THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Percy Charles (1884-87, 1888-90, 1893-94, 1896-98)

[Born c.1857]

Tenor Percy Charles was a chorister and small part player with several D'Oyly Carte companies between 1884 and 1898.He began with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "C" (Repertory) Company from July to December 1884, when he played Mr. Wranglebury in the curtain raiser Mock Turtles, and April to July 1885, when he was Mr. Round in another companion piece, Round and Square.He was a chorister with Carte's First American Mikado Company in New York and Boston, August 1885-May 1886, and Carte's First American Ruddygore Company in New York, February-April 1887.

Later Charles was with Carte's "C" (Repertory) Opera Company chorus again in 1888, before joining a revived"B" Company in January 1889 to play Leonard Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard.He transferred to Company "E" in September 1889, where he toured until January 1890 as Leonard.

In January 1890 Charles was in New York as the Annibale in Carte's ill-starred Park Theatre production of The Gondoliers.When the opera was recast and restaged at Palmer's Theatre in February he was one of the few named characters to survive.He returned to the British Isles with the "American Company," now Carte's Company "D" in May 1890, still as Annibale, then transferred back to Company "C" in July as a chorister.There's no record of his service between December 1890 and December 1893.

On December 1, 1893, when D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "E" gave the first provincial production of Utopia Limited, Percy Charles was Sir Bailey Barre.He joined Carte's American Utopia Company in May 1894, assuming Sir Bailey Barre from Eckford Smith, then rejoined Company "E" in June after the American run ended, appearing as Bailey Barre with them until December 1894.

He probably did some chorus duty next, but didn't return to the Company's programs until October-November 1896 when Utopia was revived by Carte's Company "D" with Charles in his familiar role.That Company disbanded in November 1896.His final named part was (again) Leonard Meryll in Yeomen with Carte's "B" and "C" Companies between January 1897 and June 1898.

He was married to D'Oyly Carte contralto Kate Talby.



Page modified September 3, 2007 © 2001-07 David Stone