|Year of Birth:||1927|
|Year of Death:||2013|
Jeffrey Ralph Skitch (16 September 1927 – 7 March 2013) was an actor, operatic baritone and teacher best known for his performances and recordings with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1952 to 1965.
Born in Australia, Skitch moved with his mother to England when he was two years old. He served in the RAF during World War II and began acting by 1949. After his career with D'Oyly Carte, he turned to teaching, and from 1981 to 1995 he was the Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School.
Skitch was born in Millicent, South Australia, the son of Ralph Aubrey Skitch (1896–1959), a land agent, and Magda Katie Helena Herman Skitch (1897–1959), who met in London during the First World War. The couple married in Australia in about 1920. In 1929, Skitch and his older brother Robert Ernest Skitch (1923–1999) travelled with their mother on a visit to London and did not return to Australia. His parents divorced, and his father remained in Australia, later remarrying. Skitch was educated in England. After National Service with the Royal Air Force during World War II and for two years thereafter, he trained as an actor and singer at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and The Old Vic Theatre School.
Skitch first performed professionally in London in 1949, in She Stoops to Conquer, as an extra at the Arts Theatre. That autumn, he served at the Arts Theatre as an assistant stage manager and actor in the play The Romantic Young Lady. He appeared in Idomeneo with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1951.