Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gösta Winbergh--First posted Feb. 15, 2009

I give you Swedish tenor Gösta Winbergh. True, he's a little later in the 20th century than the mid-century singers I usually feature, but he was a very fine singer. And he's dead. He's a tenor I admired very much in my student days, and although my voice is a different sort than his (he later moved into heavier repertoire I, in middle age, remain a light lyric tenor), I admire his Mozart singing. These are two arias I studied and used as audition arias.

(Yes, I know the quality on this second video clip isn't good, but the singing is!)

Gösta Winbergh (December 13, 1943 – March 18, 2002) was a Swedish tenor.

Winbergh was born in Stockholm. He is often mentioned as among Sweden's and the worlds finest tenors, included with Jussi Björling and Nicolai Gedda. Winbergh did not come from a music family: he was a building engineer when he watched his first opera performance in 1967 and then, upon this experience, decided that he wanted to be an opera singer. He applied for the opera class at Sweden's prestigious Royal Academy of Music, and was admitted on his first attempt. He trained at the school between 1969-71. He began singing at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, and gradually began to receive international attention in the 1980s when he guest performed on stages abroad. He later worked several times at the opera house in Zürich and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, USA. His leading performances in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Wagner's Lohengrin, Verdi's Rigoletto and Puccini's Turandot were particularly well received and celebrated.

Winbergh suffered a heart-attack and passed away in Vienna, Austria in 2002, where he was performing at the time. To honour his memory and opera work The Gösta Winbergh Award (GWA) was instituted in Sweden after his death: the award is each year handed out to young aspiring tenors through an arranged singing contest that takes place at the opera stage Confidencen, at the Ulriksdal Royal Estate (a few miles outside Stockholm). The first prize consists of 14.000 euro and the second prize of 6.000 euro.

(Bio from Wikipedia.)

Ask me some time how it came about that I saw him in his underwear.


Anonymous said...

Great singer! Wow what a voice...the best i have ever heard mozart being sung! So, how is you came about seeing him in his underwear?
Thanks for posting these...

Taminophile said...

I had just seen him, Carol Vaness and Delores Ziegler perform La Clemenza di Tito at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg. My friend lied and got us into the corridor where the dressing rooms were. We were waiting for the ladies so that we could get autographs and gush, when Winbergh's dressing room door opened, revealing him getting dressed. He was standing there in nothing but red bikini briefs.

I wasn't disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I have always loved Winbergh's singing. He made it look so easy, though we know better. Love the underwear story. You can see "more" of him in a YouTube clip of Frau with Nilsson from Stockholm in 1978. Not in red, but quite naked except for a bit of strategically placed gold lamé.

I enjoy your blog very much. Thank you!