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
Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer / Dorati, London, Rysanek
Release Date: 05/08/2002   Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series  
Catalog: 417319   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Tosca /  Tebaldi, London
Release Date: 06/25/2002   Label: Video Artists International  
Catalog: 4217   Number of Discs: 1
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Wagner: Parsifal / Knappertsbusch, Thomas, Dalis, London
Release Date: 11/14/2006   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 000786302   Number of Discs: 4
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Mozart: Don Giovanni / Moralt, London, Jurinac, Simoneau
Release Date: 12/1994   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 438674   Number of Discs: 3
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Wagner: Die Walkure / Leinsdorf, Nilsson, Vickers, London
Release Date: 11/07/2011   Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series  
Catalog: 430391   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 26-50 of 71 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 508 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Martha Lipton,  Carlos Alexander,  Uta Graf,  Camilla Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 28.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $69.98
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  • 29.
    Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann / Cluytens [includes CD-ROM]
    Label: Warner 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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  • 30.
    Schubert, Ibert, Mussorgsky / George London, Erik Werba
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 801091 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Duparc,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jacques Ibert,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  George London,  Erik Werba,  Paul Ulanowsky
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  • 31.
    Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Seefried, Kunz, London, Jurinac
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 66807 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elisabeth Höngen,  Wilhelm Felden,  Erich Majkut,  Anny Felbermayer  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 32.
    Strauss: Arabella / Solti, Della Casa, London
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001305202 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Otto Edelmann,  Harald Pröglhöf,  Eberhard Wächter,  Judith Hellwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 33.
    Wagner: Der Fliegende Holländer - Highlights / Dorati, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 452731 Release Date: 04/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  George London,  Rosalind Elias,  Leonie Rysanek,  Giorgio Tozzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 34.
    Heritage Masters - Wagner: Das Rheingold / Solti, Flagstad
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001268402 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Kurt Böhme,  Eberhard Wächter,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Claire Watson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    German Opera Masterworks
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9804 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Karl-Ernst Mercker,  Gundula Janowitz,  Mignon Dunn  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Karl Böhm,  Rudolf Moralt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Prague Philharmonic Chorus,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 36.
    Graziella Sciutti: The Studio Recitals, 1953, 1955, 1956
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 372 Release Date: 09/25/2007   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
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  • 37.
    Beethoven: Egmont Overture;  Brahms: Symphony No 1;  Mahler
    Label: Medici Masters   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 08/28/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  George London
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 38.
    Bach: Wedding Cantata;  Mahler: Kindertotenlieder, Etc
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 320 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Hermann Schey,  George London
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Strauss, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Etc/ Leonie Rysanek
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 696072 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  George London,  Leonie Rysanek,  Ludwig Welter,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Berislav Klobucar,  Rafael Kubelik,  Nino Verchi,  Josef Krips  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 40.
    Sena Jurinac Sings Mozart, Strauss & Puccini
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 684062 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hans Pfitzner,  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Christa Ludwig,  John Van Kesteren,  Jess Thomas  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Robert Heger,  Karl Böhm,  Hans Knappertsbusch  ... 
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  • 41.
    Wagner: Parsifal / Knappertsbusch, Thomas, Dalis, London
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000786302 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Niels Moller,  Gerhard Stolze,  Georg Paskuda,  Dorothea Siebert  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    On sale! $47.98
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  • 42.
    Strauss: Arabella / Solti, Della Casa, London
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000710502 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Hilde Gueden,  Eberhard Wächter,  Wilhelm Lenninger,  Lisa Della Casa  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    Recommendation
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  • 43.
    Wagner: The Flying Dutchman / Sawallisch, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 7030 Release Date: 08/08/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Fritz Uhl,  Res Fischer,  George London,  Georg Paskuda  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus
    On sale! $31.98
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  • 44.
    Anna Moffo - A Tribute
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4383 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Gino Bechi,  Sándor Kónya,  Richard Tucker  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Giuseppe Patané,  Donald Voorhees
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 45.
    Historical - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte / Karajan, Dermota
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 36769 Release Date: 01/10/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Irmgard Seefried,  Erich Kunz,  Anton Dermota,  Ludwig Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
    CD: $14.99
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  • 46.
    Reopening Of The Vienna State Opera - 1955 / Goltz, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90675 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Emmy Loose,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan,  Karl Kamann,  Rudolf Lustig  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann,  Meinhard Von Zallinger,  Herbert Kegel,  Wilhelm Schüchter  ... 
    On sale! $69.98
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  • 47.
    Vienna Opera Festival 1955 / Böhm, Kubelik, Reiner, Knappertsbusch
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 666053 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Alban Berg,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Reining,  Hilde Gueden,  Sena Jurinac,  Christel Goltz  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Karl Böhm,  Fritz Reiner,  Rafael Kubelik
    CD: $54.49
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  • 48.
    Renata Tebaldi - A Portrait
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4324 Release Date: 07/05/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Louis Quilico,  Ermanno Mauro,  Lilian Sukis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  C. B. C. Festival Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 49.
    London - George London, A Tribute
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4329 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Strauss,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Moser,  Nicolai Gedda,  Lucia Popp,  Sona Ghazarian  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    DVD: $33.99
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  • 50.
    George London - 1953
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90580 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alexander Borodin,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  George London,  Bruno Walter,  Astrid Varnay
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Hermann Weigert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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