D’Oyly Carte : The Decline and Fall of an Opera Company book cover
1st Edition

D’Oyly Carte
The Decline and Fall of an Opera Company

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 30, 2021
ISBN 9780367610494
November 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
272 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book considers and discuss aspects of the management of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in the twentieth century since the death of its founder Richard D’Oyly Carte and concentrate on key events which contributed to its demise in 1982.

In this project, Paul Seeley follows the analytical model that no single factor may trigger the collapse but several, both external and internal. In the case of an opera company the external factors may include public taste and market forces, but more significant are the internal factors such as the management decisions taken in response to external factors and how these compare with the original artistic aims, aspirations and business models of the founder. This is a study by someone with close observation of the administration, for at the 1982 demise Paul was assistant to the company manager, having earlier served on the music staff.

The book will be of great interest to music historians, theatre historians, and arts management professionals, but also for a wider public interested in Gilbert and Sullivan opera and production.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Chapter 1 The making of D’Oyly Carte

Chapter 2 Helen D’Oyly Carte

Chapter 3 The birth of a tradition

Chapter 4 On radio and on record

Chapter 5 On film and television

Chapter 6 The D’Oyly Carte Opera Trust

Chapter 7 The last Savoyards

Chapter 8 D’Oyly Carte and the Arts Council

Chapter 9 A ‘new’ D’Oyly Carte?

Appendix 1 The Sullivan Manuscript Sale

Appendix 2 Who was Who in the D’Oyly Carte Opera Trust


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Paul Seeley read German and Linguistics at University College of North Wales, Bangor, and Music at Edinburgh before joining the music staff of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1976. Before the company closed in 1982, he was assistant to the Company Manager. In 2004, Liverpool University awarded him a Ph.D. for his research on Franz Lehár. He is author of Richard D’Oyly Carte (Routledge 2019). He is a private teacher in semi-retirement.