Ella Halman

Ella Halman

Ella Louise Halman (July 18 1906 – March 20 1995) was an English opera singer, best known for her performances in the contralto roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. She married another D'Oyly Carte performer, L. Radley Flynn, in 1940.

Life and career

Halman was born in Ealing, Middlesex. [Registration district Brentford 3a - page 141 in General Register Office] At age eighteen, Halman won the Sussex County Scholarship in singing, then studied for several years at the Brighton School of Music.

After touring for three years with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, she completed her studies in London. After some experience in concert work and teaching, she joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company as a chorister in 1937. Soon she assumed the role of Inez in "The Gondoliers" and, as understudy, began occasionally to play Katisha in "The Mikado" and the Duchess of Plaza-Toro in "The Gondoliers". By 1939, she was also filling in as Ruth in "The Pirates of Penzance" and the Queen of the Fairies in "Iolanthe".

On Christmas Day in 1939, Halman became the D'Oyly Carte principal contralto. For the next eleven years, she played Ruth in "Pirates", Lady Jane in "Patience", Queen of the Fairies in "Iolanthe", Katisha in "The Mikado", Dame Carruthers in "The Yeomen of the Guard", the Duchess of Plaza Toro in "The Gondoliers", Dame Hannah in "Ruddigore", and Little Buttercup in "H.M.S. Pinafore".

Halman and Flynn left the D'Oyly Carte organisation in 1951 and moved to America, where they toured, along with Martyn Green, in a series of Gilbert and Sullivan productions presented by S. M. Chartock. Halman's roles on the 1952 tour included Buttercup, Ruth, the Queen of the Fairies, and Katisha. The Flynns then returned to England, where they settled in Penrith, Cumbria in retirement but were involved with amateur operatic societies.

Halman died in Penrith at the age of 88.


Her recordings with D'Oyly Carte, all between 1949 and 1951 when the company was taking advantage of the new LP technology, included Ruth in "Pirates", Lady Jane in "Patience", Queen of the Fairies in "Iolanthe", Katisha in "The Mikado", Dame Carruthers in "Yeomen", the Duchess of Plaza Toro in "The Gondoliers", Dame Hannah in "Ruddigore", and Little Buttercup in "Pinafore". She also sang Katisha in a 1951 BBC radio broadcast.


*cite book|last=Ayre|first=Leslie|year=1972|title=The Gilbert & Sullivan Companion|location=London|publisher=W.H. Allen & Co Ltd Introduction by Martyn Green.

External links

* [http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/whowaswho/H/HalmanElla.htm Ella Halman] at Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte
* [http://pinafore.www3.50megs.com/flynn-halman.html Profile of Halman]

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