Gareth Jones as Bill Bobstay in H.M.S. Pinafore

Gareth Jones (1973-79)

[Born Tredeger, Monmouthshire, South Wales c.1948, died London 7 Mar 2010]

Baritone Gareth Anton Jones joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company chorus in July 1973, and in April 1974 assumed the small parts of Sergeant Bouncer in Cox and Box and Second Yeoman in The Yeomen of the Guard.Cox and Box was dropped from the repertoire for the 1975-76 season, but in December 1975 Trial by Jury was revived with Jones as the Counsel to the Plaintiff, a part he had played on occasion the previous season.Trial was dropped when the new season began in August 1976, but in February 1977 Cox and Box was restored and Iolanthe was revived.Jones would play Mr. Cox in the former and Strephon, in the latter.He would play Strephon thoughout the remainder of his D'Oyly Carte career, as well as Cox and Second Yeoman when their operas were played.In September 1978 Jones replaced Michael Rayner as Giuseppe in The Gondoliers, and in March 1979 he took over Bill Bobstay's part in H.M.S. Pinafore.During his last five seasons with the Company Jones also filled in for Kenneth Sandford and Michael Rayner from time to time in several of their roles:Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore, Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance, Archibald Grosvenor in Patience, Strephon, Florian in Princess Ida, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, the Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Giuseppe.He may be heard on the D'Oyly Carte 1978 recording of Cox and Box (as Mr. Cox), and the 1979 The Yeomen of the Guard (as Second Yeoman).

Despite his growing repertoire, Jones would leave the D'Oyly Carte in September 1979 following their Australia-New Zealand tour.He would later appear at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, in a new musical play called Katerina (November-December 1984).

In 1988, he signed on as principal baritone with the "New" D'Oyly Carte Opera Company for its inaugural season, appearing as Private Willis in Iolanthe and the Lieutenant in Yeomen.Five years later he rejoined the "New" D'Oyly Carte and took several leading roles--the Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance (1993, 1998-99), Pooh-Bah (1995-96) and Pish-Tush (2000, 2002) in The Mikado, Private Willis (1997) and the Earl of Mountararat (2002) in Iolanthe, Sergeant Meryll in The Yeomen of the Guard (2002), Dick Deadeye in Pinafore (2002) and leading parts in three of their non-G&S productions--Orpheus in the Underworld, La Vie Parisienne, and The Count of Luxembourg. He appears on "New" D'Oyly Carte G&S recordings as Pish-Tush in The Mikado (1990), Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance (1990), and Major Murgatroyd in Patience (1995), as well as John Styx in Orpheus in the Underworld (1993).

Gareth Jones also appeared in numerous opera and musical productions in London and elsewhere. He performed at most Gilbert & Sullivan Festivals in Buxton between 1997 and 2009, as well as the Philadelphia and Berkeley, California in 1997. At the Buxton Festivals he took parts including Mr. Cox (1997), Bill Bobstay (1997), Pooh-Bah (1997, 1998, 2001, 2007), the Pirate King (1998), Mountararat (1998, 1999), Colonel Calverley (1999), Wilfred Shadbolt (1999), Don Alhambra (2000, 2008), Major General Stanley (2001), Major Murgatroyd (2007), Private Willis (2008), and King Hildrebrand (2009).

His G&S roles with other companies included Captain Corcoran and the Mikado with Carl Rosa (2006 USA tour), the Pirate King (2005) and Sergeant Meryll (2008) with Phoenix Opera, and the Notary in Opera della Luna's 2009 production of The Sorcerer.

His July 1978 marriage to D'Oyly Carte soprano Vivian Tierney ended in divorce.

Page modified March 9, 2010 © 2001-10 David Stone