George London


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 51-60 of 60 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    The Great Moments From Die Fledermaus /Moffo, Franchi, Et Al
    Label: Rca Red Seal Hp   Catalog: 63468A Release Date: 10/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Jeanette Scovotti,  Richard Lewis,  John Hauxvell  ... 
    Conductor:  Oskar Danon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $8.99
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  • 52.
    The Early Years - Opera Arias And Mélodies / Sciutti, Et Al
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442750 Release Date: 07/08/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Graziella Sciutti,  Jacqueline Bonneau,  George London
    Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux,  Rudolf Moralt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 53.
    Wiener Staatsoper Live - Mozart: Don Giovanni / Böhm, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 57737 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Anton Dermota,  Irmgard Seefried,  Sena Jurinac  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 54.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Sir Georg Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414101 Release Date: 08/30/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Oda Balsborg,  Hetty Plümacher,  Jean Madeira,  Ira Malaniuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $41.99
    CD: $39.99
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  • 55.
    George London - Of Gods And Demons
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62758 Release Date: 01/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Louis Gruenberg,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  George London
    Conductor:  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Rudolf Moralt,  Jean Paul Morel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 56.
    George London In Concert
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1030 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  George London
    CD: $15.99
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  • 57.
    Verdi: Messa Da Requiem;  Rossini: Stabat Mater / Ormandy
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 53252 Release Date: 05/18/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Martina Arroyo,  Beverly Wolff,  Tito Del Bianco,  Justino Diaz  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Singers,  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    Puccini: Tosca / Molinari-Pradelli, Tebaldi, Del Monaco
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 411871 Release Date: 04/30/1991   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  George London,  Renata Tebaldi,  Silvio Maionica,  Fernando Corena  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 59.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Moralt, London, Jurinac, Simoneau
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438674 Release Date: 12/1994   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Eberhard Wächter,  Léopold Simoneau,  Hilde Zadek  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $39.98
    ArkivCD $37.99
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