News just in: Philip Langridge has died

News just in: Philip Langridge has died


norman lebrecht

March 06, 2010

The great English tenor, the outstanding Peter Grimes and Aschenbach of recent years, has succumbed to a rapid, aggressive cancer. He was 71.

The last time I saw him was in Harrison Birtwistle’s latest opera, The Minotaur, directed by Philip’s son, Stephen Langridge. The show was totally dominated by John Tomlinson as the raging man-bull, but Philip’s role as Hereus lives on in the memory as a perfect foil.

He was seen most recently at the Met as the Witch in Handel and Gretel.

Philip was the most professional of singers, a kind colleague, a sweet man.

Here’s a clip of him singing ‘Comfort Ye’ from Handel’s Messiah


and another from Rossini’s Donna de Lago


A statement from the Royal Opera House appears here.


  • Heather Shipp says:

    The most human of human beings and an artist of such great soul aswell as being the most wonderful colleague. Our loss is immense but oh, what a difference he made. Never to be forgotten and always to be celebrated.

  • Colin Morley says:

    I did hear that he had been very ill in the last few weeks. Terribly sad news. At his best he was incredible, and even when not at his best he was still in a class of his own.
    Look forward to some new releases of old recordngs?

  • jumbodwj says:

    thank you, Philip, for so much wonderful singing, friendship and so many happy times.
    You are an example to us all. xx

  • jumbodwj says:

    am singing in Peter Grimes this afternoon in Torino…Philip wont be far from my thoughts.

  • Bruce Ford says:

    I had to find this site to read what had taken him.
    He was a dear friend and colleague, but even more, a true Artist in every sense.
    I will never, ever forget his Grimes at the Colly. It moved me to tears and I jumped out of my seat at the end to yell Bravo for my colleague.
    “Tears are words the heart can’t express”
    – Anonymous –

  • anna steiger says:

    My first job, in the chorus at Glyndebourne, was during Philip’s wonderful Idomeneo. We were all in awe of him as a singer and as a person. Later, he was always so kind to me about my singing which touched me deeply as I so admired him. We worked together again in Salzburg, some years later. A joy again.
    I last saw him at the Colly in the audience of Death in Venice. I said hello, he was his usual charming self. Of course, he should have been up there singing Aschenbach. What a scandal that he was not. What an example to us all. I feel so sorry for Ann, Stephen and the whole family.

  • Chris Alder says:

    Just read this (on holiday) and much saddened. I made several recordings with Philip, the first being “A Diary of One Who Disappeared” with the Berlin Phil and Abbado, and always thought that was the kind of artist I would have aspired to have become (if I had in fact tried to go on singing professionally). And a really nice man who energised his surroundings in a quiet and thoughtful way.

  • Sammy says:

    This is so sad. I didn’t realize he was gone until I googled.. There has got to be a cure for cancer on its way, it’s taking too many awesome people! 🙁
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