Don Kynman, Scarborough singer

Don Kynman in costume
Don Kynman in costume
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Don Kynman, who has died at 92, was the John Hanson of Scarborough, a bass baritone whose 6ft 6in stature as well as his voice lent gravitas to his favourite role of Ali Ben Ali in the Amateur Operatic Society’s performances of The Desert Song.

Scarborough born and bred, he had spent his early years in the choir at Christ Church in Vernon Road.

Don Kynman pictured with some of his collection of Open Air Theatre programmes

Don Kynman pictured with some of his collection of Open Air Theatre programmes

It was in his late teens that he came into contact with Claude Keeton, the former director of music at the Open Air Theatre. Within three years, Keeton told him, he would be the best baritone in Yorkshire.

His long association with Scarborough AOS began in 1954 with Quaker Girl. He was its chairman for many years and took to the stage in dozens of leading roles.

He also entertained as a solo singer at the Royal Hotel and the Blue Dolphin holiday park.

He married Joy, a teacher, in 1955. Their first house at Lady Edith’s Park had a front door with two square windows at different heights so they could both see who their visitors were.

In 1965 he appeared on Opportunity Knocks, the X-Factor of its day, singing He’ll Have to Go, but he was pipped on Hughie Green’s clapometer by the Grimethorpe Junior Colliery Band.

Mr Kynman had also been connected since 1949 with Scarborough Amateur Swimming Club and played in its water polo team.

He spent 45 years as a British Telecom engineer, retiring in 1986.

He is survived by sons Paul and Graeme, and four grandchildren.