Dorrie Russell as Iolanthe in Iolanthe

Dorrie Russell (1918-21)

[Born 1895]

Mezzo-soprano Dorrie Russell made her London debut as the Second Twin in J. M. Barrie's fairy play, Peter Pan, a Christmas entertainment at the New Theatre, December 1916-February 1917.

She joined the D'Oyly Carte Repertory Opera Company chorus in July 1918, filled in briefly as Lady Psyche in Princess Ida in October, and assumed the small roles of Leila in Iolanthe and Vittoria in The Gondoliers in February 1919 when Ella Quartly left the Company.

When the D'Oyly Carte "New" Opera Company was formed in September 1919, Miss Russell was its principal mezzo--appearing over the next two years as Iolanthe in Iolanthe, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, Tessa in The Gondoliers, and Phoebe Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard. Early in the next season, however, she became ill and her roles were gradually assumed by Winifred Downing. Miss Russell made some appearances as Iolanthe, Phoebe, and Tessa, as well as Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, newly added to the repertoire, but left the D'Oyly Carte organization in August 1921.

Page modified January 26, 2012 © 2003-12 David Stone