Veteran bass to stage 80th birthday tour

Veteran bass to stage 80th birthday tour


norman lebrecht

March 08, 2021

Agents for the exemplary Samuel Ramey are planning at 2022 80th birthday jamboree, starting with a US tour as Alcindoro in La Boheme.

Opera companies and symphony orchestras are considering further engagements.

Beat that, Domingo.


  • HugoPreuss says:

    I remember vividly the first time I heard him. Didn’t even know his name then. Early 1980s, as King Philip in “Don Carlo”, at the Hamburg State Opera. After the opera I immediately called a friend and told him that I had just heard the next Nicolai Ghiaurov. What a voice. What a performer. And still going strong. All the best wishes, and thanks for many great evenings in Hamburg, New York, and elsewhere.

    • Offended African-American says:

      I stopped listening to him after he supported Trump.


      • A Confederacy of Dunces says:

        I’m afraid you are sadly mistaken. Nothing could be further from the truth. You really need to present some evidence to support your statement. It is a very dangerous claim you have made here. I have known Sam for many years and I can assure you he has no love for that miscreant.
        Do your research and consider a retraction of your remark

      • Lindsey Ramey says:

        You must be kidding.

      • Monique Lagouche says:

        WHAT??? I am French; what you write is FALSE!! If you think that calling somebody an ‘ASSHOLE’ means supporting that person, then we don’t understand the same language. Just go to Samuel Ramey’s page. Be HONEST!!!!

  • reizen says:

    Amazing – hopefully he can keep going and challenge Mark Reizen singing Gremin’s Aria at the Bolshoi at 90!

  • Nik says:

    “a US tour as Alcindoro in La Boheme”
    Does that mean there will be a touring production, or just that he will make appearances in various local productions?
    I mean, I’m sure that his fans will be very happy to see him, but in the context of the whole evening Alcindoro is just a bit-part cameo.

  • Sam McElroy says:

    An awesome voice and singer. Perfect legato, insane agility and precision, huge and perfectly even range, and a great stage actor. I’ll never forget his standing ovation in Paris after singing just two words – “Me voici!” – in Faust. What an entrance!

  • I was there says:

    Without doubt Samual Ramey was one of the greatest basses in the 20th/early 21st century. Unequaled in Handel, Rossini [arguably the greatest Rossini bass of all time], Faust, Mephistopheles and in demand throughout the operatic word for Mozart and Verdi roles as well as Boris. He was one of the rare American singers to make a career in Italy singing Italian opera at LaScala, Pesaro and Florence. However his great performances are several decades behind him and I think to put a cloud over his memories and wonderful legacy of recordings [may be the most recorded bass in history] and broadcasts by doing a ‘farewell tour’ would be a terrible mistake.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      For many of Samuel Ramey’s longtime fans, the farewell tour can be a huge trip. Some younger audiences may also enjoy it a lot, as long as Alcindoro works for his current abilities.

      I am too young to have experienced Hotter at his peak, so I cherish my memory of a 75 year old Hans Hotter as Schigolch in Lulu. To me he seemed to be fully up to the role, both as a stage presence and vocally. I was struggling to understand the music, and still haven’t. And I knew that if Hotter couldn’t do the trick for me in Lulu, then nobody could.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Congratulations, Samuel!

    • Eli Yousief says:

      ENOUGH with the White Privilege!

      Sam’s racism is highly offensive to black singers and he needs to be canceled.

      As a more educated commenter demanded:

      • norman lebrecht says:

        where is your proof of racism? we do not allow unsibstantiated charges to go unchecked.

        • Lindsey Ramey says:

          This is from Sam’s wife. If you want to push a race and/or #metoo agenda, find an appropriate platform and DO NOT make false claims against people in order to get your 2 seconds of fame.

          • Candice Tiffton says:

            You and he need to first check your white privilege. Respect the rights and freedoms of people that don’t look or think like you. Be more humble. Then you need to be honest with yourself if you truly are who you say you are and can verify it. Otherwise you have no standing unlike the other women.

          • Send for Judge Danforth. says:

            Where is your proof that Sam has behaved in the manner of which he is being accused? Does his fame and singular abilities unnerve those singers who cannot shine his shoes that much that they should be attributed to “white privilege”. I have worked with same a number of times. He has always been the most professional colleague in the room. He is also the least verbal colleague I have ever met period. His humility is unsurpassed and he is much loved throughout the industry. To suggest that he is a Trump supporter and a racist is beyond uninformed, it’s ignorant and insulting. I happen to know that the lady whose identity you arrogantly question is exactly who she claims to be.
            I detest the term “white privilege”. It suggests that being born white means that you don’t have to work hard to accomplish anything.
            The term is itself racist and is always dealt from the bottom of the deck. Perhaps you should take a look at your own heart. Put that stone down and pray no one has one aimed at you.

          • Glenn Cohen says:

            “The term is itself racist and is always dealt from the bottom of the deck.“

            Both Black and white Democrats use it ENDLESSLY as their go to calling card so you need to go tell THEM to stop fomenting racism where there is none yourself. Good luck talking to those insecure, attention-starved nuts. Not even the global pandemic stopped them from violence and destruction.

            Sam is clearly too guilty to speak publicly for himself on a major news network like CNN or MSNBC so believing the women is all people have. That would be his salvation. No more Matt Lauer or Charlie Rose though courtesy of #metoo thank God!! Pigs. Sam behaving like Domingo won’t help either. He too got canceled after he was caught. Worse these ‘men’ stood by as Levine sexually exploited younger men and boys without lifting a finger to help. Not much of a man to constantly turn a blind eye while busily exploiting his own white privilege. Kathleen really needs to speak up but she’s too much of a narcissist. Glad CAMI is gone now and no longer the cesspool for these people to thrive.

      • Greg Bottini says:

        “White Privilege”, Eli?
        It’s now “White Privilege” to congratulate someone on their 80th birthday?
        What is wrong with you?

      • The Confederacy of Dunces. says:

        How dare you? Where do you get balls to malign one the greatest singers of any era. I have known Sam for many years and he has NEVER displayed any expression racism. You need to submit an apology immediately and stop playing that card.

        • Kim Liu says:

          As a clear Trump cultist yourself with the purposeful confederacy drivel, your comments are baseless.

          Both women and black people deserve to be heard. You need to delete your hateful comments and apologize for your weakness in the face of both minorities which must be respected.

          Worse, you also sound like a creepy Jimmy Levine and Placido Domingo ally. Look what became of them after using black boys and young women. Even Peter tossed them out!

  • Alviano says:

    He was also a matinee idol among singers. Every woman I knew was madly in love with him, esp. when he sang Boito’s Mefistofele. Those somersaults at the end drove them wild!

  • Cesare Siepi says:

    Nonsense. You need to work on your top notes more.

  • Guarda La Luna!! says:

    A good financial planner could have helped him avoid such a calamity.

  • Dru says:

    Bass – Baritone at the highest. Granted, may not have the imposing basso profundo dark heaviness of Moll or Frick, but to suggest he’s a baritone is off the mark

  • Tiredofitall says:

    Go listen.

  • David says:

    He sang at Covent Garden regularly when I first started going to the opera. I particularly remember as Philip ll, alongside Ricciarelli and Baltsa.

    Another particular memory was Attila, alongside Zancanaro. They were stunning.

    For me, I can only think of Raimondi who could match him for brilliance of voice and characterisation.

    More recently, on this site, he defended the reputation of John Copley, after the Met decided to make the producer an example for other’s percieved misdeeds. I thought his words of wisdom on the issue were well placed.