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The American bass Samuel Ramey was born in 1942 and studied in Wichita and New York. He made his début with the New York City Opera in 1973 as Zuniga in Bizet’s Carmen. He appeared as Niek Shadow at Glyndebourne in 1977, undertaking the same rôle at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Teatro Colón and in 1992 for Aix-en-Provence. He made his Covent Garden début in 1982 as Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, a rôle in which he had appeared in the previous season at the Vienna State Opera and at La Scala, Milan. It was for him that Covent Garden devised a staged version or The Damnation of Faust by Berlioz and he has also been heard there in Gounod’s Faust and in Offenbach’s last opera. Samuel Ramey has won a name for himself in the major bass rôles in Verdi and Rossini, making his début at the Paris Opéra in 1983 with the latter’s Moses, followed there two years later by the rôle of Bertram in Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable. His international career has continued with appearances in leading opera houses throughout the world, demonstrating his versatility, dramatic power and the resonance and flexibility of his remarkable voice Samuel Ramey’s Dote with the Devil, which includes many elements at the heart of his repertoire, was first heard in 1996 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York, with the St Luke’s Orchestra, conducted by Julius Rudel. His many recordings include complete releases of Faust, Mefistofele, The Tales of Hoffmann and The Rake’s Progress.

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