Opera Scotland

Hugh Beresford Suggest updates

Born Birkenhead, 17 December 1925.

Died Vienna, 23 November 2020.

English baritone, later tenor.

Hugh Beresford spent most of his career on the continent, particularly in Germany and Austria.  At Bayreuth in 1972 he sang Tannhäuser in a staging where Gwyneth Jones sang both Venus and Elisabeth, with Bernd Weikl (Wolfram) and Hans Sotin (Landgrave), directed by Harry Kupfer and conducted by Erich Leinsdorf.

He studied in London, as a baritone, winning the Richard Tauber prize in 1951.  His debut, at Linz in 1953, was as Wolfram (Tannhäuser).  Other baritone roles over the next few years included Mozart (Don Giovanni);  Verdi (Nabucco,  Rigoletto,  Luna,  Germont,  Don Carlo di Vargas,  Posa,  Iago);  Gounod (Valentin);  Offenbach (Dapertutto);  Bizet (Escamillo);  Mascagni (Alfio);  Giordano (Gérard);  Strauss (Mandryka).

In 1969 he made his first appearances as a tenor, singing Don Alvaro The Force of Destiny with Sadler's Wells Opera on tour.  He returned to the company in London as Don José Carmen and Florestan in a Beethoven bicentenary staging of Leonore.  His only other British operatic appearance was with Scottish Opera as Bacchus Ariadne on Naxos.

His performances were mainly in Germany, including Munich,  Frankfurt,  Berlin,  Hamburg,  Dusseldorf,  Bonn,  Hannover,  Karlsruhe,  Essen,  Dortmund,  Augsburg,  Stuttgart,  Ulm and Wuppertal.  His Austrian appearances included Vienna and Graz, as well as Linz.

Other appearances included France (Paris,  Lyon);  Switzerland (Zurich,  Bern); Italy (Venice, Trieste);  Belgium (Brussels)  and  Netherlands (Amsterdam).

His tenor roles included Beethoven (Florestan in both Leonore and Fidelio);  Weber (Max);  Wagner (Erik,  Tannhäuser,  Siegmund);  Leoncavallo (Canio);  Strauss (Herod,  Bacchus);  Puccini (Calaf).

Roles in Scotland

Don Alvaro a Peruvian nobleman
Force of Destiny 1969
Tenor Bacchus in the opera
Ariadne on Naxos 1975
Ariadne on Naxos 1976

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