Derek Hammond-Stroud (1926-2012)
The English baritone has died at the age of 86
Derek Hammond-Stroud was famed for his frequent performances in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, brought to life by his excellent diction and refined acting skills. He was also an accomplished Lieder singer, studying alongside the great Elena Gerhardt and Gerard Hüsch.
Born in London, Hammond-Stroud studied at Trinity College of Music, making his debut in 1955 in the British premiere of Haydn’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Two years later he made his stage debut as Publio in a production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito. In 1961 he joined the Sadler’s Wells company where he flourished, delivering numerous dynamic performances in such roles as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Dr Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia. His clear diction and animated acting skills perfectly suited him for characters by Wagner or Strauss. He was critically acclaimed for his performance as Alberich in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, particularly for his defined diction and depth of character.
He frequently appeared at the BBC Proms, performing 31 times in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas between 1968 and 1988.
Hammond-Stroud gave another memorable performance in 1979 at Wigmore Hall, for a live recording of Schubert’s Winterreise. He was noted for his clear and perceptive projection of the text.
He was also an exceptional teacher and was awarded honorary titles from the Royal Academy of Music in 1976 and from Trinity College of Music in 1982. In 1987 he was appointed an OBE.