Lives Remembered: Craig Barbour

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The Independent Online

Craig Barbour was born on 28 September 1956 in Paisley, Scotland, and raised there. His early passion and gift for music led him to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for both piano and voice. He joined Scottish Opera in 1978, and later Wexford Festival Opera, where he began to learn how to apply his skills.

He began teaching at Rada in 1991 and built what was to become a large private practice at the Music Studios, working as a singing teacher, vocal coach, répétiteur and accompanist. His knowledge of repertoire was outstanding, so combining his skills as a pianist and singer placed him well. He taught singers and actors who appeared in the West End, the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, in opera, on television, radio and film.

On the few breaks in his diary, he would be visiting family in Paisley, enjoying the opera in Paris or watching the latest shows on Broadway (bringing back the scores to benefit his students). But he would frequently give up time to coach last-minute audition pieces and would even accompany. He had a huge outgoing personality that gave each student an extraordinarily individual and confidence-boosting experience.

His hundreds of students are testament to the many actors, singers and dancers who have gone on to great things, yet he also took time to teach those who just loved to sing. He brought joy to everyone who worked with him.

Craig died on 26 February; a Memorial Celebration of his life will be held this month or next. Details of this will be posted on the Rada website in due course.

Bernardine Pritchett

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