- Thomas Round
Thomas Round (born
October 18 1915) is a retired English operasinger and actor, best known for his performances in the tenorroles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, Sadler's Wells Opera (now known as English National Opera), and Gilbert and Sullivan for All.
Life and career
Thomas Round was born and raised in
Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria(formerly part of Lancashire), where he served briefly as a policeman before becoming a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. In 1938 he married Alice at St Paul's Church, Barrow, and the couple have one son, Ellis. [ [http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/1.223036 "Tenor and wife toast 70 years of marriage,"] " North West Evening Mail" 15 August 2008] He studied singing and gave concerts later, during World War II, when the RAF stationed him in Texas, as a flying instructor for the United States Air Force.
D'Oyly Carte and Sadler's Wells years
Upon his discharge from the RAF (he had auditioned while still in the service), he joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1946 as understudy to the principal tenor, filling in on occasion as Nanki-Poo in "
The Mikado". In September 1946, he was promoted to principal tenor, appearing over the next three seasons as Ralph Rackstraw in " H.M.S. Pinafore", Frederic in " The Pirates of Penzance", Earl Tolloller in " Iolanthe", Nanki-Poo in "The Mikado", and Luiz in " The Gondoliers".
He left the D'Oyly Carte organisation in 1949 and appeared in an ice show, "Rose Marie on Ice", and other musical shows. Next, he sang for six years with Sadler's Wells Opera, creating the tenor lead in the world premiere of
Delius's "Irmelin" under Sir Thomas Beechamin Oxford, England, in 1953, and that year appeared in the film "The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan". At Sadler's Wells, he also sang the leading tenor roles in "Lilac Time", " The Merry Widow", " Don Giovanni", " The Marriage of Figaro", " I Pagliacci", " The Bartered Bride", " Gianni Schicchi", and "Eugene Onegin" among many others. He returned to D'Oyly Carte for a short time as a guest artist in 1954, appearing as Prince Hilarion in their new production of " Princess Ida" at the Savoy Theatre, and then returned to Sadler's Wells.
In 1958, Round rejoined D'Oyly Carte on tour in
Dublin, appearing in his old roles of Frederic, Nanki-Poo, Ralph, and in a new role, Marco in "The Gondoliers". He also earned good notices as Count Danilo in " The Merry Widow" at the London Coliseumin a Royal Command Performancethat year. Round added to his repertory the role of Colonel Fairfax in " The Yeomen of the Guard" beginning in 1960, appearing in this role at the City of London Festival production at the Tower of Londonin 1962. In 1961, he performed the new roles of Richard Dauntless in " Ruddigore" and Cyril in " Princess Ida". By 1963, Philip Potterhad taken over the parts of Frederic and Nanki-Poo, but Round added the roles of Defendant in " Trial by Jury" and resumed singing Tolloller in "Iolanthe". In 1964, Round left the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company for the last time.
Gilbert and Sullivan for All
Round, along with Norman Meadmore and
Donald Adams, founded their own company, Gilbert and Sullivan for All, around the time that he left D'Oyly Carte. In 1969, when Adams left D'Oyly Carte, the partners began to tour extensively with this new company in the British Isles, North America, Australasia, and the Far East. Round sang the roles of Box in " Cox and Box", the Defendant in "Trial", Ralph in "H.M.S. Pinafore", Frederic in "Pirates", Tolloller in "Iolanthe", Nanki-Poo in "The Mikado", Richard Dauntless in "Ruddigore", Colonel Fairfax in "Yeomen", and Marco in "The Gondoliers", as well as acting as a director for the company.
During his Gilbert and Sullivan for All years, Round also appeared as Arthur Sullivan on tour with Donald Adams in "Tarantara! Tarantara!", Ian Taylor's musical about the Gilbert and Sullivan partnership.
Later years and retirement
During his career, Round continued to give concerts and to sing in oratorio and recitals. He was frequently heard on
BBCradio, and his television performances included several operas, listed in the filmography below.
Round has maintained his interest in Gilbert and Sullivan and their works throughout the years. The nonogenarian now lives at
Bolton-le-Sandsand is president of the Marton Operatic Society. Until February 2006 Round was Honorary President of the University of YorkGilbert and Sullivan Society. He appears annually at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festivalperforming, lecturing and meeting with Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts. [Soutar, Ian. [http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/classical/Thomas-back-to-relive-glory.4416747.jp "Thomas back to relive glory days again",] "Sheffield Telegraph", 22 August 2008]
Recordings and filmography
June Bronhilland Round recorded "Lilac Time" for HMV. They also recorded " The Merry Widow". [ [http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000003X48 Information about the recording] ]
With the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and
Decca Records, he recorded the Defendant (1964), Ralph (1960), Frederic (1958), Tolloller (1960), Prince Hilarion (1955), Nanki-Poo (1958), Richard Dauntless (1962), Marco (1961), and Captain Fitzbattleaxe in " Utopia Limited" (1964 excerpts).
In the 1970s, Round also recorded his roles with Gilbert and Sullivan for All. These were complete recordings of "Trial by Jury" and "Cox and Box", and potted excerpts (as much as would fit on two sides of an LP record) of seven others. When the operas were reissued on video cassette in 1996 by the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Round recorded introductions for each. With Donald Adams, he recorded a musical documentary, "The Story of Gilbert & Sullivan," written by Dr. Thomas Heric. He also made two recordings of lesser-known Sullivan music.
Round recorded a collection of Victorian ballads for Pavilon Records, and participated in a recording of Edwardian songs for Pearl. He also made recordings with
EMI. In 2008, Round released a CD of twelve Irish songs called "Thomas Round sings Irish Songs". He recorded these when he was principal tenor with the Sadler's Wells Opera. The recital runs for just thirty minutes. The songs include "The Tipperary Christening" by Dan Maguinness, "Phil the Fluter's Ball", "The Star of the County Down", and Herbert Hughes' arrangement of " She Moved Through the Fair".
Round's filmography is as follows:
*1953 : "The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan: Defendant in "Trial by Jury"
*1955 : "
La Traviata" (TV): Armand
*1955 : "
The Bartered Bride" (TV): Jenik
*1958 : "
The Merry Widow" (TV): Count Danilo Danilovitch
*1972 : "
The Yeomen of the Guard" (TV): Col. Fairfax / 1996 video presenter
*1972 : "
Trial by Jury" (TV): The Defendant / 1997 Video Presenter
*1972 : "
Ruddigore" (TV): Richard Dauntless / 1997 Video Presenter
*1972 : "
The Pirates of Penzance" (TV): Frederic / 1996 Video Presenter
*1972 : "
The Mikado" (TV): Nanki-Poo / Video Presenter 1997
*1972 : "
Iolanthe" (TV): Earl Tolloller / 1997 Video Presenter
*1972 : "
H.M.S. Pinafore" (TV): Ralph Rackstraw / 1996 Video Presenter
*1972 : "
The Gondoliers" (TV): Marco Palmieri / Video Presenter
*2000 : "Trial by Jury" (TV): The Defendant
*2000 : "Together Again: A Tribute to
Kenneth Sandford, John Reed, and Thomas Round" (video). Round acted as a presenter and performed exceprts of the following roles: Richard Dauntless, Nanki-Poo, Tolloller, Count Danilo, Marco.
*cite book|last=Ayre|first=Leslie|year=1972|title=The Gilbert & Sullivan Companion|location=London|publisher=W.H. Allen & Co Ltd Introduction by
*cite book|last=Round|first=Thomas|year=2002|title=A Wand'ring Minstrel, I|location=Lancaster, UK|publisher=Carnegie Publishing Autobiography.
* [http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/whowaswho/R/RoundThomas.htm Thomas Round] at Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte
* [http://pinafore.www3.50megs.com/t-round.html Profile of Round]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0745762/ Round's filmography at the IMDB site]
* [http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/sandham/tom_round.htm Round fan site]
* [http://www.phyllis.demon.co.uk/theatricalia/18opera/eno50s.htm Site lists various roles that Round sang at Sadler's Wells]
* [http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=593225 2008 article about an honour for Round]
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