THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Marian May (1879-83)

Marian May joined Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "Second Pinafore" Company in 1879, serving a Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore from December 15 of that year, and appearing as Edith in the single copyright performance of The Pirates of Penzance in Paignton on December 30, 1879. She appeared as Hebe until March 1880, when the part was given to Millie Vere, but filled in for Miss Vere in November 1880, by which time the Company had been redesignated as Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "A" Company. She also appeared as Betsy in the companion piece Four by Honours (May 1880).

Her next named part was the Lady Ella. Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "D" Company gave its first provincial production of Patience on August 1, 1880. Miss May took over as Ella the following month, playing until December. In 1882 she transferred to Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "B" Company as soprano chorister and understudy. That year (in August) she stepped in briefly as Josephine in Pinafore and Mabel in Pirates. She was Lady Ella again in Patience when Carte's No. 1 "Patience" Company began touring on March 5, 1883, but was replaced by Alice Gresham before the month was out. In July of that year she surfaced with Carte's "Pinafore" and "Pirates" Company, returning to her original soubrette roles of Hebe and Edith. When the "Pinafore" and "Pirates" Company was disbanded in September 1883, Miss May's D'Oyly Carte career appears to have ended.

She was married to D'Oyly Carte principal baritone John Le Hay.



Page modified November 1, 2011 © 2003-11 David Stone