Portal:Gilbert and Sullivan/Selected biography/26

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Fancourt as The Mikado of Japan

Darrell Fancourt (8 March 1886 – 29 August 1953) was an English bass-baritone, known for his performances and recordings of the Savoy Operas. After a brief concert career, Fancourt joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, where he starred in more than 10,000 performances over a 33-year period until his death. He regularly played about ten different roles for the company over these years, including the title character in The Mikado, the pirate king in The Pirates of Penzance and Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore. Fancourt was famous for his melodramatic style, creating the controversial Mikado laugh that was later adopted by some of his successors. His performances are preserved in nineteen of the company's recordings made between 1923 and 1950.