Walter Johnstone Douglas

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Walter Johnstone Douglas (1886–1972) was the son of Arthur Henry Johnstone Douglas and Jane Maitland Stewart and a scion of the  Marquesses of Queensberry.

A Captain in the Lanarkshire Yeomanry, He fought in the First World War.

A recital he gave in June 1919 of Ivor Gurney's songs appeared in The Times, The Morning Post, The Sunday Times and The Lady.

He starred in the opera The Immortal Hour at London's Regent Theatre, King's Cross, which ran for 216 nights from 13 October 1922.

A production of Mozart's Cosi fan Tutte by Walter Johnston-Douglas opened at the Kingsway Theatre, London, on 23 March 1927, transferring to the Court on 18 April 1927. A year later Johnston-Douglas mounted it again at The Court.

He was founder and director of Webber-Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art.

He died on 11 August 1972 at age 85, unmarried.


Notes:
1.  The Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, formerly the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art, was a drama school, and originally a singing school, in London. It was one of the leading drama schools in Britain, and offered comprehensive training for those intending to pursue a professional performance career. During its 100-year history, the Academy produced many established actors of stage and screen, including Angela Lansbury, Julian Fellowes, Antony Sher, Donald Sinden, Hugh Bonneville, Minnie Driver, Amanda Root, Julia Ormond, Terence Stamp.

The school was founded in London in 1926 as the Webber Douglas School of Singing, by singer Walter Johnstone Douglas and pianist Amherst Webber. It was created from the singing academy founded in 1906 in Paris by Jean de Reszke. By 1932 the school had added full theatrical training to its curriculum, and it was renamed the Webber Douglas School of Singing and Dramatic Art. It was located at 30 Clareville St in South Kensington.

In 2006, the academy was absorbed into the Central School of Speech and Drama. Many of the academy's past alumni have formed a theatre company dedicated to keeping the original spirit of the school alive.

In 2009 the Central School of Speech and Drama renamed its Embassy Studio the Webber Douglas Studio.

2.  The Walter Johnstone Douglas Memorial Fund charity was registered on 7th December 1973, It was removed from the register on 16 August 2013 by which time it had ceased to exist.

 

Sources

 

Sources for this article include:

•  Singing on Stage: An Actor's Guide By Jane Streeton, Philip Raymond

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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017