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Henry Lytton Suggest updates

Henry A Lytton; Sir Henry Lytton.

Born London, 3 Jan 1867.

Died London, 15 Aug 1936.

English baritone.

Henry Lytton was, during a career that occupied half a century, one of the dominant performers of Gilbert and Sullivan, particularly associated with those comic roles which were created by George Grossmith. By the time he made recordings, the voice had lost what beauty of tone it can have possessed in his youth, but his sense of timing and use of words still sound fresh.

While at school in Chelsea at the age of seventeen, he ran off and married an actress. His wife, Louie Henri, joined the D’Oyly Carte chorus and went on tour in Princess Ida. Lytton travelled with her, initially as her ‘brother’. He first appeared on stage in 1884, under the name H A Henri. Joining the D’Oyly Carte Company in 1885, he soon began to perform many major roles for baritone and bass, including Strephon, Florian, Giuseppe, Grosvenor, Sir Marmaduke, Dr Daly, Robin Oakapple, Shadbolt, and the Mikado.

He left the company for a few years, going briefly into management, and appearing in a number of other productions, including German’s Merrie England (1902). Musical comedy appearances in London included The Talk of the Town and The White Chrysanthemum (in 1905). Rejoining D’Oyly Carte in 1908, he now took over as first choice for the ‘Grossmith roles’, and sang them for the rest of his career. He was knighted in 1930 and retired in 1934.

Two volumes of autobiography were published, The Secrets of a Savoyard (1927) and A Wandering Minstrel (1933). He recorded several of his roles, including Ko-Ko (1926), Sir Joseph (1930) and King Gama (1932).

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