Ivor Emmanuel

Ivor Emmanuel (1950-51)

[Born Margam, Glamorgan, Wales 7 Nov 1927, died Malaga, Spain 20 Jul 2007]

Ivor Emmanuel joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus in March 1950, and remained with the Company until August 1951.During the 1950-51 season he also appeared as the Associate in Trial by Jury and Luiz in The Gondoliers, the latter role shared with Henry Goodier and Eric Thornton.In 1951 he married fellow D'Oyly Carte chorister Jean Beazleigh. The marriage would end in divorce.

In November 1951 Emmanuel was Sgt. Kenneth Johnson in Rogers & Hammerstein's South Pacific at Drury Lane.It ran until September 1953, a total of 792 performances.He next performed in The King and I and Plain and Fancy, two more long-running musical comedies at Drury Lane, and Damn Yankees at the London Coliseum (1957), in which he played Joe Hardy. Emmanuel also had a successful career as a popular concert and recording artist and television personality, and from 1958 to 1964 was lead singer on the TWW radio program Gwlad Y Gan (Land of Song).

His gramophone output includes 1959 studio cast recordings of Show Boat, Kiss Me Kate, and The King and I, as well as the 1966 Broadway original cast recording of A Time for Singing (as David Griffith, his only leading role on Broadway).He may also be heard as Frederic on the much-maligned 1966 RCA Victrola recording of The Pirates of Penzance starring Martyn Green.A collection of 24 of his popular songs ("The Best of Ivor Emmanuel") is available on compact disc.

In 1964 Emmanuel appeared as Private Owen in the epic film Zulu.In the film (which launched the career of Michael Caine), Ivor rallies the soldiers on the barricade at Rorke's Drift by leading the men in the stirring Welsh battle hymn "Men of Harlech."

He retired to the Spanish Costa del Sol in 1982.

Page modified July 24, 2007 © 2001-07 David Stone