Obituary: Robert Tuggle, Metropolitan Opera archivist, 83

Posted on: January 29, 2016

Robert Tuggle, who as the longtime archivist of the Metropolitan Opera helped create a digital database that includes details from every performance since the Met opened with Gounod’s ‘Faust’ on Oct. 22, 1883, died on Sunday in Manhattan,” writes Sam Roberts in Wednesday’s (1/27) New York Times. “The cause was complications of a stroke…. Mr. Tuggle was the opera’s director of archives for more than 34 years and the author of ‘The Golden Age of Opera,’ published in 1983, with photographs by Herman Mishkin. At his death, he was working on a biography of Kirsten Flagstad, the Norwegian-born Wagnerian soprano. Mr. Tuggle was named archivist in 1981 after being director of education for the Metropolitan Opera Guild…. Robert Aubrey Tuggle was born in Martinsville, Va., on April 17, 1932…. After graduating in 1954 from Princeton University, where he studied musicology and wrote a thesis on Verdi, Mr. Tuggle served in the Army. Overseen by Mr. Tuggle, the Met’s database was unveiled in 2005, replacing record books and rows of index cards in a windowless subbasement office…. Mr. Tuggle persuaded the Met to make this encyclopedic database available free of charge…. In addition to [his partner, Paul] Jeromack, with whom he collected decorative arts from the Aesthetic movement, he is survived by his sister, Betsy Tuggle Jones.”

Posted January 29, 2016