Paul Waite as Wilfred Shadbolt in The Yeomen of the Guard

Paul Waite (1973-77)

[Born Bristol]

Baritone Paul Waite took up singing at age seventeen, joining the Bristol and Bath Operatic Companies. After four years of study in music and singing he joined the Welsh National Opera's chorale. He later spent four tours with "Opera for All," appearing in such roles as Bonze in Madam Butterfly, Mattea in Fra Diavolo, Don Basilo in The Barber of Seville, Doctor Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, and Colline in La Boheme.

In between "Opera for All" engagements, Waite sang with "Gilbert & Sullivan for All," appearing as Second Yeoman in The Yeomen of the Guard, Go-To in The Mikado, and Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance, and with Norman Meadmore's "The World of Gilbert and Sullivan."

Waite joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company as a chorister, understudy, and small part player in July 1973, serving for the four years until July 1977. During his first two seasons he deputized on occasion for John Broad as the Usher in Trial by Jury and the Lieutenant of the Tower in The Yeomen of the Guard (both 1973-74), and for Michael Rayner as Pish-Tush in The Mikado (October 1974).

In December 1975 Waite took over as the regular Usher in Trial, though the dramatic cantata was dropped from the repertoire the following month. Over his last two seasons, he continued to appear as Pish-Tush from time to time, and (as Kenneth Sandford's first understudy) appeared frequently as Private Willis in Iolanthe, Sir Despard Murgatroyd in Ruddigore, Wilfred Shadbolt in The Yeomen of the Guard, and Don Alhambra in The Gondoliers.

After leaving the D'Oyly Carte, he ceased touring full time, got married in 1984, and settled in London. Now living in the Tooting area, Waite appears regularly as principal singer in various choirs and companies. He recently sang Schubert's Die Schone Mullerin song cycle from the municipal theatre in Cherbourg, for live broadcast on local French radio. In addition to his musical performances, Paul has built a parallel career as an actor.

Page modified June 10, 2011 © 2002-11 David Stone