Obituary: Welsh Baritone Eric Roberts Dies

By Francisco Salazar

Welsh baritone Eric Roberts has died.

The baritone began his singing career studying Fine Arts at Manchester University before gaining a scholarship to study singing at the Royal Manchester College of Music.

He made his professional debut as Papageno in “The Magic Flute” with the Welsh National Opera and returned as Guglielmo in “Così fan tutte.” He would also perform with the Kent Opera and in 1986 he sang Tobias Mill in Rossini’s “Marriage Contract” for the Scottish Opera. The work was televised by Channel 4 and later returned to the company for Trinity Moses in “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”

Roberts went on to sing with a number of British companies including the New Sussex Opera, Longbourgh Festival, Handel Society Society, Grange Opera Park, Buxton Festival, Opera North Glyndebourne, D’Oyly Carte Company, and Opera 80 of which he was a founding member. Outside of the U.K., he performed at Opera Omaha, Royal Danish Opera, Flanders Opera, Teatro La Fenice, Spoleto Festival, and Opera Zud, among others.

His repertoire was also diverse with roles ranging from Figaro and Count Almaviva in “The Marriage of Figaro,” Prince Yeletsky in “The Queen of Spades,” and Bartolo in “The Barber of Seville” to Mr. Redburn in “Billy Budd,” Elviro in “Xerxes‚” King of Scotland in “Ariodante” and Lord Chancellor in “Iolanthe.”

Roberts also performed in musicals including “Little Shop of Horrors,” Cracker Happy End,” and “My Fair Lady” and worked on Radio and TV as an actor, singer, and narrator.

Roberts left a number of recordings including “The Pirates of Penzance,” “The Duenna,” “Der Rosenkavalier,” and “The Mikado.”