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Legends of Opera

George LondonGeorge London

(May 30, 1920 – March 24, 1985)

Click here for recordings and performances by George London.

 

George London was a Montreal-born concert and operatic bass-baritone. Born into a Russian Jewish family he grew up in Los Angeles.

In 1949 after performing for some time with Mario Lanza and Frances Yeend as part of the Bel Canto Trio he was engaged by the Vienna State Opera. It was with them that he had his first success.

George London was among the most famous exponents of four key roles that were to become his signature roles- Don Giovanni, Boris Godunov, Wotan, and Amfortas. He was also much acclaimed as one of the best Scarpia's ever!

He recorded an abridged version of Act 2 of Tosca with Maria Callas and filmed another version of it in its entirety with Renata Tebaldi.

He made several recordings that are still available today which clearly demonstrate his artistry but his later career was marred by the effects of two bad strokes which left the left side of his face paralysed and affected his vocal chords.

It ended his career prematurely in 1967 and in 1985 he died from a third stroke.

Click here for recordings and performances by George London.

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