Frank Steward as the Foreman of the Jury in Trial by Jury

Frank Steward (1908-16, 1919-25, 1932-33, 1934-37)

[Born Fulham, London c.1884]

Francis Joseph Steward joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus at the Savoy for the Second London Repertory Season (April 1908-March 1909). From July 1909 until, approximately, January 1916, he toured with the D'Oyly Carte Principal Repertory Opera Company, appearing regularly as the Foreman of the Jury in Trial by Jury (except for the period March-June 1914) and Antonio in The Gondoliers (from July 1910 onward). From March to July 1914, following Sydney Granville's departure, Steward played the Counsel for the Plaintiff in Trial, Colonel Calverley in Patience, Strephon in Iolanthe, and Pish-Tush in The Mikado. Steward also appeared as Strephon and Second Citizen in The Yeomen of the Guard for portions of the 1910-11 season, and filled in on occasion as the Lieutenant of the Tower in Yeomen (October 1909) and Giuseppe in The Gondoliers (1910-11). He left the Company in early 1916 to serve in the Army during World War I.

He returned to the Repertory Company after the war (July 1919), appearing again as Antonio, then in September 1919 began six seasons as the first principal comedian for the D'Oyly Carte "New" Opera Company. The "New" Company played a limited repertoire of four full-length operas, and Steward appeared every night:as the Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe (1919-22, 1923-24), Ko-Ko in The Mikado (1919-21, 1922-25), Jack Point in The Yeomen of the Guard (1919-23, 1924-25), the Duke of Plaza-Toro in The Gondoliers (1919-24), the Learned Judge in Trial by Jury (1921-24), Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance (1921-23), Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore (1923-25), and Robin Oakapple in Ruddigore (1924-25).

In July 1925 Ivan Menzies transferred to the "New" Company as principal comedian and Steward left the D'Oyly Carte organization. He toured for a time in comedy parts in The Street Singer, The Swordsman, and Lady Mary, but returned to the remaining D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in August 1932, filling in occasionally during the 1932-33 season as Robin Oakapple in Ruddigore.

After another season away from the Company (1933-34), Steward rejoined the D'Oyly Carte in August 1934, appearing for the next three seasons as Major Murgatroyd in Patience, Second Citizen in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Annibale in The Gondoliers. He also appeared often as the Foreman (1935-35 and 1936-37, shared with T. Penry Hughes) and the Learned Judge (on occasion, 1935-36) in Trial. He retired from the D'Oyly Carte in July 1937.

Steward was married to fellow D'Oyly Carte artist Kitty Twinn.

Page modified February 17, 2014© 2001-08 David Stone