November 2022

Arthur Carron Blue Plaque – the work of Swindon Heritage – you can see some images of Arthur in his full operatic majesty here. You can find the plaque at: 79 BATH ROAD, SWINDON, WILTSHIRE, UK, SN1 4AX

The house on which the Arthur Carron Blue Plaque is situated
The house on which the Arthur Carron Blue Plaque is situated – squint and you might see it!

So amongst Swindon’s famous sons and daughters we can count an international operatic tenor. Who knew? Well not I. Ralph Bates, Swindon-born writer and chronicler of the Spanish Civil war I knew about. But Arthur Carron, or Cox to give him his given and legal name, I’d not heard about.

Arthur Carron Blue Plaque
Arthur Carron Blue Plaque on Bath Road

About Arthur Cox/Carron – 12 December 1900 – 10 May 1967

From Opera Arias.Com we learn that Arthur studied under Florence Easton, making his operatic debut in 1929, at the Old Vic in the role of Tannhäuser.

1931 saw him become the Old Vic company’s leading tenor when it moved to the Sadler’s Wells theatre. His roles there included Fra Diavolo, Manrico of Il trovatore, Radames of Aida, Cavaradossi of Tosca, and Otello.

In 1936 our man Arthur went stateside. There he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and made his debut with the Metropolitan on May 29, 1936, as Canio in Pagliacci. Further he was chosen to sing the role of Nolan in the world premiere of Walter Damros-ch’s The Man without a Country on May 12, 1937. Carron remained on the roster of the Metropolitan until 1946 when he returned to England.

Arthur spent the last six years of his career at London’s Covent Garden before retiring in 1952. The same year he was a founding member of the Swindon Amateur Light Operatic Society (SALOS). It’s worth having a browse of their website past productions page to see a host of fantastic production posters. Find them all here.