Catherine Pelling (1884-92)

Contralto Catherine Pelling took what may have been her first and only role on the London Stage at the Globe Theatre as Cynthia in the original production of Grundy & Solomon's The Vicar of Bray. She was the second singer to play the role in a run that stretched from July 22 to October 28, 1882.

Miss Pelling was a chorister and understudy with various D'Oyly Carte touring companies between 1884 and 1892. We know for certain that she was with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "D" ("Princess Ida" No. 1) Company in 1884, where she filled in briefly for Fanny Edwards as Lady Blanche in October of that year. In November 1885 Miss Pelling deputized for Millie Vere as Katisha in The Mikado with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "E" Company. She continued to serve with "E" Company into 1886.

It was not until February 1890, however, that her name appears in a D'Oyly Carte program again. Still with Carte's "E" Company, she was the regular Inez in the first provincial production of The Gondoliers. She transferred to D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "B" the following month as their Inez, remaining with that group at least until June 1892 when The Gondoliers was dropped from the Company "B" repertoire.

Page created March 28, 2003 © 2003 David Stone