A British tenor dies in Germany

A British tenor dies in Germany


norman lebrecht

December 14, 2017

The Deutsche Oper am Rhein has announced the death of Bruce Rankin, an ensemble member for almost 20 years.

Bruce, who died on Monday of an unidentified cause, was 65.

He is described as ‘an outstanding character tenor.’

‘The sudden death of Bruce Rankin strikes us deep in the heart,’ said Generalintendant Christoph Meyer.

Nataliya Kovalova (Sylva Varescu), Bruce Rankin (Edwin Ronald); at Düsseldorf Airport.

photo (c) Hans Jörg Michel


  • Jack says:

    This is on the news because???

    • Sanity says:

      Perhaps because he was a popular and well-liked colleague?

    • Una says:

      Because he was British, my generation, well liked and well known! May he rest in peace, and so sad around Christmas time too for everyone he knows and loves.

    • Die Meisterbier says:

      Because he was an artist who many considered to have given many joy through his performances you fucking piece of shit. You are a fuckery of an asshole for even asking this. Fuck you and die and I promise no posts about your pathetic life will be posted anywhere….

      • John Borstlap says:

        Our first thought was that the author of this disappointingly unsophisticated little blurb must be German, but a quick check in the dictionary revealed that it is ‘DAS Bier’ so it must be some other nationality. One of the staff came-up with Washington, but that is not a country, and another with the Ural which isn’t a country either. Then we concluded that the use of a continental fake name to hide behind, and combining musical appreciation with the sort of language only accepted in contemporary opera plots, pointed towards the probability of a frustrated brexiteer but in the end we voted for an immigrant who has perfectly assimilated in London’s East End, or a Regieoperproducer.


  • Phillip Sear says:

    Very sorry to hear this. I remember working with him on New Sussex Opera’s 1987 production of ‘A Masked Ball’ in which he played an excellent Gustav.

  • Sam Brown says:

    Bruce was a really nice man, very kind, generous and a fantastic artist. This is really sad news, I was with him only a few months ago in Switzerland and this is just so tragic.

  • Elaine Hayward says:

    So sad to hear this news. I have never forgotten how Bruce was so encouraging and supportive when I performed my first Rossini Stabat Mater with him in Horsham in 1986.

  • John Groves says:

    Bruce Rankin was a lovely guy – a true gentleman and a superb character tenor. His most recent role was as the ageing roue in Lehar’s Count of Luxembourg, one of the DOaR’s best productions. He will be sadly missed by all his colleagues: another one of those British singers who spent much of his working life abroad.

  • Marina Sala says:

    A truly lovely man who would cheerily fill the dreary halls of our school, many moons ago, with his amazing voice. What tragic news. My best wishes to his loved ones, friends and colleagues.

  • John Groves says:

    I understand that he died from bone cancer. He had known about it for only a short time and had not told his colleagues. He was singing in Hoffmann a few weeks ago and was about to sing the Witch in Hansel and Gretel. It appears that his friends had to find out from Facebook as the company did not contact his fellow ensemble members.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Awful story. Condoleances for his family. The gods really don’t understand we need musicians and for long periods.


    Bruce was a true gentleman and encouraged me a lot during my time in Germany ! RIP – the world is a sad place without you !

  • Mr Christopher Hope-king says:

    This is really sad news, I hadn’t seen Bruce for very many years, since our school days in fact. He was then ,and am sure he always was a lovely funny man and of course, very talented. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him and I will always have very happy memories of our friendship.