BiographyWhitchurch, Shropshire, England, UK
Jon Ellison began his musical career at age nine as a boy soprano in the Parish Church choir in Whitchurch. As a baritone soloist he later won a prize at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, prior to arriving at Technical College (where he studied building construction) and joining the Army. In the summer of 1953 he auditioned for the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in Birmingham, and was promptly accepted into the chorus, beginning his D'Oyly Carte career on September 1, 1953. Read more... to work in Glasgow pantomime. They subsequently worked in television, eventually returning to London where he appeared in the Howard and Wyndham pantomimes at the London Palladium. In April 1958, Jon Ellison rejoined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus, leaving in July 1966. He returned, however, in 1968, and continued playing small roles until 'George Cook' left in 1969, when he was promoted to some of the larger, minor roles. He left the D'Oyly Carte for the final time in 1979. His roles with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company included Cox in "Cox And Box", The Foreman, Judge and Usher in "Trial by Jury", The Notary in "The Sorcerer", both Bill and Bob in "HMS Pinafore" (he recorded Bill for Decca), Samuel in "The Pirates of Penzance", Bunthorne's Solicitor and Major Murgatroyd in "Patience", Scynthius in "Princess Ida", Go-To in "The Mikado", Old Adam Goodheart in "Ruddigore", both the 1st and 2nd Citizens in "The Yeomen of the Guard", Antonio and Annibale in "The Gondoliers", Tarara in "Utopia Limited" (also recorded for Decca), and Ben Hashbaz in "The Grand Duke" (also recorded for Decca). He also understudied many principal roles. His subsequent appearances include those with "Gilbert & Sullivan a la Carte" (including Wilfred Shadbolt in "The Yeomen of the Guard" at the Barbican) and various G&S concerts, "The Best of Broadway", "Evita", "Hello Dolly" (with Dora Bryan) at London's Dominion Theatre, and appearances in Gawsworth Hall's open air theatrical productions of "H.M.S. Pinafore" (as Bill Bobstay, 1992) and "Ruddigore" (as Old Adam, 1995). Jon has also run a violet farm with his wife since leaving the D'Oyly Carte, and has also appeared in some of the popular "Together Again" concerts. His many fans hope that one day he will publish his autobiography.