Richard D’Oyly Carte and the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

Richard D’Oyly Carte was born May 3, 1844, in London, the son of Richard Carte and Eliza Jones.  After completing his education at University College he joined his father’s musical instrument and music publishing firm, Rudall, Carte & Co. Carte’s career before Gilbert & Sullivan also included working as a composer.  Three of his light operas—Dr. Ambrosius: His Secret (1868), Marie (1871), and Happy Hampstead (1877)—were published in London before Carte turned his attention to his true calling as a theatrical agent and theatre impresario.  In 1875, Carte united Gilbert & Sullivan to produce Trial by Jury to follow an Offenbach opera at the Royalty Theatre.  Together with his second wife, Helen Lenoir, Carte nurtured the collaborators through the creation of twelve full-length operas between 1877 and 1896, and built the Savoy Theatre in London’s Strand for their productions.

Featured here are exhibit items pertaining to Richard D’Oyly Carte and the early years of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.