Monday, October 08, 2007

Hail and Farewell

News of two opera singer deaths, from opera-l -
  • Gary Rideout, tenor, age 55. I haven't seen anything about the cause of death yet. He sang in SF quite a few times between 1989 and 2001, and I saw most of those appearances. I remember him best as Flavio in Norma one year (where he outsang the wretch attempting Pollione) and, more memorably, as Mime in Das Rheingold and Siegfried. He brought off the latter, a long and difficult role, with aplomb, again sounding far better than the ghastly Wolfgang Schmidt, who sang the title role.
  • Giuseppe Valdengo, baritone, 93, best known for singing Falstaff on Toscanini's great recording of that great opera. I do not quite remember the circumstances, but he autographed postcards for a number of opera-l members some years ago, and I sent him a thank-you note in return.


patty said...

I had read that he died of pneumonia, Lisa.


I had heard of him but, sadly, never heard him.

He was far too young to depart this place.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ach, that is sad. Pneumonia, at 55? Damn.

Thank you for the link, which I will here make clickable:Herald Tribune story about Gary Rideout.

sfmike said...

He was a very cool guy and I loved listening and watching him at the San Francisco Opera. His "pneumonia" death was probably AIDS-related as he was a fellow gay dude, though please don't take that as anything but a guess.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The review Patty linked to has the phrase "confirmed bachelor" in it, which used to be code...but, yeah, no way to know.