Robert Radford


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(b Nottingham, 13 May 1874; d London, 1 March 1933). English bass. He studied in London, making his début in 1904 at Covent Garden as the Commendatore. He sang Hunding and Hagen in 1908 in the first Ring cycle in English, conducted by Hans Richter; Pogner (Die Meistersinger) and Abbot Tunstall in the première of Edward Naylor's The Angelus, 1909; and, in 1910, Claudius (Hamlet) and Tommaso in the British première of Tiefland. During the war years he sang with the Beecham Opera Company on tour and in London, when his roles included Boris. Returning to Covent Garden as a founder-member of the British National Opera Company in 1922–3, he appeared as Méphistophélès, the Father (Louise), King Mark and Osmin. His firm, resonant voice and superb diction were particularly admired in Richard Wagner, as his recordings of Wotan in Act 2 of Die Walküre and of Hagen's Watch and Call of the Vassals demonstrate.

From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Opera.

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