Alan Styler (1925 – 1 September 1970) was an English opera singer, best known for his performances in baritone roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. He married former D'Oyly Carte chorister Vera Ryan.
Life and career
Alan Styler was born in Redditch, Worcestershire. He joined the Grenadier Guards at the age of seventeen. After leaving the service in 1946, he pursued his aspirations to become a professional singer. He joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus in 1947 and soon assumed the role of Antonio in The Gondoliers.
In 1948, Styler added the role of Second Yeoman in Yeomen of the Guard and was also understudy for the "juvenile" baritone roles. He began, in 1949, to fill in frequently as the Counsel in Trial by Jury, Strephon in Iolanthe, Pish-Tush in The Mikado, and Giuseppe in The Gondoliers. In 1949, he added the roles of Mr. Cox in Cox and Box, the Associate in Trial, and Grosvenor in Patience. He continued to play these roles through 1952, except for brief periods when he was ill or when others briefly played some of these roles. In 1953, Styler added Richard Cholmondeley, the Lieutenant of the Tower, in Yeomen.
From 1953 through 1962, Styler steadily played Cox, the Counsel, Strephon, the Lieutenant, and Giuseppe. He also appeared during several seasons as Pish-Tush, and Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore, also adding Florian in Princess Ida in 1957, and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance in 1962. In 1962, Styler fell ill again and left the company for several months. He returned in 1963, playing or sharing his old roles and also, for several seasons, the Earl of Mountararat in Iolanthe. After a lung operation in 1968, his doctor advised him to give up performing.
Styler died in Manchester, England at the age of only 45. A charming man with a kind word for everyone and a winning sense of humor, Styler was popular with both audiences and with his fellow members of D'Oyly Carte. Members of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and the touring company "Gilbert & Sullivan for All" (former D'Oyly Carte members) joined together to pay tribute to Styler in a memorial service at St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden.
Styler's roles recorded with D'Oyly Carte included Pish-Tush (1950, 1958), Giuseppe (1950, 1961), Strephon (1952, 1960), Grosvenor (1952), Cox (1961), and a role he never played on stage with the company, Doctor Daly in The Sorcerer (1966).
- Rollins and Witts, pp. 171–86
- Ayre, Leslie (1972). The Gilbert & Sullivan Companion. London: W.H. Allen & Co Ltd. ISBN 0-396-06634-8.
- Rollins, Cyril; R. John Witts (1962). The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in Gilbert and Sullivan Operas: A Record of Productions, 1875–1961. London: Michael Joseph. OCLC 504581419.