Henry Herbert as Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance

Henry Herbert (1908-13)

Henry Herbert joined D'Oyly Carte Principal Repertory Opera Company on tour in January 1908 as the second principal tenor (behind Stafford Moss), playing the Defendant in Trial by Jury, Prince Hilarion in Princess Ida, Leonard Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Francesco in The Gondoliers.

When the Second London Repertory Season began at the Savoy with The Mikado in April 1908, Herbert was Moss's understudy as Nanki-Poo, but by May Herbert had taken the part for himself. As new operas were added to the repertoire, Herbert was cast as the principal tenor in each:July 1908, Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore; October 1908, Earl Tolloller in Iolanthe; December 1908, Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance; January 1909, Marco in The Gondoliers; and March 1909, Colonel Fairfax in The Yeomen of the Guard.

Herbert rejoined the Principal Repertory Company when the London Season ended on March 27, 1909, and assumed the roles of the Defendant (shared with Moss), Ralph, Hilarion, Nanki-Poo, Leonard, and Marco. He played these parts on tour until October 1913 when he left the Company.

Nothing is known of his career beyond the D'Oyly Carte. There was a prominent Shakespearean actor named Henry Herbert whose career overlaps that of our Savoyard tenor, but they are not the same person.

Page created August 27, 2001 © 2001 David Stone