Alexander Meston Reid (21 March 1945 – 31 October 1993), better known as Meston Reid, was a Scottish opera singer and actor, best known for his performances in tenor roles of the Savoy Operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.
Life and career
Meston Reid was born in Strathdee, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He began his musical career as a boy soprano. At the age of eighteen, he joined the Lyric Musical Society of Aberdeen, and also sang with the Inverness Opera Company. He made his professional debut at the Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen, in a Scottish variety show, then sang with Sadler's Wells Opera for four years, first in the chorus before graduating to small parts. His first solo role was Lun Tha in The King and I in 1972. In 1973 he appeared in The Leslie Crowther Show, Lilac Time, and later that year was Sid-el-Karr in The Desert Song.
Reid joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1974, singing Earl Tolloller in Iolanthe. He soon added the roles of Mr. Box in Cox and Box, Alexis Poindextre in The Sorcerer, Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore, the Duke of Dunstable in Patience, Richard Dauntless in Ruddigore, and Marco Palmieri in The Gondoliers. When Utopia Limited was revived for the 1975 Centenary season, Reid played the role of Captain Fitzbattleaxe. In 1975, also, Reid added Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance and Leonard Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard to his repertoire. He added Prince Hilarion in Princess Ida when that opera was revived in February 1977. In 1977, he played the role of Ralph in the Royal Command Performance of Pinafore at Windsor Castle to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee. He continued to play principal tenor roles with the company until it closed in 1982.
After leaving D'Oyly Carte, Reid appeared in the chorus of The Metropolitan Mikado in 1985. He also sang with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as in the show Grand Tour of Melody with Richard Baker. In 1989, he went on concert tours of Scotland, and in 1993 he appeared in concerts with "The Stars of Operetta."
From 1987 to 1993 Reid also worked as a director of the Godalming Operatic Society, an amateur society with a long history of ex-D'Oyly Carte directors and producers. He died suddenly in 1993 at the age of 48.
Reid's roles recorded with D'Oyly Carte included Fitzbattleaxe in Utopia (1976), Ernest Dummkopf in The Grand Duke (1976), Marco in The Gondoliers (1977), Aesculapius Carboy in The Zoo (1978), and Leonard Meryll in Yeomen (1979). In 1989 he made a recording of traditional Scottish songs.
- Wilson and Lloyd, p. 178
- Rollins and Witts, 4th Supplement
- Wilson, Robin; Frederic Lloyd (1984). Gilbert & Sullivan – The D'Oyly Carte Years: The Official Picture History. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.