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Samuel Ramey

Ramey, Samuel, 1942–, American operatic bass, b. Colby, Kans. He studied music at Kansas State and Wichita State (grad. 1968) universities and debuted with the New York City Opera in Bizet's Carmen in 1973. Known for his rich, expressive voice and commanding stage presence, he garnered international acclaim with debuts in such European venues as Glyndebourne (1976), Hamburg (1978), and La Scala and Vienna (1981). He first appeared at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1984 in Handel's Rinaldo. Ramey is noted for performing with equal skill in bel canto works requiring speed and flexibility and in dramatic parts demanding strength and power. He also is adept at portraying opera's demons and rogues, among them Mephistopholes in Gounot's Faust, the devil in Berlioz's Damnation of Faust, and the four villains in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies

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