roles including Servilia, Zerlina, Pamina, Clorinda (La Cenerentola) and Musetta. She created the roles of Lucy in Brett Dean’s opera Bliss and Mother in Metamorphosis by Brian Howard, winning a Helpmann Award on both occasions. In 2020 Fiebig made the recording On Eternal Love with the pianist Scott Davie and appeared with Pinchgut Opera in the film A Delicate Fire, a journey through the madrigals of the composer Barbara Strozzi. She died after a long struggle with cancer. Robert Gard British-Australian tenor, on March 20, aged 94. Born in Padstow on 7 March 1927, he studied at the Guildhall School and privately with Dino Borgioli. In 1960 he toured Australia in The Merry Widow, returning the following year for a production of Lock Up Your Daughters in Melbourne. Invited to join Opera Australia (then the Elizabethan Trust Opera Company) in 1963, he became a key member of the company, performing with them from the 1960s through until his final performance in 2008. He was known for his charm and his comedic gifts.
He created roles in Richard Meale’s Voss and Alan John’s The Eighth Wonder, and appeared in early ABC television opera broadcasts of Manon, Louise, The Devil Take Her and The Fall of the House of Usher. In 1980 he replaced Peter Pears, who was unwell, as Aschenbach in Tony Palmer’s film of Britten’s Death in Venice. The conductor Brian Castles-Onion has said that ‘At times, it was difficult not be distracted by his sense of fun in the rehearsal room—let alone on stage. Audiences adored him […] His career covered almost everything, opera, operetta, musicals, television and film, and lasted almost six decades. His affinity with the operas of Britten, combined with a leadingman status in operetta, brilliance in character roles and his excursions as a
Wagnerian tenor, displayed his total command of his art.’ Roland Hermann German baritone, in Zurich, on November 17, aged 84. Born in Bochum on 17 September 1936, he made his operatic debut as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Theater Trier in 1967, before joining Oper Zürich in 1968. Hermann also appeared as a guest artist in Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Berlin and Buenos Aires. In addition to Don Giovanni, Wolfram, Giorgio Germont and Amfortas he sang roles in a number of rarely performed works including the title roles in Marschner’s Der Vampyr and Busoni’s Doktor Faust, Moses in Moses und Aron and in the premieres of Rudolf Kelterborn’s Der Kirschgarten and York Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita. He sang in concerts and as a recitalist in Europe, North America and the Far East, and was a professor at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe. Antoine Hodge American bass-baritone, in Orlando, on February 22, aged 38. Born in Albany, Georgia, on 5 August 1982, he studied voice at Georgia State University and sang with Atlanta Opera, Opéra Louisiane, On Site Opera, Opera Colorado, Ash Lawn Opera and Central City Opera, in roles including Antonio/Gusmano in Portugal’s Marriage of Figaro, Dr Grenvil in La traviata, Ferrando in Il trovatore, Sam in Un ballo in maschera, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and, a favourite, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors. During the 2019-20 season Hodge made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the ensemble of Porgy and Bess. The first night of the autumn revival of this production will be dedicated to his memory. He died of Covid-19.
Opera, May 2021