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William T. Carleton

Biography: 

(1859-1930)

Baritone William T. Carleton emerged as a force on the English stage during the 1870s, when discovered by the manager John Hollingshead of the Gaiety Theatre in London. He sang grand opera was well as comic roles, appearing in America in both sorts of roles in 1873 as a member of the Kellogg English Opera Company. He toured with Kellogg for five years. In 1875 Carleton created the role of "The Flying Dutchman" for Americans at the Academy of Music in New York. At this period he sang Mozart, Verdi, and Gounod.

In the 1880s, he noted the turn in public taste toward comic opera, as Gilbert & Sullivan, Johan Strauss Jr., and Offenbach generated dollars on both sides of the Atlantic. He organized his own comic opera troupe, and when he tired of management, signed with D'Oyley Carte to sing "Patience" and "Ionanthe." In America he toured in several operettas. His Broadway credits include landmark musicals such as "The Beggar Student" and "Mlle. Mischief." In 1914 he was hired by the Edison Studio as a silent movie performer, a vocation he embraced with great gusto, appearing in numerous features released from 1914 to 1920. His final Broadway operetta was Sigmund Romberg's 1927 "The Love Call." David S. Shields/ALS