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Jon Vickers (1926 - 2015)

Vickers (Jonathan Stewart) was born into a large family, the sixth of eight children. Since his father was a lay preacher he often sang at services before securing a scholarship in 1950 to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he worked with George Lambert on technique and Herman Geiger-Torel on interpretation. Having made his debut with the Canadian Opera Company in 1954 as the Duke / Rigoletto, Vickers sang with this company until 1956 while also appearing during the same years at the Stratford Festival in Ontario as Don José / Carmen and as the Male Chorus / The Rape of Lucretia.

In 1957 Vickers joined the Covent Garden Opera Company at the Royal Opera House in London. He first appeared as Riccardo / Un ballo in maschera and went on to enjoy a long association (until 1985) with this company and its successor, the Royal Opera Company. His roles included the title parts in Don Carlo, Otello, Peter Grimes and Handel’s Samson; Énée / Les Troyens, Radamès / Aida, Florestan / Fidelio, Canio / Pagliacci and Tristan / Tristan und Isolde.




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