Since his professional debut with the New York City Opera in 1973, Samuel Ramey has steadily won the admiration of fans and fellow performers. The most recorded bass in opera history has appeared on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others.
Graced with the extraordinary ability to combine deep tones with agile leaps between notes rarely heard in his voice range, Ramey has won acclaim in repertoires including Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Rossini’s Semiramide and The Barber of Seville, Gounod’s Faust, and his three devils in Boito’s Mefistofele.
Ramey spends upwards of eight or nine months on the road, either on concert tours or performing with various opera companies. “I think the key to my longevity is the fact that I didn’t start my career until I was around thirty years old,” explains Ramey. "I also had very good people advising me in the beginning about what roles to do and when to do them."
Although he is best known for his turns in villainous roles, this Colby, Kansas native likes to explore other repertoires. “I am still always looking for a new repertoire and attempting to reinvent myself.” Still, he adds, "Composers seem to like to write the parts of villains for the bass voice and I'm very glad about that. They are, and probably always will be, my favorites."
Ramey makes his debut performance with Orlando Opera on October 10. Accompanied by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, a 300-voice chorus of Orlando Opera choristers and the Stetson University Chorale, the concert features the world-renowned bass performing his specialties—evil characters and arias with great choruses.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing Mr. Ramey to our audience,” says Robert S., the Director of the Orlando Opera. “The repertoire is still being worked out, but it will all be from works that are great favorites, and some that have not been produced here before.”
Ramey says of his upcoming performance, “I am looking forward very much to this debut… it will be a program that will run the gamut of my favorite operatic repertoire.”
originally published in the September-October 2004 issue of Orlando Arts magazine.
Content on this site was originally written by Katharine Miller between 2000-2015. Many feature articles and interviews were published in print and on websites that no longer exist. Katharine is reproducing her written material here for portfolio and archival purposes only. Links and credits to clients and original publication will be included where possible.