THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Richard Cummings (1878-79, 1883, 1885-88)

Richard Cummings appeared first with D'Oyly Carte's touring Comedy Opera Company as the Notary in The Sorcerer and the Usher in Trial by Jury from March to August 1878 in the first provincial production of The Sorcerer.From September to December 1878, the Company toured H.M.S. Pinafore (first provincial production) as well as The Sorcerer with Cummings as Bill Bobstay in the nautical opera.

The tour ended in December 1878 but was revived in April 1879 for seven weeks with Pinafore and the companion piece After All.Cummings was Bill Bobstay again and also played Pennyfather in the shorter work.From June to July 1879 he appeared (still as the Bos'n in Pinafore) with Carte's "B" Company, and then was Bobstay and Pennyfather with Carte's "A" (later "1st Pinafore") Company, July-December 1879.His wife, Theresa Cummings, appeared as Constance in The Sorcerer and Hebe in Pinafore for portions of those early tours.

Cummings next appears in a Carte program from June to September 1883 as Bobstay and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "Pinafore" and "Pirates" Company.

A year-and-a-half later he was at the Savoy, presumably in the chorus, and filling in on occasion for Rudolph Lewis as Go-To in the first production of The Mikado (April 1885-January 1887).He may also have been Lewis's understudy as Old Adam for Ruddigore (January-November 1887), but when H.M.S. Pinafore (November 1887-March 1888), The Pirates of Penzance (March-June 1888), and The Mikado (June-September 1888) were revived in succession, Cummings took named parts in each:Bill Bobstay, Samuel, and Pish-Tush.

Cummings then traveled to America were he appeared as Wilfred Shadbolt on tour in New York and New England in a Carte-sanctioned production of The Yeomen of the Guard staged by Rudolph Aronson's Opera Company (December 1888-February 1889).



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