V2379. WEBSTER BOOTH: Arias from Xerxes, Acis and Galatea, Jephtha, Samson, Messiah, Entführung, Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Aïda, Pagliacci, La Boheme, Die Meistersinger & Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. (England) Dutton CDLX 7032, recorded 1939-48. Transfers by Michael J. Dutton. Final Copy! - 763587703220
“Webster Booth was an English tenor, best remembered as the duettist partner of Anne Ziegler. He was also one of the finest tenors of his generation and was a distinguished oratorio soloist. Webster Booth was to become one of Sargent's favourite tenors, and made frequent appearances with the Royal Choral Society under Sargent's baton. After a D'Oyly Carte tour of Canada in 1927, Booth felt that he was making little progress in the company and left to pursue his singing career. He returned in 1931, as Webster Booth, to participate in D'Oyly Carte's abridged recording of THE GONDOLIERS as Luiz.
After Booth left the D'Oyly Carte, he took the stage name of Webster Booth and did freelance singing work. On 3 November 1928, aged 26, he was tenor soloist in a performance of MESSIAH at Birmingham Town Hall with the Choral and Orchestral Union. He sang in many oratorio performances for the rest of his career and at the age of 71 said that singing in oratorio had meant more to him than anything else he had done in his long and varied singing career.
In 1929 he was signed by HMV and made many recordings during the next 22 years. In 1930 he made his West End début in a principal role as the Duke of Buckingham in Rudolf Friml's THE THREE MUSKETEERS, starring Dennis King at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. By the early thirties he was an established singer. At the end of 1934 Booth was selected to sing Faust in a colour film entitled THE FAUST FANTASY. Irene Frances Eastwood (stage name Anne Ziegler) was chosen to play Marguerite.
Booth did not neglect his oratorio singing and was chosen for the Good Friday performance of MESSIAH on 10 April 1936 at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Choral Society, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Sargent, and a month later he again sang at the Royal Albert Hall in HIAWATHA'S WEDDING FEAST by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, with the whole cast in full traditional costume. He sang in DeR ROSENKAVALIER and was a guard in THE MAGIC FLUTE in the International Opera Season at Covent Garden in 1938. The fee was paltry in comparison to what he had been earning, and he vowed to avoid opera in the future, although he made many operatic recordings and broadcasts.”
- Don Carlos