^ Back to Top
^ Back to Discography
Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
in
 

RICHARD LEWIS

Richard Lewis, born Thomas Thomas into a Welsh family that had relocated to Manchester in a search for work, received a good education but left school when he was sixteen to work in a textile factory. He studied singing however, initially with T.W. Evans and later with Norman Allin; and his operatic debut was with the Carl Rosa Company as Count Almaviva / Il barbiere di Siviglia, reputedly in 1939.

Following the outbreak of World War II, Lewis was drafted into the army but was permitted to continue singing and caught the attention of Benjamin Britten, whose works he performed. After leaving the army in 1945 he continued his studies with Allin in London and joined Britten’s English Opera Group in 1947, singing the Male Chorus / The Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne. Lewis quickly established himself as a leading interpreter of Britten’s music, singing the title role in Peter Grimes at the Royal Opera House, London in 1948.

In the same year Lewis first sang with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He became closely identified with Glyndebourne, appearing regularly until 1974 in such roles as Don Ottavio / Don Giovanni, Ferrando / Così fan tutte, Tamino / Die Zauberflöte, Tom / The Rake’s Progress (British premiere, 1953), Bacchus / Ariadne auf Naxos, Florestan / Fidelio, Nero / L’incoronazione di Poppea and, notably, the title role in Idomeneo.

At the Royal Opera House, London Lewis sang frequently, both in contemporary works (Vere / Billy Budd, Troilus / Troilus and Cressida, Achilles / King Priam and Aaron / Moses und Aron) and in the traditional repertoire: initially in major lyric roles such as Don José / Carmen, Hoffmann / Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Hermann / The Queen of Spades, and later in character parts such as the Captain / Wozzeck and Aegisth / Elektra.

From 1955 onwards Lewis appeared regularly with the San Francisco Opera, where his parts included Des Grieux / Manon, Grigory / Boris Godunov, Jeník / The Bartered Bride, Alwa / Lulu and Eisenstein / Die Fledermaus; and was a guest at the Vienna State Opera in 1961, singing Tamino and Don Ottavio. He was also very active on the concert platform, being a distinguished interpreter of Gerontius / The Dream of Gerontius (the part in which he made his last vocal appearance in 1983) and of the tenor part in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.

Lewis, always extremely well prepared, possessed a mellifluous, though powerful when required, voice which he used with great musicality.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Singers, Naxos 8.558097-100).


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 





 
 
 View Albums
 
 




 Tell a Friend |  Bookmark this page Digg It |  Bookmark this page Del.icio.us. |  Add to Facebook Facebook |  FURL FURL |  Add to MySpace MySpace |  Stumbleupon StumbleUpon |  Twitter Twitter

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
5:39:18 PM, 29 August 2015
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2015 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
-208-
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.