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  MusicBiography: Singers
Samuel RameySamuel Ramey

opera singer

Samuel Ramey was born in Colby, Kansas, on March 28, 1942. He studied music at Colby High School, from which he graduated in 1960, and continued his studies at Kansas State University and Wichita State University, where he studied voice under Arthur Newman; he received his Bachelor of Music from the latter in 1968. After a stint with the Grass Roots Opera Company in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1968-69, he continued his studies with Armen Boyajian in New York, and then went through apprentice programs at Central City and Santa Fe.

Ramey made his operatic debut with the New York City Opera as Zuiga in Carmen in March 11, 1973. He has subsequently performed with most of the major operas around the world, including the Hamburg State Opera, Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam, the festivals of Aix-en-Provence and Glyndebourne, Chicago Lyric Opera, and the San Francisco Opera. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Argante in Handel's Rinaldo in January 1984. In concert, he has performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, La Scala Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and the symphonies of Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and San Francisco. Over the course of his career he has performed in both comedies and dramas and has played both heroes and villains. His most-performed role, however, is as Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust, with over 200 performances in over 20 different productions. He is also arguably the most recorded bass in music history, with over 80 recordings to his name.

Ramey was named "Kansan of the Year" in 1995 and awarded a Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters by French Ministry of Culture in 1998. He currently lives in Chicago, and still performs around the world.

Samuel Ramey Website

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This page was last updated on 12/16/2014.

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