Alice Barnett

Alice Barnett Brief Biography

Alice Barnett (17 May 1846 – 14 April 1901) was an English singer and actress, best known for her performances in contralto roles of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company.

Barnett began her career by 1873 in oratorio and other concert work. Using her imposing physical stature to her advantage, she originated several of the early Gilbert and Sullivan "formidable middle-aged ladies", namely Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance (1879), Lady Jane in Patience (1881) and the Fairy Queen in Iolanthe (1882). She then performed in various comic operas in Britain, America, Australia and New Zealand until 1889, earning strong critical praise. After this, she toured in several of the Gaiety burlesques before creating the role of Dame Hecla Cortlandt in W. S. Gilbert and Osmond Carr's His Excellency in 1894. From 1895, she played in Edwardian musical comedy, pantomime and non-musical plays until 1900.

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