THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Henry Le Breton (1886-87, 1888, 1894-98)

[Born Holborn, London]

Henry Le Breton's real name was Henry Brett. His first engagement with the D'Oyly Carte was as a baritone chorister on the June 1886-January 1887 tour of Germany and Austria. He left the D'Oyly Carte upon his return to England, appearing on tour in the William Boosey & Frank L. Muir comic opera The Royal Watchman (April-May 1887).

He returned to the D'Oyly Carte at the Savoy, taking his first named part as Bill, a railway carman, in the Desprez & Cellier curtain-raiser, Mrs. Jarramie's Genie, playing with H.M.S. Pinafore in February 1888. Le Breton played Bill through the revivals of Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado (through September 1888), also filling in briefly for Barrington as Pooh-Bah in the last month. He left the Savoy in October 1888.

Between 1892 and 1893, Le Breton appeared in London's Criterion Theatre in small parts in F. C. Burnand's comedy Betsy, James Albery's Pink Dominos, and Henry Arthur Jones's The Bauble Shop. He returned to comic opera at the same theatre as Matheo in a revival of La Mascotte, October-November 1893.

Le Breton later rejoined the D'Oyly Carte organization, serving with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "B" from at least April 1894 to January 1897. His roles were Mr. Blushington in Utopia Limited (July 1894-February 1895), a small but unidentified part in The Chieftain (February-August 1895), Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore (briefly in May and July 1895), Luiz in The Gondoliers (August 1895-April 1895), the Prince of Monte Carlo in The Grand Duke (July-December 1896), Pooh-Bah (July 1895 and at least one show in 1896) and the Mikado of Japan in The Mikado (possibly July-November 1896 and definitely January 1897), and the Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard (July 1896-January 1897). He also played Luiz for at least one performance with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "E" in September 1895.

By the second half of 1897, Le Breton had transferred to D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "E." He continued to sing in the chorus with Company "E" until some point in 1898. Le Breton later served as Business Manager with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "D" from December 1898 to September 1899.

Le Breton was married to D'Oyly Carte chorister Mary Thornton.



Page modified October 15, 2013 © 2002-13 David Stone