R. A. Swinhoe

R. A. Swinhoe (1887-1905)

[Born Takow, Formosa 2 Oct 1865, died Brighton early summer 1946]

Robert Alfred Swinhoe was a tenor chorister on D'Oyly Carte's second tour of the European continent (April 1887-February 1888), and with D'Oyly Carte Opera Company "C" from February 1888 to November 1896. He also appeared briefly as First Yeoman in The Yeomen of the Guard (May-June 1889), and filled in on occasion as Luiz in The Gondoliers (December 1892). He later had two stints with several minor tenor parts:July-October 1895 with Mr. Box in Cox and Box, the Defendant in Trial by Jury, Leonard Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Francesco in The Gondoliers; and August-November 1896 with the same roles plus Prince Hilarion in Princess Ida.

He then toured South Africa with another D'Oyly Carte company--appearing as First Yeoman, Luiz (both December 1896-June 1897), Mr. Blushington in Utopia Limited, and (in an emergency) as Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance (!). Upon returning to Southport as Company "B" in July, he appeared briefly as the Defendant and Luiz, then transferred back to Company "C" in August 1897.

Swinhoe continued to play small tenor parts with Company "C" (later known as the D'Oyly Carte Principal Repertory Opera Company) until April 1905. His roles during this stretch were the Defendant (August 1897-December 1900), Blushington (November 1897-March 1900), Hilarion (December 1897-December 1898, November 1902-January 1904), Francesco (December 1897-December 1902, January-June 1904), Leonard (March 1902-June 1904), the Corporal in The Outpost (late 1901-December 1902), and Annibale in The Gondoliers (January 1903-January 1904).

When the D'Oyly Carte "New" Opera Company was launched in September 1919, Swinhoe was engaged as stage manager. He worked in that capacity until June 1925, afterwards serving as producer and coach to several amateur operatic societies. Swinhoe was married to fellow D'Oyly Carte artist Jessie Vince.

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