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Sad news: A splendid singing teacher is gone

We have received news of the death of Barbara Robotham who, over 30 years, produced a string of fine singers at the Royal Northern College of Music. Among her stellar successes are Jane Irwin and Amanda Roocroft.

A pupil of Elsie Thorston she won awards for an EMI recording of Walton’s Gloria and spent her whole life in the north of England.

I met her once while making a BBC documentary and she could not have been warmer or more down to earth. A lovely lady.


barbara robotham

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  1. Roberto Garcia Lopez says:

    I was a student of Barbara Robotham. She was a formidable lady and teacher. He will be missed.x

  2. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Surely more than thirty years? I played for her students back in the 1980′s (including Mandy Roocroft) and she’d already been at the RNCM a considerable while by then. I’d heard she was diminishing but didn’t realise the end was so close.

    • she was appointed in 1979

      • Theodore McGuiver says:

        More recently than I thought, then. I knew her before from Lancaster University from where she taught one morning a week. I didn’t realise she’d only just been appointed when I first worked with her.

  3. Valerie Whalley says:

    I studied privately with her when I was singing Lady Macbeth with a local company and she was a great help to me;she’ll be sadly missed.

  4. Jonathan Waite says:

    She also recorded Stravinsky’s cantata for Supraphon.

  5. Barbara was a fine singing teacher who had a tremendous knowledge of repertoire. I remember her Art of Teaching classes at RNCM when I was a student there with great pleasure – I still have the old photocopied hand outs she gave with examples and explanations 25 years later. Rest in peace Barbara – the voices of your students will sing on as a tremendous and precious legacy.

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