Top English tenor calls time at 66

Top English tenor calls time at 66


norman lebrecht

March 06, 2019

The tenor Kim Begley is about to announce his retirement.

Starting out as a principal tenor at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, where he sang over 30 roles, he coinued to appear there throughout his career, lastly in Kasper Holten’s production of Krol Roger.

At Glyndebourne he has sung Boris Grigorjevic in Katja Kabanova (1988), Laca in Jenufa (1991), Albert Gregor in Makropolous Case, Jenik in the Bartered Bride(1995), as well as Florestan under Sir Simon Rattle in Deborah Warner’s Fidelio and Polonius in the world-premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet.

He made regular appearances at the Met as Laca, Pierre, Captain Vere and Herod, among others. He also sang at La Scala Milan, Berliner Staatsoper, Opera National de Paris, San Francisco Opera, Liceu Barcelona, Dutch National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He made his Bayreuth debut as Loge/Das Rheingold in 2000 and has been widely recorded.

We wish Kim a long and vigorous retirement.

Photo: Ken Howard/Met



  • Viola da Bracchio says:

    A super, top-value performer, who has always given audiences 100% of their expectations. I particularly remember his haunting presence in Nick Hytner’s production of King Priam for Kent Opera – among his myriad other roles. Thank you so much, Mr B!

  • David says:

    One of the sweetest and top talents! Thank you!

  • Cantantelirico says:


  • Mick the Knife says:

    I didn’t know Anthony Hopkins could sing.

  • Michael in Missouri says:

    A fine singer. Caught him several times in Chicago and was always impressed.

  • Nik says:

    He loves to tell the story of how Pavarotti almost ruined his voice by trying to persuade him to adopt his technique.