15 June 2016 at 3.34pm | 5 Comments
The tenor Alberto Remedios (1935–2016) was one of the most distinguished Heldentenors of the post-war years. He performed regularly with English National Opera and The Royal Opera.
Remedios was coached at Covent Garden for many years by Reginald Goodall, who recognized Remedios’s natural lyrical voice and its immense musical stamina. Remedios made a memorable debut with Covent Garden Opera Company in 1965 singing Grigory in Boris Godunov, opposite a formidable Boris Christoff in the title role. He made his ROH Wagner debut the following year, singing Erik in the first revival of Clifford Williams’s production of Der fliegende Holländer. Colin Davis conducted that revival and would become a regular collaborator with Remedios.
In 1968 Remedios sang Mark in Ande Anderson’s new production of Michael Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage under Davis, delivering the role with stylish panache. Other cast members included Joan Carlyle and Stuart Burrows, and Remedios returned with them and much of the same cast in a 1970 revival. In 1971 Remedios sang Froh in a revival of Hans Hotter’s production of Das Rheingold, and the following year reprised the role of Erik in a prestigious revival of Der fliegende Holländer under Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, with Catarina Ligendza as Senta.
Remedios next returned to The Royal Opera on a number of occasions towards the end of the decade, singing Bacchus in the 1978 revival of Ariadne auf Naxos under Bernhard Klee and giving a particularly robust performance as the First Man in Armour in August Everding’s 1979 production of Die Zauberflöte under Davis. As the 1980s dawned he sang a vibrant Siegfried in a revival of Götz Friedrich’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Davis, with Donald McIntyre as the Wanderer and Berit Lindholm as Brünnhilde.
In 1982 Remedios starred as Max in a revival of Friedrich’s production of Der Freischütz, conducted by Davis with a stellar cast including McIntyre as Caspar and Helena Döse as Agathe. He returned that year to reprise Siegfried in the Ring cycle, conducted again by Davis, with Gwyneth Jones as Brünnhilde. Remedios’s voice remained strong and those final Siegfrieds were as bold and audacious as the first: one critic wrote, ‘He has in his voice an extraordinarily touching quality that makes Siegfried seem both the more human and the more heroic in his achievements.’
Remedios’s final appearances with The Royal Opera were in revivals of Die Zauberflöte in 1983 and 1991.
Do you have any memories of seeing Alberto Remedios perform at the Royal Opera House?