THE D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY

Frank Lynne

Frank Lynne (1887-98, 1898-99)

[Born London 1863, died 1916]

Baritone Frank Lynne appeared on tour with several D'Oyly Carte Companies over a period of nearly twelve years (1887-1899). He began with Mr. D'Oyly Carte's "E" Company from December 1887-June 1888, as Samuel Crow in Uncle Samuel, the one-act Arthur Law & George Grossmith curtain raiser playing with H.M.S. Pinafore. In November 1888 "E" Company took up The Yeomen of the Guard with Lynne taking the miniscule role of First Citizen.

In February 1890 "E" Company gave the first provincial production of The Gondoliers, with Lynne as Antonio. He would fill in briefly for Edward Clowes as Giuseppe in June, then in August Lynne switched to Luiz, before returning to Antonio in December. From August to December he also appeared as Pish-Tush in The Mikado.

In 1891 Lynne would play Antonio until September. He also filled in for Lawrence Gridley in February as the Mikado of Japan in The Mikado. In September 1891, following Clowes's departure, Lynne took over leading roles in all three operas on the tour:the Earl of Mountararat in Iolanthe, the Mikado in The Mikado, and Giuseppe in The Gondoliers. He would play Mountararat and the Mikado thoughout 1892, swapping Giuseppe for Tommy Merton when The Vicar of Bray replaced Gondoliers in the repertoire in June. In April-May 1893 Billee Taylor was added, with Lynne as Christopher Crab. In May 1893, Iolanthe and Billee Taylor were dropped in favor of Haddon Hall, Lynne taking Sir George Vernon. Then in November and December respectively Haddon Hall and The Mikado fell out, and from December 1893 to September 1894 Company "E" played Utopia Limited exclusively, in its first provincial production, with Frank Lynne as Phantis.

Company "E" would gradually become a repertory troupe again. H.M.S. Pinafore joined Utopia in September 1894, Frank Lynne as Dick Deadeye. They were joined by Mirette for a spell (January-February 1895), Lynne taking Baron van de Berg; then in February came The Chieftain with Lynne as Sancho. Pinafore and Utopia fell off the schedule in March, and The Chieftain toured alone until May when it was joined by Patience (Lynne as Archibald Grosvenor). In August 1895 The Chieftain gave way to The Gondoliers, with Lynne performing as Luiz. He would tour with Company "E" as Grosvenor and Luiz until February 1896.

Lynne then transferred to Carte's Company "D," touring as the Prince of Monte Carlo in The Grand Duke from March until July 1896, when he moved again:this time to Company "B" as Pish-Tush, Wilfred Shadbolt in Yeomen, and Ludwig in The Grand Duke. He would swap Pish-Tush for Pooh-Bah in The Mikado in November 1896.

The Grand Duke stopped touring in December 1896, and Tom Redmond joined the Company in January to claim Pooh-Bah and Shadbolt. From January to July 1897, Lynne's roles would include Mountararat, Pish-Tush, the Lieutenant of the Tower in Yeomen. ("B" Company became "C" Company in on March 1, 1897.) Lynne also played (from March to May only) King Ferdinand in His Majesty, but yielded that part to Charles Walenn in May, switching to Mopolio. In August 1897, Lynne transferred to Carte's "B" Company (returned from South Africa), immediately taking up King Ferdinand again, as well as Counsel to the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, the Notary in The Sorcerer, Strephon in Iolanthe, Pish-Tush, and the Lieutenant. His Majesty was dropped in September 1897, but Lynne would continue with his other roles, adding the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance in March 1898.

Company "B" was disbanded on June 4, 1898, and Lynne's next appearance would be in December 1898 with Company "E." There he toured until April 1899, appearing as Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre in The Sorcerer, Dick Deadeye in Pinafore, the Mikado, the Lieutenant in Yeomen, Baron Puck in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, and (beginning in February) Sirocco in The Lucky Star. In April he transferred to Carte's Company "D," where he toured as Tabasco in The Lucky Star until September 1899 when he left the Carte organization.

Frank Lynne then turned his attention to the music halls, where he would perform for a number of years. His repertoire (as listed in Michael Kilgarriff's "Sing Us One of the Old Songs," Oxford University Press, 1998) consisted of some sixteen songs, including one, "I Didn't Mind It," of his own creation.



Page created August 27, 2001 © 2001 David Stone