We lost another incredible voice of the 20th Century. Swedish tenor, Nicolai Gedda, who was known for his ease of interpreting in many different languages with a light and effortless sound, suffered a heart attack and died in Tolochenaz Switzerland on January 8th, 2017. If you’re a fan of 20th century recordings of Mozart, Puccini, Gounod or Donizetti you’ll be hard pressed to have missed this tenor as he is one of the most recorded tenors of all time.
Here are the Top 10 reasons he deserves some big spots on your Itunes or Spotify opera playlists:
10. Impeccable diction in Swedish, Russian, Italian, French, German and Czech.
9. Premiered the role of Anatol in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa at the Met in 1958.
8. Career spanned five decades. Made his last recording at 77 years old (2003).
7. Three names – Don Ottavio, Tamino and Lensky. A master at these roles.
6. Growing up with a poor family (an aunt and an abusive foster father) in Stockholm during the rise of Hitler and sleeping in a tiny alcove off the kitchen – his youth is a true rags to riches story. If he had practiced magic while a teenager to make money on the side instead of practicing voice he might have been an inspiration to JK Rowling!
5. In 1966 was inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
4. In 2010 he was decorated with the Legion of Honor (Légion d’honneur) in France.
3. Made over 200 opera recordings.
2. He sang 367 performances at the Met.
1. Because he gave us this:
He was one of the greats. He will be missed.
Go. Listen. React.