Samuel Ramey

For almost three decades, Samuel Ramey has reigned as one of the music world’s foremost interpreters of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated astounding versatility, singing roles ranging from Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo, which was the vehicle of his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984, to the dramatic proclamations of the title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, which he sang in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera televised by PBS. Mr. Ramey’s interpretations embrace the bel canto of Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti; the lyric and dramatic roles of Mozart and Verdi; and the heroic roles of the Russian and French repertoire. In recent seasons, he has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera as Timur in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Turandot. Other recent engagements include Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Rambaldo (La Rondine), and Pope Leo at the Met; Claudius (Hamlet) with Washington National Opera; Scarpia (Tosca) at Deutsche Oper Berlin; Méphistophélès in Nice; and the Grand Inquisitore (Don Carlos) with Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Ramey is well-known for his portrayals of devils and villains; Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust has become his most-performed role with over 200 performances in more than twenty productions. He is equally well-known throughout the world for his performances of Boito’s Mefistofele, including over 70 performances in the Robert Carsen production of this work specifically created for Mr. Ramey. He has also sung many performances of Berlioz’ devil in La damnation de Faust and the sinister Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. In 1996 Mr. Ramey presented a sold-out concert at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall titled “A Date with the Devil” in which he sang fourteen arias representing the core of this repertoire, and he continues to tour this pro gram throughout the world.  Throughout his career, Samuel Ramey has appeared on all the world’s greatest stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra de Paris, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Teatro la Fenice, Teatro Colon, and the operas of Munich, Hamburg, Geneva, Florence, Zürich and Amsterdam, among others. He has worked with major conductors including Claudio Abbado, the late Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Julius Rudel, the late Sir Georg Solti, and the late Herbert von Karajan. Samuel Ramey holds the distinction of being the most recorded bass in history. His more than eighty recordings include complete operas, recordings of arias, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums on every major label. In 1998 the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the rank of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters. Mr. Ramey is a native of Colby, Kansas.



L'Elisir d'Amore, March 2016, Photo by David Bazemore