Singers on Singing: Peter Glossop
The English baritone Peter Glossop (1928 to 2008) called his autobiography, published in 2004, Peter Glossop – The Story of a Yorkshire Baritone, deliberately displaying in the title the simplicity of his background and hiding the international importance of his career in the history of English singers. He always deeply appreciated the way his musical life developed, in a manner that is virtually unheard of today: beginning as a chorister at Sadlers Wells Opera in 1952, progressing to principal roles there, moving to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and then making historic headlines as the first non-Italian singer to be adulated with accolades at La Scala Milan. That was in 1965, and by then Peter Glossop had become world famous as, in particular, one of the most powerful singer-actors of Verdi’s operas. His strong and idiomatic singing and his profound psychological characterisation in Verdi won him deep admiration from artists such as Tito Gobbi, Carol Maria Giulini and Herbert von Karajan, and the latter two engaged him for performances that were acclaimed for their vocal and theatrical stature. Peter Glossop was also Benjamin Britten’s choice for his recording of his opera Billy Budd, and his memories of this, of other milestones in his career and of the early days of his life are included in the short profile here that was aired in 2002. The programme also includes Peter Glossop’s discussion of the roles that are itemised in the recordings below.
Listen to the documentary immediately below:
Musical excerpts included in this feature:
- Excerpts from Otello (Verdi), in the role of Iago
- Excerpt from Rigoletto (Verdi) with Sadler’s Wells Opera Orchestra & conductor James Lockhart [HMV CLP 1600 (vinyl LP)]
- Excerpt from Les Troyens (Berlioz), the role of Chorebeus
- Excerpt from Billy Budd (Britten), in the title role