George London

Biography

Born: May 5, 1919; Montreal, Quebec, Canada   Died: March 23, 1985; Armonk, NY  
George London was one of the most celebrated singing actors of his generation, with an imposing stage presence. In addition to excelling in a wide range of roles, from Mozart's Don Giovanni to Wotan to Scarpia to Escamillo, he was the first North American singer to appear on the stage of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, where in 1960 he triumphed in arguably the greatest Russian male role, Boris Godunov.

London began his vocal training after
Read more his family moved to Los Angeles, when he was 15. He made his operatic debut as Doctor Grenvil in Verdi's La traviata at the Hollywood Bowl, and for a while sang with Frances Yeend and Mario Lanza in the Bel Canto Trio. In 1949, he decided to make his career in Europe, and after an audition with Karl Böhm, joined the Vienna State Opera, where he made his debut as Amonasro, and was an overnight success. He remained a favorite there throughout his career, and was named a Kammersänger.

He made his Bayreuth Festival debut the year it reopened, 1951, as Amfortas, and he also appeared there in the title role of The Flying Dutchman. In 1962, he sang the complete Ring in Cologne, under the direction of Wieland Wagner.

In 1966, one of his vocal chords became paralyzed, and he retired from singing. However, he remained very active in the musical world. In 1971, he established a foundation for young singers (a list of just the most prominent award recipients includes Renée Fleming, Kathleen Battle, Jerry Hadley, Barbara Hendricks, James Morris, and Dawn Upshaw).

He also served as artistic administrator of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.) from 1968 to 1971, and executive director of the National Opera Institute from 1971 to 1976, as well as the director of the Washington Opera from 1975 to 1979. In 1975, in Seattle, he staged the first-ever complete Ring Cycle in English. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Most Wanted Recitals - George London On Broadway
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002065402 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Frederick Loewe,  Kurt Weill,  Jerome Kern  ... 
    Performer:  George London
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
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  • 2.
    Wagner: Parsifal / Knappertsbusch, Modl, Windgassen, London
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5161 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hermann Uhde,  Ludwig Weber,  George London,  Wolfgang Windgassen  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
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  • 3.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 8
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2013008 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Frances Yeend,  Carlos Alexander,  Uta Graf,  Camilla Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 4.
    Richard Tucker - The Song And Cantorial Album Collection [14-CD Set]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 544474 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ernesto De Curtis,  Emanuele Nutile,  Arturo Buzzi-Peccia,  Rodolfo Falvo  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  John Wustman,  John Huston,  Ben Irving  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfredo Antonini,  Nicolas Flagello,  Sholom Secunda,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Concert Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Chamber Ensemble  ... 
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  • 5.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22320 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  George London,  Hermann Schey,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
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    CD: $13.99
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  • 6.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22347 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  George London,  Kirsten Flagstad
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  • 7.
    Marriage Of Figaro
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1097 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elisabeth Höngen,  Erich Kunz,  Sena Jurinac,  Irmgard Seefried  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Mozart: Die Zauberflote Highlights / Seefried, Lipp, Dermota, Kunz, Karajan
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1267 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Wilma Lipp,  Ludwig Weber,  George London  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 9.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 10.
    Label: Gala   Catalog: 7703242 Release Date: 06/14/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Leonie Rysanek,  Gisela Litz,  Albrecht Peter,  Bernd Aldenhoff  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Rudolf Michl,  Nello Santi,  Kurt Eichhorn  ... 
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  • 11.
    George London - In Opera & Song
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2418 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  George London
    DVD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    Wagner at The Met
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 542717 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Karin Branzell,  Lauritz Melchior,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Emanuel List  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Bodanzky,  George Szell,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 189 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  George London,  Christa Ludwig
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
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  • 14.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Solti, Vienna Philharmonic [Deluxe 19-Disc Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001745502 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Birgit Nilsson,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    Recommendation
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $234.99
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  • 15.
    Solti Conducts The Strauss Operas [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746102 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hilde Gueden,  Eberhard Wächter,  Wilhelm Lenninger  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $97.49
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  • 16.
    Solti Conducts The Wagner Operas [36-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746302 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Werner Krenn,  Isola Jones,  Janis Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $167.99
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  • 17.
    Graziella Sciutti: The Studio Recitals, 1953, 1955, 1956
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0372 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Graziella Sciutti,  Sena Jurinac,  Sesto Bruscantini,  Rise [Mezzo-Soprano Vocal] Stevens  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux,  Vittorio Gui,  Rudolf Moralt
    CD: $9.99
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  • 18.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0508 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Martha Lipton,  Carlos Alexander,  Uta Graf,  Camilla Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    CD: $9.99
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  • 19.
    George London - Between Gods & Demons
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101473 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  George London
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 20.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 21.
    Wagner: Die Walkure / Leinsdorf, Nilsson, Vickers, London
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 430391 Release Date: 11/07/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Birgit Nilsson,  Jon Vickers,  Julia Malyon,  Gré Brouwenstijn  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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    On sale! $36.98
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  • 22.
    Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro / Tozzi, Peters, Della Casa, Leinsdorf
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444602 Release Date: 02/24/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Anny Felbermayer,  George London,  Gabor Carelli,  Giorgio Tozzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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    On sale! $36.98
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  • 23.
    Wagner: The Complete Opera Collection / Bavarian State Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Badische Staatskapelle, Cagliari Theater...
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 233106 Release Date: 10/25/2010   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Franz Klarwein,  Luise Willer,  Viorica Ursuleac,  Georg Hann  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Robert Heger,  Joseph Keilberth,  Günter Neuhold  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $73.99
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  • 24.
    Famous Voices Of The Past: George London, Vol. 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93463 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  George London,  Paul Ulanowsky
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Jean Paul Morel
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 25.
    Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann / Cluytens [includes CD-ROM]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56394 Release Date: 04/20/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Jean-Christophe Benoit,  George London,  Gianna D'Angelo,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  René Duclos Chorus
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