Frank Wilson

Frank Wilson (1900-04, 1906-07, 1916-18)

[Born 1872]

Baritone Frank Wilson made his D'Oyly Carte debut with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "D" as Abdullah in Hood & Sullivan's The Rose of Persia from April to December 1900. He then transfrerred to D'Oyly Carte Repertoire Opera Company "C," with which he appeared as Abdullah, the Earl of Mountararat in Iolanthe, the Mikado in The Mikado, Sergeant Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Giuseppe in The Gondoliers. In September 1901 Iolanthe was dropped in favor of Princess Ida, Wilson as Arac, and in October, following the departure of Albert Kavanagh, Wilson assumed the additional role of Colonel Calverley in Patience. When The Pirates of Penzance was added to the tour in November 1901 Wilson took on the Pirate King.

From April 1902 to May 1903, Wilson toured South Africa with another D'Oyly Carte Company. There he had a full schedule with parts in all the operas toured:Counsel for the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, Sir Marmaduke Pointedextre in The Sorcerer, Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore, the Pirate King, Colonel Calverley, Mountararat, the Mikado, Sergeant Meryll, Giuseppe, Mr. Goldbury in Utopia Limited, and Abdullah.

In June 1903 he returned to D'Oyly Carte Repertoire Opera Company "C," as Pirate King, the Colonel, Mountararat, Arac, the Mikado, Sergeant Meryll, and Giuseppe. He made a brief emergency detour to D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "E" as Giuseppe in October 1903, but returned immediately to Company "C" where he added Bill Bobstay in H.M.S. Pinafore when the nautical opera was revived in January 1904. He switched roles with E. A. White, taking over as Captain Corcoran at some point before leaving the D'Oyly Carte in June 1904. Wilson next appeared (as himself?) in The Catch of the Season (Vaudeville, September 1904). The role was "Mr. Frank Wilson" and when he left early in the run it was eliminated from the dramatis personæ.

Between December 1904 and April 1906, Frank Wilson toured Australia and New Zealand with the J. C. Williamson Company in Gilbert & Sullivan and other operas. He appeared down under in The Sorcerer, Pinafore, Pirates, Patience, Iolanthe, Princess Ida, Mikado, Gondoliers, and as Mr. Goldbury in the first Australia (January 1906) and New Zealand (April 1906) productions of Utopia Limited.

Wilson then returned to England in time for D'Oyly Carte's First London Repertory Season at the Savoy (December 1906-August 1907), appearing in leading baritone roles in all four works presented beginning in April 1907 as the Colonel in Patience. When Iolanthe was revived in June he appeared as Mountararat and that month assumed Giuseppe in Gondoliers from Richard Green who left the Company. The following month Wilson replaced Leo Sheffield as the Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard. When the London season ended on August 24, 1907, Wilson left the D'Oyly Carte again.

Wilson had one more appearance on the London Stage:as General Santos Campos in the musical play Captain Kidd (Wyndham's, January-February 1910):before heading to Australia again for another tour in Gilbert & Sullivan including the months June-December 1914. He appeared in all the operas from the 1904-06 tour except Sorcerer, Princess Ida, and Utopia.

He returned to England once more, appearing as Sir Dennis O'Hagan in the musical play The Happy Day (Daly's, May-December 1916), before rejoining the D'Oyly Carte organization for the third and last time. From December 1916 to December 1918 Wilson toured with the D'Oyly Carte Repertory Opera Company as the Counsel in Trial, the Notary in The Sorcerer, Bill Bobstay, Samuel in Pirates, Private Willis in Iolanthe, the Mikado, and the Lieutenant. He also appeared on occasion for Fred Billington as King Hildebrand in Princess Ida before adding that role to his repertoire just prior to Billington's death in 1917. Frank Wilson left the D'Oyly Carte organization for the last time in November 1918.

Page modified December 22, 2003 © 2001-03 David Stone