Entertainment & Arts

Richard Angas, veteran of British opera, dies aged 71

Richard Angas in The Mikado
Image caption Richard Angas was recently seen in English National Opera's The Mikado

Opera singer Richard Angas has died at the age of 71 after collapsing during a rehearsal.

Angas was a principal bass with English National Opera (ENO) for 15 years and played the title role in Sir Jonathan Miller's hit production of The Mikado.

He collapsed during rehearsals for Opera North's production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes in Leeds on Tuesday and later died in hospital.

Sir Jonathan said he was a "wonderful man" and a "brilliant performer".

Angas had recently reprised his role in a revival of Sir Jonathan's production of The Mikado at the ENO and also performed in the Welsh National Opera's Lulu, Wagner Dream and The Cunning Little Vixen earlier this year.

"I owe a great deal to Richard Angas," Sir Jonathan told BBC News. "Apart from the fact that he was one of the great performers in a long-lasting production of The Mikado, he was one of the most convivial professional companions whose company I enjoyed for many, many years."

Angas gave more than 150 performances as The Mikado and also played Alcindoro in Sir Jonathan's production of La Boheme.

'Character and charisma'

"In both of these roles he outperformed most of his colleagues, in addition to which he was one of the most amiable and friendly colleagues it has been my privilege and pleasure to work with," Sir Jonathan added.

Opera North general director Richard Mantle described Angas as "a giant of the opera world in every possible way".

"[He was] a performer of great character and charisma, generous hearted and an incredible friend to all who knew and worked with him, he will be sorely missed," Mr Mantle wrote on the Opera North website.

"The Opera North 'family' has lost a great artist who brought so much pleasure and insight not just to his fellow artists and the opera world at large, but to audiences throughout the UK and abroad.

"We are incredibly sad to lose such an esteemed and admired performer, and so suddenly, and we extend our thoughts and deepest condolences to Richard's wife Rosanne and their family."

Angas made his debut with the ENO in Aida in 1980 and ENO music director Edward Gardner praised his "magnificent voice and his warmth and strength of character".

"Richard will be remembered for his many outstanding vocal and dramatic performances," he said. "The opera world has lost a great talent and we have lost a loved and respected colleague and friend. Our thoughts are with his loved ones."

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