If George Cook's parents had not been keen on amateur theatricals, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company might never have had the very excellent services of the Usher, Old Adam, and the Sergeant of Police! For it was thanks to their keenness that young George, when he came out of the Royal Navy at the end of World War II, joined an amateur operatic society and first knew the delights of singing Gilbert and Sullivan. So well did he do in this amateur society that he decided to have his voice trained, and came up to London from his home in Coventry to train under Henry Cummings and Arthur Reckless.
On their recommendation he auditioned for the Company in 1953, and was accepted as a chorister. Although he sang in the chorus of some of the operas, he understudied what are known as the "Pooh-Bah" parts and sang the important roles of Bouncer, the Usher, the Bo'sun, the Sergeant of Police, Scynthius, Go-To, Old Adam, and Giorgio. He was respected and well-liked by his fellow-artists, and had many fans.
His connection with fans was two-fold; not only did he have his own human fans, but he also made the fans that were used in the company's production of "The Mikado". He supplied them, too, for practically every amateur production of the opera throughout the country, and even had enquiries from America and Austria.
His wife, Marian Martin, was also in the Company which they left in 1969 and, in 1972, George worked for Securicor singing with "Gilbert and Sullivan for All" in his spare time.
G & S Recordings
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