A veteran of almost 5,000 performances in over 120 operas, baritone Robert Mitchell first sang with Opera Australia at the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973. Now in his 43rd year with OA, although Robert has relinquished his chorus responsibilities, he continues to add to the long list of principal roles he has undertaken. These include The Captain: The Rabbits, Spalanzani: Les contes d’Hoffmann, Lillas Pastia/Guide: Carmen, Antonio/Annibale: The Gondoliers, Liberto: L’incoronazione di Poppea, Maître d’Hôtel: The Merry Widow, Diener: Lulu, Government Whip: The Eighth Wonder, Officer: Der Freischütz, Messenger: La Traviata, Penizek: Countess Maritza, Frère Jean: Roméo et Juliette, Polish Gentelman/Soldier: Death in Venice, and others in La Boheme, The Mikado, Adriana Lecouvreur, Fiddler on the Roof, Manon Lescaut, Lucrezia Borgia, Boris Godunov, Yeomen of the Guard, Sweeney Todd, Capriccio. Robert has also been a soloist for the Sydney and Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festivals, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Chamber Soloists of Sydney and the Warringah and Wollongong Symphonies and has broadcast for ABC Classic FM.
After completing the Diploma of Music Education, for his Master of Creative Arts (University of Wollongong) Robert undertook a survey of the work of French singer/teacher Pierre Bernac. For his PhD (University of Sydney) he prepared a critical edition of Offenbach’s five-act operetta La Vie parisienne. A past State and National President of the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing (ANATS), Robert has taught at Macquarie University and the University of Western Sydney. He has lectured to music interest groups and written on a wide variety of musical subjects, teaches singing privately and is chairman of the Opera Australia Benevolent Fund.
Robert has led several music and opera tours for Renaissance Tours, including to Hamburg and Berlin for Ring cycles, conducted by Simone Young and Daniel Barenboim respectively. A highlight in Robert’s long career was taking part in OA’s 2013 Melbourne Ring. In 2015 Robert gave the first performance of the song cycle ‘Jean à Jean’ which he commissioned from Australian composer Gordon Kerry. 2016 sees Robert in Sydney and Brisbane performances of The Rabbits as The Captain.