Another Great British Musician Gone

This time it’s English tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson, a singer who used his somewhat dry voice with exceptional skill, and was familiar to all classical record collectors in the ’80s and ’90s for his copious discography — he was the tenor in many period-instrument recordings from that era, in parts like the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions. Apart from baroque and classical music, he was also a specialist in Benjamin Britten; here’s a clip of him as the Earl of Essex — he’s the one who enters at 0:17 in this clip — in the big quartet from Gloriana, Britten’s grand opera about Queen Elizabeth I (which he wrote for the coronation festivities of Elizabeth II, and which was coolly received as being insufficiently festive).

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