Rose Hervey in The Yeomen of the Guard

Rose Hervey (1877-91)

[Born Chelsea 1857, died 7 Oct 1899]

Soprano Rose Hervey, real name Rose Sullivan, joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus at the Opera Comique in November 1877. Over the next twelve years she would regularly appear in Opera Comique and Savoy programs in the short companion pieces that often filled the evening's entertainment, and would occasionally fill in for principal sopranos or take smaller parts in Gilbert & Sullivan operas.

Her named parts in London were a Lady in Waiting in The Spectre Knight (occasional appearances between February-March and May-August 1878), Jane in Cups and Saucers (August 1878-February 1880), Mrs. Wranglesby in Mock Turtles (occasional appearances, November 1881-March 1883), Rose Frumpington in A Private Wire (occasional appearances, March 1883-January 1884), Celia in Iolanthe (October 1883), Lady Psyche in Princess Ida (January 1884), Amanda in The Carp (September 1886-November 1887), Rose Maybud in Ruddigore (August 1887), Daphne in Mrs. Jarramie's Genie (November 1887-November 1889), Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore (February 1888), Yum-Yum in The Mikado (July-August 1888), and Kate (created, October 1888-November 1889) and Elsie Maynard (July and October 1889) in The Yeomen of the Guard.

From November 1889 until May 1891, Rose Hervey was on tour in principal soprano roles with various D'Oyly Carte touring Companies:November-December 1889, Elsie Maynard with Company "C"; December 1889-February 1890, Yum-Yum and Elsie with Company "E"; February-March 1890, Gianetta in the First Provincial production of The Gondoliers with Company "E"; April-August 1890, Gianetta with Company "C"; August-December 1890, Yum-Yum and Elsie with Company "D"; and December 1890-May 1891, Yum-Yum, Elsie, and Gianetta with Company "C." After taking a few months away, Miss Hervey returned to Company "C" on July 27, 1891, resuming her roles as Yum-Yum (which she played in a command performance at Balmoral Castle in September), Elsie, and Gianetta, and added, in October, Phyllis in Iolanthe. She left the D'Oyly Carte organization in December 1891. Little is known of her career after D'Oyly Carte. She appeared in a pantomime at the Grand Theatre, Nottingham in 1894.

Rose Hervey was the daughter of John Sullivan, the uncle of Sir Arthur Sullivan, and was, accordingly, Sir Arthur's first cousin. Two of her sisters, Jane (Jennie Hervey), and Kate Sullivan, also appeared with D'Oyly Carte Companies. There is an excellent article on the three of them:"Three Little Maids is the Total Sum" by Selwyn Tillett, in Sir Arthur Sullivan Society Magazine, No. 33, Autumn 1991. Rose Hervey was married to touring D'Oyly Carte chorister W. A. Lindsay.

Page modified August 7, 2002 © 2001-02 David Stone