Richard Hazell as Pish-Tush in The Mikado

Richard Hazell (1962-64)

[Born Staffordshire]

Richard Hazell won the foundation scholarship to the Royal College of Music. He made his professional debut in the film Phantom of the Opera in 1961.

Hazell then joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus in March 1962. During his first full season with the Company (August 1962-August 1963) he appeared on occasion as the Counsel to the Plaintiff in Trial by Jury and Pish-Tush in The Mikado.

Hazell began the next season in September 1963 with three principal parts:the Counsel, Pish-Tush, and the Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard:owing to the illness of Alan Styler. In November he would yield the Counsel and the Lieutenant to the returning Styler and Pish-Tush to Jeffrey Skitch. Hazell was left with the non-speaking role of the Associate in Trial by Jury and the odd appearance as Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance and Second Yeoman in The Yeomen of the Guard, in addition to his chorus duties. He would leave the Company in June 1964, subsequently appearing in London in Camelot (Drury Lane), Charlie Girl (Adelphi), and Fiddler on the Roof (Her Majesty's). He also worked in television, appearing in such series as Monty Python's Flying Circus and The Two Ronnies.

In 1973 Hazell joined the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, remaining under contract until 2001. During his time with the Royal Opera he appeared at La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, and did extensive tours of Germany, Japan, and Korea. He returned to Gilbert & Sullivan on at least one occasion, singing the Lieutenant in Yeomen with "Gilbert & Sullivan for All" at Newark Castle in June and July 1969. Hazell may be seen as Ivan in the 1984 television/video production of Die Fledermaus with Kiri Te Kanawa.

In December 2002 Hazell assumed the role of Monsieur Firmin in the West End production of Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theatre. He is Chairman of "Amici di Verdi," was a founding member of the Opera in Education Committee at the Royal Opera House, and, as a promoter, staged an opera and ballet gala at Royal Albert Hall.

Page modified December 22, 2003 © 2001-03 David Stone