Alberto Remedios (27 February 1935 – 11 June 2016)11:12, 15th June 2016
English tenor Alberto Remedios has died aged 81.
Remedios was renowned for his interpretations of Wagner, with his performances in English National Opera’s productions of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and the Ring cycle winning him particular acclaim.
His signature role was Siegfried, but other acclaimed parts included Samson (Samson and Delilah), Alfredo (La Traviata), Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos) and the title role in Peter Grimes.
Born in Liverpool, Remedios sang in a church choir as a child and took singing lessons with Edwin Francis.
He left school aged 15 to play football semi-professionally and work as a welder, but continued his singing lessons. Following National Service, he took up a place at the Royal College of Music with Clive Carey, where he won the Queen’s Prize in 1957.
He made his operatic debut as Tinca in Puccini’s Il Tabarro for Sadler’s Wells (later ENO) in the same year.
A tour to Australia with the Sutherland-Williamson company and Luciano Pavarotti in 1965 came about by chance. Remedios was dining in an Italian restaurant in London, and was offered a free meal if he sang; it just so happened that Joan Sutherland was also in the restaurant that night.
The tenor returned frequently to Australia, where he eventually made his home; he also performed for opera houses in San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Frankfurt.
Remedios was appointed CBE in 1981. He retired in 1999.
Linda Esther Gray, who sang Isolde to Alberto’s Tristan at English National Opera in 1981, wrote: ‘It was a joy to hear such wonderful tenor sounds in my ears, my heart and my soul […] he had a natural instrument which obeyed his inner thoughts with ease.’
English National Opera has dedicated its performance of Tristan and Isolde on 15 June to Remedios, describing him as ‘undoubtedly one of the most important artists in ENO’s history’.