Marie Rochefort (1890-97)

Contralto Marie Rochefort took her first D'Oyly Carte part on January 7, 1890, as Inez in the first American production of The Gondoliers at the Park Theatre, New York. The production was a popular, critical, and financial failure, and it closed in February. When it was remounted at Palmer's Theatre later that month Miss Rochefort was no longer in the cast, returning to the British provinces where she played Inez with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "C" from March 1890 to December 1896. Other operas were added to the repertoire beginning in 1891, and Miss Rochefort was probably understudy to the principal contralto for her entire tenure with Company "C." We know she filled in for Kate Forster as the Duchess of Plaza-Toro in The Gondoliers (January 1894), the Queen of the Fairies in Iolanthe (January 1894 and March 1895), Katisha in The Mikado (October 1894), and the Lady Jane in Patience (March 1895).

Gondoliers was dropped from the repertoire in December 1896, and Miss Rochefort seems to have served only in the chorus until March 1897, when Company "C" took up His Majesty and she was given the small part of Dame Gertrude. In August 1897 she transferred to D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "B" where she played Gonzaga in His Majesty until September. It was her last role with the D'Oyly Carte organization.

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