George Temple as Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance

George Temple (1878-81, 1887, 1890, 1896)

[Born c.1841, died Clifton, Lancashire 8 Dec 1899]

Baritone George Temple, real name James Mexworthy, appeared at the Globe Theatre, London, in F. C. Burnand's The White Cat in December 1870. He made frequent appearances on the London Stage over the next several years.

He had several engagements with D'Oyly Carte companies in London and on tour between 1878 and 1896. In October 1878 he filled in briefly for Rutland Barrington as Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore at the Opera Comique. The following year he toured with Carte's new "2nd London" Company (September-November 1879) as Captain Corcoran in Pinafore, also taking a part in the curtain-raiser Number One 'Round the Corner, that appeared on the bill in October. He returned to the Opera Comique later that year, replacing Richard Temple as Selworthy in the curtain raiser After All!. When In the Sulks was added to the Opera Comique program in February 1880, George Temple took the role of Mr. James Liverby.

For the first London production of The Pirates of Penzance (April 1880-April 1881), George Temple created the part of Samuel. He resumed playing Liverby when In the Sulks was restored as companion piece, and filled in for a time for Richard Temple as the Pirate King in September 1880.

He left the Company after Pirates, appearing later that year at the Opera Comique as Jamilek in Gilbert & Clay's Princess Toto (October-December 1881). Among his notable roles over the next few years was Zoram in a revival of Gilbert's fairy comedy The Palace of Truth (Prince of Wales's, 1884).

George Temple returned to the D'Oyly Carte in February 1887, appearing that month with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "A" Company as Pooh-Bah in The Mikado. From March to December of that year he toured with Carte's "C" Company as Sir Despard Murgatroyd in the first provincial production of Ruddigore.

Temple then left the Carte organization again, appearing in the West End in two productions (Faddimir and Gretna Green) in 1889. He was rehired by Carte to appear on January 7, 1890, as the Duke of Plaza-Toro in the first American production of The Gondoliers at the Park Theatre, New York. The production was a popular, critical, and financial failure. It closed in February, and when it was remounted at Palmer's Theatre later that month Temple was no longer in the cast. He returned to England, where he toured as the Duke with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "C" from March to July 1890. He then filled in for Frank Wyatt at the Savoy in the same role in August and September 1890.

Aside from a single matinee performance of Captain Thèrese (Criterion, May 1893), George Temple's next appearance in a London program came in October 1894 when he created the small part of the Sentry in Gilbert & Carr's "His Excellency" (Lyric, 1894-95).

He rejoined the D'Oyly Carte organization in 1896, touring as Ben Hashbaz in The Grand Duke with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "D" from March to November, when he left the Company for the final time.

He made a few brief appearances in London theatres in 1897 and 1898, but died in Lancashire in 1899 at the age of 58.

Page modified October 28, 2002 © 2001-02 David Stone