorded the role of Old Adam Goodheart in Ruddigore in 1987. Hes appeared frequently in concert, music hall, cabaret, and pantomime. He made his West End debut in The Phantom of the Opera, in which he appeared in several roles, and followed this by playing the Pope in Which Witch. John was a guest artist with the New DOyly Carte Opera Company on its lone visit to America (California), playing Pooh-Bah in The Mikado. Hes toured North America frequently with Kenneth Sandford, Geoffrey Shovelton, Lorraine Daniels, and others with a concert program of G&S favorites called "The Best of Gilbert & Sullivan." He can also be seen as a soloist in the concert video recording "Gilbert & Sullivan Present their Greatest Hits."
|Page modified February 17, 2013||© 2001-13 David Stone|