THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Rudolph Lewis as Jem Johnson in A Princess of Kensington

Rudolph Lewis (1884-93, 1900-03)

[Born c.1844, died London 21 Nov 1917]

Rudolph Lewis was in the D'Oyly Carte chorus at the Savoy for the October 1884 revival of The Sorcerer and Trial by Jury. In March 1885 he created the small bass part of Go-To in The Mikado, though the role wasn't mentioned in the Savoy program until the following month. He would remain with the Company at the Savoy until 1893, creating the part of Old Adam Goodheart in Ruddygore (January-November 1887), appearing as Bob Beckett in the first revival of H.M.S. Pinafore (November 1887-March 1888), serving in the chorus for the first revival of The Pirates of Penzance (March-June 1888), playing Go-To again in the first revival of The Mikado (June-September 1888), creating the Fourth Yeoman in The Yeomen of the Guard (October 1888-November 1889), singing in the chorus for the opening of The Gondoliers (December 1889) before replacing Charles Gilbert in the mysterious role of Ottavio in April 1890, creating the part of Samuel Chunk in the companion piece Captain Billy (September 1891) during the run of The Nautch Girl, appearing as the Second Huntsman in The Vicar of Bray (January-June 1892), and creating the role of Sing-Song Simeon in Haddon Hall (September 1892), before leaving the Savoy in January or February 1893.

He rejoined the D'Oyly Carte organization in April 1900, touring as the Royal Executioner in The Rose of Persia with Carte's Company "D" until December. At some point thereafter he returned to the Savoy, appearing as chorister in The Emerald Isle (April-November 1901) and going on at some point in the run for Reginald Crompton as Sergeant Pincher. It is likely that he understudied Crompton as Private Willis in the 1901 revival of Iolanthe. We know he appeared as So-Hi in the shorter version of The Willow Pattern that preceded the fairy opera on the Savoy bill (December 1901-March 1902). In April 1902 he created the part of A Tinker in Merrie England, and in January 1903 was Jem Johnson, one of four jolly sailor men in the first production of A Princess of Kensington. A Princess of Kensington went on tour in May 1903.

After the tour, Lewis (along with many others from the Company) left the D'Oyly Carte organization and appeared in December 1903 at the Adelphi (and, later, the Lyric) in The Earl and the Girl. He also appeared simultaneously in 23 matinee performances of Little Hans Anderson at the Adelphi. In 1905 he was in The Talk of the Town at the Lyric, and he appeared in a benefit matinee performance of Trial by Jury at Drury Lane in June 1906.

He appears to have reverted to chorus duty thereafter:his only subsequent program mention in London being as an "attendant" in a 1912 production of The Golden Doom at the Haymarket. At the time of his death in 1917 he was reported in Variety to have been "recently playing at Daly's" but no further details are known.



Page created August 27, 2001 © 2001 David Stone