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FREDERICK HOBBS

Although not enjoying anything like such a long career with the operas as Darrell Fancourt and Donald Adams, the two artists who followed him, Frederick Hobbs is still remembered as a very fine performer, perhaps chiefly because of his association with the London season at the Prince's Theatre in 1919 and 1920, when Mr. Rupert D'Oyly Carte brought professional performances of Gilbert and Sullivan back to the West End of London for the first time for some 10+ years

Frederick actually joined what was then called the D'Oyly Carte Principal Repertory Opera Company in March 1914, and began to take over from Sydney Granville, who at this point left the Company for a time, such recognised bass parts as Colonel Calverley, Mountararat, and Arac, together with some rather lighter roles generally associated with baritones - Pish-Tush, the Lieutenant, and Luiz.

Within a few months he had entirely assumed Granville's roles, which also included Counsel, Bill Bobstay, and Samuel. Despite the return of Sydney Granville towards the end of 1915, Frederick Hobbs retained the parts he had taken over, while midway through 1916 he gave up Luiz and replaced it with Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre, subsequently relinquishing Counsel for Giuseppe. He also graduated from Bill Bobstay to Dick Deadeye from Samuel to the Pirate King, and from the Lieutenant to Sergeant Meryll Two years later, in December 1918, he exchanged Pish-Tush for the Mikado on the departure of Frank Wilson

There was one more significant change. This was when, at the end of 1919, Freddy was given the opportunity of playing his regular "Princess Ida" part of Arac in a London season at the Prince's Theatre. This season at the Prince's Theatre, as all D'Oyly Carte devotees will know, was a very famous one for a number of reasons. As already mentioned, it brought the operas back to London for the first time for over ten years; and it also introduced to London audiences that very famous tenor Derek Oldham.

One strange fact about the career of Freddy Hobbs is that, unlike Darrell Fancourt and Donald Adams, a part was found for him in "The Gondoliers". Of course such long-serving artists as these two were well acquainted with this opera long before the end of their careers; but Frederick Hobbs, although normally associated largely with bass parts, regularly played Giuseppe, and in 1919 and 1920 did so to Derek Oldham's Marco..

He left the Company in June, 1920.

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