Fred Billington

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Fred Billington (1854-1917)[1] was a British singer and actor.


Born in Lockwood, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, on 1 July 1854, he began his career singing at so-called "penny readings" in the English provinces, singing at penny readings (inexpensive and respectable entertainments for working people), before joining the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1879. He spent much of his professional life with the company, both in Britain and on tour, largely appearing in baritone roles of the Savoy Operas. His time with them continued with brief interruptions until his death in 1917.

A lifelong bachelor, he passed away in London on 2 November 1917.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

He came to South Africa in 1906 as a member of a touring company that presented a number of Savoy operas, inter alia at the Opera House Cape Town, under the management of Wheeler and Smith, in a season that included Iolanthe , Yeoman of the Guard, H.M.S. Pinafore and Patience.


"Fred Billington" in Wikipedia[2].

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1923. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: p424.

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