Oak City Portraits

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Karen Tam/Raleigh Public Record

Bob Chapman

When Bob Chapman retired in Hartford, Connecticut, he looked to relocate. He wanted a city with culture, music, art museums, good restaurants and good book stores. Naturally, he moved to Raleigh, North Carolina,

Chapman notes, “Well you did steal our hockey team!”

Chapman and his wife Mary Lovelock moved to Historic Oakwood, and took advantage of all Raleigh has to offer.

Chapman also thought he had retired from his great passion and avocation of singing opera. When he left Hartford, he gave all his opera scores to the president of an opera board in Hartford. In Raleigh he met the directors of the Opera Company of North Carolina (OCNC) and they invited him to audition for their company. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since 2006 Chapman has regularly performed as a comprimario bass and chorister in what is today the North Carolina Opera, the company that resulted from the 2010 merger of OCNC and Capitol Opera Raleigh.

He had trained in Germany while in the service years earlier, and living in Raleigh brought new opportunities to sing and travel. Chapman sang bass with the women of the Meredith College Opera Theater. In 2013 he traveled with the Meredith singers to Italy to perform the opera Le Nozze di Figaro.

With With his shock of white hair and hearty speaking voice, it is easy to picture him performing in period costume or a tux!

Continuing his involvement with opera, in 2008 he began hosting WCPE’s Opera House on Thursday nights, 7 to 10 in the evening.

To top off his Raleigh connection to opera, two years ago his wife surprised him with a North Carolina license plate that reads, “MR OPERA.”

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