Opera Scotland

Richard Temple Suggest updates

Richard Barker Cobb.

Born London, 2 March 1846.

Died London, 19 October 1912.

English bass-baritone.

Richard Temple's main claim to fame is as creator between 1877 and 1888 of an unbroken series of bass-baritone parts in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. His roles were as follows: Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre (The Sorcerer 1877); Dick Deadeye (HMS Pinafore 1878); Pirate King (Pirates of Penzance 1880); Colonel Calverley (Patience 1881); Strephon (Iolanthe 1882); Arac (Princess Ida 1884); the Mikado (The Mikado 1885); Sir Roderic Murgatroyd (Ruddigore 1887); and Sergeant Meryll (The Yeomen of the Guard 1888).

His operatic debut was at the Crystal Palace in 1872. He performed in several works by other operetta composers, both within the D'Oyly Carte organization and elsewhere. Having trained in Italy, he was also a regular performer of serious opera. In May 1886 he mounted a 'charity matinee' of Rigoletto at the Gaiety Theatre, taking the title role himself with his friend Durward Lely as the Duke. They performed in The Mikado as usual that evening. In 1890 he mounted a revival of Gounod's Mock Doctor at the Grand Theatre, and in 1892 he joined Lago's company at the Olympic. He also appeared on the music hall stage, notably at the Trocadero

He taught at the Royal College of Music, and also directed operatic productions by the students, most importantly a staging in 1893 of Gluck's Orfeo, featuring a student Clara Butt in a rare operatic appearance as Orfeo.

In 1902 he recorded ''A more humane Mikado''  The Mikado.  The following year he added ''I am a Prate King''  The Pirates of Penzance.

Roles in Scotland

Giuseppe Palmieri a Venetian Gondolier
Gondoliers 1890
Pyjama Grand Vizier of Chutneypore
Nautch Girl 1891

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