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Martyn Green (1899 - 1975)

Born William Martyn-Green in London on 22nd April 1899, Martyn Green studied first with his father, the distinguished English tenor William Green, and later with Gustave García (1837-1925) at the Royal College of Music. After active service during World War I, he gained stage experience from 1919 onwards on tour with Daly’s Theatre companies in musical comedy productions including A Southern Maid, The Maid of the Mountains and Sybil. He joined D’Oyly Carte as a chorister and understudy in 1922 and his solo début as Luiz in The Gondoliers was followed by other comic leads, including John Wellington Wells in The Sorcerer, Major Murgatroyd in Patience, Major-General Stanley in Pirates, The Associate in Trial By Jury, and Reginald Bunthorne in Patience. His masterly portrayal of Ko-Ko the Lord High Executioner in Mikado is preserved in the 1939 Technicolor screen adaptation by Geoffrey Toye and in the 1950 Decca complete audio recording. He served in the RAF during the Second World War, but returned in 1946 to D’Oyly Carte, where he played leading comic rôles until 1951. Subsequently, he toured the United States, performing and directing as well as lecturing on the Savoy operas. He appeared on American television (his was the voice of the fox in the cartoon Pinocchio) and on Broadway as Chaucer in the musical The Canterbury Tales. He died in Hollywood, California, on 8th February, 1975.



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