29 Jan 2024

Nicolas Robertson 1954 – 2023

Nicolas Robertson
Nicolas Robertson

We were saddened to learn of the passing of the tenor Nicolas Robertson who was a stalwart member of the Monteverdi Choir for many years. Thank you to Richard Savage, Nicholas’s friend and fellow member of the Monteverdi Choir, for his following tribute.

“Dear Nick - he was the best touring company one could ask for; a gentle soul, eloquent, humorous, widely read, a creative thinker with strong idealist and utopian leanings. His view of life was so often refreshingly different and challenging. He cared little for material trappings, didn’t learn to drive, and took pleasure in simpler things, continually filling notebooks with thoughts, witty phrases, anagrams and holding a special fascination for palindromes, the longer the better. He could regularly be found in a bar or pub, often mingling with locals whether in the UK or abroad. In each city we toured to, a local would quickly be found and named ‘The Office’, becoming the daily meeting place. He particularly relished our summers in Aix-en-Provence widening his knowledge of the ‘argot’ whilst researching every local tipple. He would often greet you with the benefits of such research with: ‘I think "yer man" is ...’ before producing some obscure firewater. Regularly standing in the Monte’s next to another Johnian tenor, the late Philip Pettifor - physically rather larger than Nick and sporting a luxuriant moustache - they were aptly labelled ‘the Walrus and the Carpenter’. Meeting Lydia and moving to the balmier climes of Portugal meant he gradually spent less time in the UK, where the choirs he had been members of were in any case finding less work as the CD-fuelled touring world shrank. He increasingly turned his talents and experience to musical research, erudite and painstaking, and one hopes more of his work will see the light of day. RIP, Nick.”