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Remembering Alberto Remedios at the Royal Opera House

The Liverpudlian Heldentenor has died at the age of 81.

By Alasdair Steven (Music writer)

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.

The Telegraph’s Alberto Remedios obituary: a dockyard welder from Liverpool who rose to become one of the great Wagnerian tenors

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?

By Alasdair Steven (Music writer)

15 June 2016 at 3.34pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged Alberto Remedios, obituary

This article has 5 comments

  1. Michael de Navarro responded on 15 June 2016 at 5:45pm Reply

    My principal memories of Alberto are as Walther, Siegmund and Siegfried with Goodall at ENO, although I do remember his trumpet toned armed man late in his career (singing louder than anyone else on stage). I also vividly remember the first time I heard him - as Aeneas with COG in Cambridge Town Hall with Josephine Veasey and Colin Davis in the mid-60s, the two parts performed in successive years, It was my introduction to Les Troyens, Alberto and Colin. He combined a heroic sound with a sweet lyricism, quite unique in my experience. He was a wonderfully credible and attractive Siegfried.

  2. Michael responded on 17 June 2016 at 5:57pm Reply

    Alberto remains the best Siegfried of my experience. Those performances in 80 and 82 were thrilling.

  3. Tony Boyd-Williams responded on 17 June 2016 at 6:12pm Reply

    The only time I saw and heard Alberto was when he sung Otello for Welsh National Opera in the early 1970's.Delme Bryn Jones was his Iago.Fantastic singing especially in the Si Per Ciel duet. An evening I shall always remember

  4. Nina Battleday responded on 18 June 2016 at 11:03am Reply

    Never saw him at the ROH, but remember and treasure his Ring performances at ENO. Also a marvellous Peter Grimes, and Tristan. Still, for my money, one of the most beautiful voices of recent years.

  5. Malcolm Knott responded on 22 June 2016 at 1:53pm Reply

    A good neighbour of ours in Southgate. We saw him at the ROH. Wonderful performance. Unconvincing wig.

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