Benjamin Simmonds (m.d., 1875)

[Born Worcester 1826, died Pimlico 3 Nov 1910]

If one allows that the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company's inception was March 25, 1875, then Benjamin J. Simmonds was its first musical director. Simmonds conducted Offenbach's La Perichole that night at the Royalty Theatre, while the afterpiece, Trial by Jury, was conducted that night only by its composer.

Simmonds owed his assignment as musical director to his daughter Selina Dolaro, star of La Perichole and "directress" of the Royalty Theatre company that Richard D'Oyly Carte managed. Simmonds served as musical director as long as Carte was manager, both at the Royalty and on tour. When the company returned to the Royalty in October 1875, however, under Charles Morton's management, Hamilton Clarke took over as musical director.

Page created May 14, 2003© 2003 David Stone