Australian tenor Robert Gard, whose career spanned almost six decades, died on Saturday aged 93.

“It is with sadness that I received the news of Robert Gard’s passing,” Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini said in a statement. “Bob was an esteemed tenor with the Australian Opera for many years and was a wonderful colleague. His comedic gifts were legendary. I send my condolences to his family.”

Born in Cornwall, England, in 1927, Gard studied at the Guildhall School of Music with Dino Borgioli, whose students also included Australian soprano June Bronhill.

“Bob came to Australia in 1960 with a tour of The Merry Widowand returned to star in a production of Lock Up Your Daughtersin Melbourne in 1961,” conductor Brian Castles-Onion said in a statement for Opera Australia. “This was followed by roles in Kismet, Once Upon a Mattressand Showboatbefore he was invited to join Opera Australia in 1963. Bob was immediately welcomed into the Australian operatic community.”

What followed was an incredible string of roles for Opera Australia between the 1960s and his final performance for the company...