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Peter Glossop

Peter Glossop


(6 July 1928–7 September 2008)

Click here for recordings and performances by Peter Glossop.

Peter Glossop was a leading British baritone and has the distinction of being the only Englishman to have sung nearly all Verdi's great tragic baritone roles at La Scala, Milan.

From humble beginnings in Yorkshire he became a leading artist in London and in throughout the major opera houses of Europe and America.

His début came in 1949 in the dual role of Coppélius and Dr Miracle in Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

In 1952 he joined the chorus of Sadler's Wells Opera and was soon singing minor roles.

His first first professional role was Morales in Carmen in 1953. He followed this with Schaunard in La Bohème and Silvio in I Pagliacci. Over the next five years he was to sing most of the leading Verdi baritone roles, and quickly became known for his interpretation of Rigoletto and for Di Luna in Il Trovatore.

In 1961 after winning a major International Operatic Competition in Sofia he was engaged by the Royal Opera and his début at Covent Garden as Demetrius in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream followed.

His later roles at the Royal Opera included Rodrigo in Don Carlos, Michele in Il Tabarro, Tonio in I Pagliacci, Marcello in La Bohème and the title roles in Don Giovanni, Simon Boccanegra and Rigoletto.

After winning the Verdi Gold Medal in Parma in 1964 he sang Pagliacci at the Salzburg Festival under Herbert von Karajan and during the following year he sang the part of Donner in the Royal Opera House production of the Ring cycle under Sir George Solti

This was followed by his début at La Scala as Rigoletto and in 1966 his débuts in Paris and San Francisco in the role of Posa in Don Carlos followed.

He sang Iago under von Karajan at the Salzburg Festival in 1970 and in 1971 made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Scarpia in Tosca.

His later roles at the Met included Don Carlo in La Forza Del Destino, Mr Redburn in Billy Budd, Balstrode in Peter Grimes and the title roles in Falstaff and Wozzeck.

Later career roles included Ernani, Mandryka in Arabella, Pizarro in Fidelio and the title roles in The Flying Dutchman and Macbeth.

Peter Glossop made a number of recordings including Macbeth with Rita Hunter, recorded in the sixties. He recorded Billy Budd under the composer, and the part of Choroebus in Berlioz's Les Troyens under the baton of Colin Davis. In 1964 the performance of Pagliacci at Salzburg was filmed, as was the 1970 performance of Otello.

He published his autobiograhy The Story of a Yorkshire Baritone in 2004 and passed away of throat cancer in 2008.

Peter Glossop will be remembered for his large voice and the conviction he brought to all his roles.

He is pictured in one of his signature roles- Rigoletto.

Click here for recordings and performances by Peter Glossop.

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