THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Tom Redmond

Tom Redmond (1883-84, 1886-88, 1888-97, 1906-07)

[Born Liverpool c.1857, died 9 Aug 1937]

Tom Redmond began his D'Oyly Carte career as a chorister on tour with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "Pinafore" and "Pirates" Company between January and September 1883. The following year he was with Carte's No. 1 "Iolanthe" ("F") Company when they toured from March to December 1884, but left at that point or in 1885. He rejoined the Carte organization the following year, taking his first named part as Pooh-Bah in The Mikado with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "D" Company in April 1886, later playing it on a regular basis with Carte's "E" Company from January to April 1887, when he transferred to Carte's newly-formed "B" Company.

"B" Company toured Ruddigore exclusively from April to December 1887 with Redmond as Sir Roderick. They added The Mikado in December with Redmond in the title role, and toured the two operas until June 1888 when the Company was disbanded. The left the Carte organization for a second time, appearing at the Prince of Wales's Theatre, Salford, in August 1888 as Baron Badde in a comic opera called Randolph the Reckless.

Redmond then returned to the D'Oyly Carte:this time with main Company at the Savoy where, in October 1888, he created the tiny part of First Citizen in The Yeomen of the Guard. He remained at the Savoy until April 1889, when he resumed touring with a reformed D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "B" as the Lieutenant of the Tower in Yeomen. He was once more the Mikado when the ever-popular Japanese opera was added to the tour in December 1889.

Redmond was Don Alhambra when The Gondoliers was played by Company "B" for the first time in March 1890, then transferred to Carte's Company "C" in that role beginning March 24. In December 1890, Fred Billington joined Company "C" and The Mikado was once again added to the tour. Billington assumed Don Alhambra (and Pooh-Bah), and Redmond was given the Mikado again. Redmond added Sergeant Meryll to his repertoire when The Yeomen of the Guard joined the tour in January 1891, switch from Don Alhambra to Luiz in The Gondoliers in March of that year when Helier Le Maistre left the Company, and took on Strephon when Iolanthe was added in October. That year he also had the honor of playing the Mikado before Queen Victoria when Company "C" gave The Mikado in a command performance at Balmoral Castle.

The next two years found Redmond playing Strephon, the Mikado, Sergeant Meryll, and Luiz throughout the seasons. He also had a role, probably Pyjama, in The Nautch Girl (played January-June 1892), but none in Patience, which was revived in August 1892. The Pirate King was added to his duties in May 1893 when the Company "C" repertoire expanded again to include The Pirates of Penzance.

H.M.S. Pinafore joined the tour in January 1894, Redmond as Captain Corcoran, and in September of that year he swapped Luiz for Giuseppe in The Gondoliers. During 1895 he would add three new roles in three new operas:Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre in The Sorcerer (April), Sergeant Bouncer in Cox and Box (May), and Arac in Princess Ida (December):and in January 1896 he gave up his only night off, taking over Colonel Calverley in Patience. In December 1896, Redmond filled in for a time for Billington as Pooh-Bah in The Mikado and Wilfred Shadbolt in Yeomen.

When Carte sent a Company to South Africa in December 1896, British touring Companies "B" and "C" merged and, as Company "B," began 1897 with a limited repertoire consisting of Iolanthe, The Mikado, and The Yeomen of the Guard. Redmond was Strephon, Pooh-Bah, and Shadbolt, respectively. He added King Mopolio when His Majesty joined the tour in March, then left the tour in May 1897 to fill in for Henry A. Lytton as Shadbolt at the Savoy. It then appears he left the D'Oyly Carte.

It's not entirely clear what Redmond was doing between May 1897 and December 1906 when he returned to the D'Oyly Carte and the Savoy for the First London Repertory Season. (A Thomas Redmond appeared in London at the Adelphi as the Corporal in Belasco's drama The Heart of Maryland, April-June 1898, and might well be the same gentleman.)

At the Savoy, Tom Redmond took the small part of Giorgio in The Gondoliers (January-March 1907) and served as understudy to John Clulow as Shadbolt in Yeomen and Don Alhambra in Gondoliers, going on in both parts on several occasions in February. In early March 1907, Redmond was back on tour, filling in that month for Billington again as Don Alhambra and possibly other parts, but he returned to the Savoy for the remainder of the London season, which ended August 24, 1907. He then left the Company for the last time.

Tom Redmond later appeared in London in the revue Three Cheers! (Shaftesbury, December 1916-June 1917), and as Briggs in the play The Luck of the Navy (Queen's, August 1918-March 1919; Garrick, May-July 1919; and New, July-August 1919).

He was married to D'Oyly Carte soprano Mary Morison.



Page modified March 30, 2006 © 2003-06 David Stone