Alan Styler as the Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard

Alan Styler (1947-68)

[Born Redditch, Worcestershire 1 Oct 1925, died Manchester 1 Sep 1970]

Baritone Alan A. Styler studied singing, then joined the Grenadier Guards at age seventeen. Upon demobilization in 1946 he decided to become a professional singer. He joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus in June 1947, and during the 1947-48 season assumed the part of Antonio in The Gondoliers.

Styler began the 1948-49 season with the small parts of Second Yeoman in The Yeomen of the Guard and Antonio in The Gondoliers. He was also understudy to Charles Dorning. When Dorning was taken ill in April 1949, Styler filled in as the Counsel to the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, Strephon in Iolanthe, Pish-Tush in The Mikado, and Giuseppe in The Gondoliers. When Dorning ultimately left the Company, Richard Walker initially took over most of these roles, except Strephon which Styler retained. Meanwhile, Styler added the small part of Mr. Cox in Cox and Box, vacated by Richard Dunn in April. For the last months of the 1948-49 season, Styler's roles were Cox, Strephon, Second Yeoman, and Antonio. He also filled in on occasion as the Associate and the Counsel in Trial by Jury, as well as Pish-Tush and Giuseppe.

Styler finally took over several principal baritone parts in August 1949. For the next three years he played Cox, the Counsel, Grosvenor, Strephon, Pish-Tush, and Giuseppe, but left the Company for three months in October 1952, due to illness. He returned in January 1953, but by then Grosvenor and Pish-Tush had been taken over by Jeffrey Skitch.

In September 1953 Styler took on the Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard. His permanent roles through December 1962 would be Cox, the Counsel, Strephon, the Lieutenant, and Giuseppe. He also appeared from time to time as Pish-Tush in The Mikado (1956-57, 1957-58, 1960-62), Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore (1957-59), and Florian in Princess Ida (1957), and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance (1962).

In December 1962 illness again forced him from the cast. He returned in April 1963, but left again at the end of the season in August. He returned in November 1963, remaining with the Company until forced out for the final time in June 1968. During the period of April 1963-June 1968, he frequently shared parts with Skitch and, later, with Thomas Lawlor. Styler's more-or-less full-time roles during his last five years with the Company were Cox (until December 1967), the Counsel (until 1965), the Lieutenant (until 1967), Giuseppe, Captain Corcoran (1965-68), and Florian (1965-68). He also appeared less frequently as Samuel (1963, 1967-68), Pish-Tush (1964-65, and occasionally 1965-68), and on occasion as Strephon (1965-66) and the Earl of Mountararat (1965-68) in Iolanthe.

During his tenure with the Company he recorded Pish-Tush (1950, 1958), Giuseppe (1950, 1961), Strephon (1952, 1960), Grosvenor (1952), Cox (1961), and Doctor Daly in The Sorcerer (1966).

Styler was married to former D'Oyly Carte chorister Vera Ryan. He was one of the most popular D'Oyly Carte performers of the 1950s and '60s, both with audiences and members of the Company. Members of "Gilbert & Sullivan for All" and the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company joined forces to pay tribute to him in a moving memorial service at St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden, following his death in 1970 at the age of 45.

Page modified June 24, 2014© 2001-14 David Stone