Kathleen Frances as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance

Kathleen Frances (1932-33, 1934-35)

[Born c.1910, died Camden, New South Wales 24 Mar 1985]

Soprano Kathleen Frances received her musical training (both violin and singing) at the Royal College of Music from 1927 to 1931. She appeared at the London Coliseum in 1931 as the Yodeller in The White Horse Inn, before joining the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company as a member of the chorus in August 1932. Within seven weeks she was playing principal roles, appearing that season as the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Lady Ella in Patience, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Rose Maybud in Ruddigore, Kate in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Casilda in The Gondoliers.

She left the D'Oyly Carte in July 1933, appearing at Drury Lane in Hammerstein and Abraham's Ball at the Savoy (September 1933-January 1934) and Hammerstein and Kern's Three Sisters (April-June 1934).

She returned to the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in August 1934, assuming First Bridesmaid in Trial by Jury, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Ella in Patience, Celia in Iolanthe, Sacharissa in Princess Ida, Zorah in Ruddigore, and Kate in The Yeomen of the Guard. When Eileen Moody left the Company in May 1935, Miss Frances took over three of her parts:Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Rose in Ruddigore, and Casilda in The Gondoliers:while giving up the smaller roles of the Bridesmaid, Celia, Sacharissa, and Zorah.

Kathleen Frances began the next season (in August 1935) with five leading roles:Mabel, Yum-Yum, Rose, Casilda, and (for the first time) Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore. She contracted scarlet fever and was forced to leave the D'Oyly Carte in December 1935, midway through the season. She never returned.

Page modified August 25, 2009 © 2001-09 David Stone