Noted for vocal power and dramatic intensity – though the sensitivity of his vocal range was also hugely admired – he was fearless in his views offstage.
From a religious family, he carried his devout beliefs into his opera career by frequently insisting on projecting the moral dimension in his roles. He even ruffled the feathers of Wagnerians in his excoriation of Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde: “They were not nice people,’’ he declared, “....
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