Marcia Menter
About the Author
Author Marcia Menter

Marcia Menter

Determined to follow in the footsteps of Ann Drummond-Grant (above, as Dame Hannah in Ruddigore), I went to music school and majored in singing. But I wound up earning my living as a writer, because that’s where my natural talent lay, and I had to eat. Mastering vocal technique was difficult for me. Writing, while not exactly easy, was always interesting: I loved words and believed I could get better at using them. So I learned to write sonnets and fashion copy (which are more similar than you might think) and all kinds of other things—and now, a book about the singer who started it all.

… And The D’Oyly Carte

As an American girl, I’d never heard of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, but in England, it was an institution. Founded by Richard D’Oyly Carte, the impresario who brought Gilbert and Sullivan together in 1875, the company toured Britain and America for more than a century, issuing (until 1961, when the copyrights expired) the only commercially available recordings of the G&S operas. Ann Drummond-Grant sang eight different roles on my D’Oyly Carte recordings. I didn’t know that she’d performed only three of those roles onstage, or that she’d died before I ever heard her voice. I began learning some of these things when I wrote a letter to Bridget D’Oyly Carte, granddaughter of Richard, head of the company and (also unknown to me) an extremely wealthy and introverted woman. That letter was the beginning of a long journey.