David Ward

Biography

Born: July 3, 1922; Dumbarton   Died: July 16, 1983; Dunedin, New Zealand  
Tall and imposing, this Scotsman progressed in a decade's time from leading roles for lyric bass to the rigors of Wagner's Wotan. During the period in which Hans Hotter gradually withdrew from performances of Wagner's great creation, David Ward shared with the American baritone Thomas Stewart pre-eminence as Wotan, studying the role with Hotter and singing it under Hotter's stage direction. One of many British Isles singers to benefit from Georg Read more Solti's tenure as music director at Covent Garden, he found his association with the conductor a significant enhancement to his career. His full, rounded bass of attractive timbre never was fully at ease in the highest reaches of Wotan, but he compensated with his magisterial authority, smoothly managed legato, and biting enunciation. He was also a credible singer of Verdi's leading bass characters, as well as other French, German, and Russian roles for low voice.

After studying at the Royal College of Music in London, Ward joined the chorus at Sadler's Wells Opera in 1952 and graduated the following year to the rank of soloist, appearing first as the Old Bard in Rutland Boughton's The Immortal Hour and later, as Count Walter in Verdi's Luisa Miller. At its premiere on September 22, 1954, he created the role of Hardy in Lennox Berkeley's Nelson, advancing each season thereafter to ever more important assignments. Aside from standard bass roles such as Méphistofélès, he undertook his first bass baritone part when he sang Vanderdecken in Der Fliegende Holländer. For his Covent Garden debut in 1960, Ward essayed Pogner, a role well-suited to his flowing voice and dignified manner. Lord Walton in Bellini's I Puritani was the vehicle for Ward's Glyndebourne Festival debut the same year in a production repeated in Edinburgh, starring Joan Sutherland. Bayreuth also beckoned in 1960 and Ward sang his first performances there as Titurel.

In Chicago, Ward made a memorable Lyric Opera appearance as Bluebeard in Bartók's psychologically probing opera, his huge, hulking figure matching the grim darkness of his singing. San Francisco heard his Das Rheingold Wotan in 1967 and in 1969, Ward returned for Sarastro in a Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), populated by several other singers from the United Kingdom, including Margaret Price, Stuart Burrows, and Geraint Evans.

Ward maintained a close relationship with the Royal Opera House until his retirement. Among his Wagner roles, Fasolt and Hunding gave way to Wotan, while his Sir Morosus in Strauss' Die Schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman), heard in 1961, was followed by his restrained and solicitous Arkel (recorded with Boulez), Rocco, Clement VII in Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini, Ivan Khovansky, and Don Basilio. Ward made his mark with several Verdi characters, notably a tragic Fillip II, Fiesco, and Zaccaria. For the Scottish National Opera, he sang an acclaimed Boris Godunov. He sang in Italy as well as Germany and America and performed Wotan in multiple Ring cycles at Argentina's Teatro Colón in 1967. His final performance at Covent Garden was as the Grand Inquisitor in Meyerbeer's L'africaine in 1978. By the early '70s, Ward had achieved an interpretive fullness with his Wotan that begged comparison with the century's most respected exponents. His Siegfried Wanderer, in particular, conveyed a sense of wry humor in resignation that was uniquely touching. Read less

There are 18 David Ward recordings available.

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Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: July 3, 1922; Dumbarton   Died: July 16, 1983; Dunedin, New Zealand  
Tall and imposing, this Scotsman progressed in a decade's time from leading roles for lyric bass to the rigors of Wagner's Wotan. During the period in which Hans Hotter gradually withdrew from performances of Wagner's great creation, David Ward shared with the American baritone Thomas Stewart pre-eminence as Wotan, studying the role with Hotter and singing it under Hotter's stage direction. One of many British Isles singers to benefit from Georg Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Rigoletto: Prelude
Act I: Della mia bella incognita borghese
Act I: Questa o quella
Act I: Partite? Crudele!
Act I: Gran nuova!
Act I: Ch' io gli parli
Act II: Quel vecchio maledivami!
Act II: Pari siamo! Io la lingua
Act II: Figlia! - Mio padre!
Act II: Ah! veglia, o donna
Act II: Giovanna, ho dei rimorsi
Act II: Che m' ami, deh! ripetimi
Act II: Gualtier Maldè; Caro nome
Act II: Riedo! perchè?
Act II: Zitti, zitti, moviamo a vendetta
Rigoletto: Act III: Ella mi fu rapita!; Parmi veder le lagrime
Act III: Duca, Duca?
Act III: Possente amor mi chiama
Act III: Povero Rigoletto!
Act III: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata
Act III: Mio padre! - Dio! mia Gilda!
Act III: Tutte le feste al tempio
Act III: Schiudete!
Act III: Sì, vendetta, tremenda vendetta
Act IV: E l'ami? - Sempre
Act IV: La donna è mobile
Act IV: E là il vostr'uomo
Act IV: Un di, se ben rammentomi
Act IV: Bella figlia dell'amore
Act IV: Venti scudi hai tu detto?
Act IV: Ah, più non ragiono!
Act IV: Ancor c'è mezz'ora
Act IV: Della vendetta alfin
Act IV: Chi è mai?
Act IV: V'ho ingannato, colpevole fui
Act IV: Lassù in cielo
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - Orchestervorspiel
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - Wes Herd dies auch sei...Kühlende Labung gab mir
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - Szene 2: "Müd am Herd fand ich den Mann"
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - Friedmund darf ich nicht heißen...Aus dem Wald trieb
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - "Ich weiß ein wildes Geschlecht"
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - Szene 3: "Ein Schwert verhieß mir der Vater"
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - "Schläfst du, Gast?"
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - "Der Männer Sippe saß hier im Saal"
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - "Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond"
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - Du bist der Lenz
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - War Wälse dein Vater
Wagner: Die Walküre / Act 1 - Siegmund heiß ich und Siegmund bin ich
Wagner: Die Walküre - Zweiter Aufzug - Vorspiel
Wagner: Die Walküre - Zweiter Aufzug - Nun zäume dein Ross, reisige Maid
Wagner: Die Walküre - Zweiter Aufzug - Dir rat' ich, Vater, rüste dich selbst
Wagner: Die Walküre - Zweiter Aufzug - "Der alte Sturm, die alte Müh'"
Wagner: Die Walküre - Zweiter Aufzug - So ist es denn aus mit den ewigen Göttern
Wagner: Die Walküre - Zweiter Aufzug - In wildem Leiden erwuchs er such selbst
Introduction
Prologue: "D'anciennes haines endormies"
Strophes 1 & 2: "Premiers transports""Heureux enfants"
Récitatif et Scherzetto: "Bientôt de Roméo" - "Mab! la messagère" - "Bientôt la mort est souveraine"
Roméo seul - Tristesse Grande fête chez Capulets
"Ohé! Capulets! bonsoir, bonsoir!"
Scherzo. La Reine Mab ou la Fée des songes
Convoi funebre "Jetez des fleurs pour la vierge expirée"
Romeo au tombeau des Capulets (Complete)
Final. "Quoi! Roméo de retour! Roméo"
Final. "Pauvres enfants que je pleure"
Final. "Jurez donc, par l'auguste symbole"


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