Charles Ryley as Florian in Princess Ida

Charles Ryley (1883-84)

[Died London 14 May 1897]

Baritone Charles Ryley joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy in 1883, where in October-November 1883 he took over temporarily as Private Willis in Iolanthe for the departing Charles Manners. Ryley next created the part of Florian in Princess Ida, a role he retained throughout the January-October 1884 run.

After Princess Ida, Ryley left the D'Oyly Carte and the Savoy. Over the next several years he appeared in comic opera in London on two occasions:as Hugo in The Lady of the Locket (Empire Theatre, March-July 1885), and as Aubrey, Lord Dayrell in Indiana (Comedy and Avenue Theatres, October-December 1886). He is also reported to have toured the provinces as Harry Sherwood in Alfred Cellier's Dorothy.

Some time thereafter he headed for Australia where between 1890 and 1895 he performed with Williamson & Musgrove's Royal Comic Opera Company. His roles included Giuseppe in The Gondoliers (Melbourne, 1890), Florian in Princess Ida (Sydney, 1893), and undetermined parts in Iolanthe (Sydney, 1891), The Pirates of Penzance (Sydney, 1893).

He returned to London in 1895, joining the cast of An Artist's Model at Daly's at some point during the September 1895-March 1896 run. After a few months on tour, he was back in London in the domestic musical play My Girl (Gaiety and Garrick, July 1896-January 1897). His next and final role was Sir Andre Drummond in another musical, The Yashmak (Shaftesbury, beginning March 31, 1897). Sadly, Ryley collapsed one night during the show, May 1, 1897, and was replaced in the cast by Scott Russell. Ryley was reportedly in the jurybox for a benefit matinee production of Trial by Jury at the Gaiety on May 13 (his name appears in the programme), but he died at his home the following morning.

Page created July 8, 2002 © 2002 David Stone