William Lewis

born 23 November 1931 Tulsa

William Lewis as Hoffmann with Leona Mitchell

William Lewis sings Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA format
William Lewis tried himself as an athlete and as a writer before having his voice trained. He made his debut in 1953 as Rinuccio in Fort Worth. He sang around the US for the next few years (Dallas, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Hawaii, San Antonio, Tulsa, New York City Opera). In 1958, he was at the Met for the first time (debut role: Narraboth). At that house, he was a fixture from 1972 to 1989, and sang for the last time in 1992 – a total of 234 performances, and an amazing variety of roles: Rodolfo, Andres, Ägisth, Cassio, Roméo, German, Macduff, Don José, Pinkerton, Hélénus (Les Troyens), Melot, Gabriele Adorno, Arrigo, Tambourmajor, Števa, Turiddu, Grigorij, Cavaradossi, Alfredo, Alwa (Lulu by Berg), Erik, Oedipus rex, Idomeneo, Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites by Poulenc), Jimmy Mahoney (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny), Malatestino (Francesca da Rimini), Hoffmann, Golitsyn (Khovanshchina), Red Whiskers (Billy Budd), Walther von der Vogelweide, Tannhäuser.

From 1975 to 1990, he was also very regularly at the San Francisco Opera, and from 1981 to 1985, at the Salzburg Festival every summer. Further guest appearances: Spoleto Festival, Vienna Staatsoper, La Scala, Teatro Lirico (Milan), Toulouse, Venice, Florence, Covent Garden, Paris Opéra, Lisbon, Hamburg, Köln, Torino, and the Wexford, Glasgow and Edinburgh festivals. Further roles: Manrico, Riccardo, Kaiser, Pollione, Canio, Radames, Pollux (Die Liebe der Danae), Albert Gregor (Věc Makropulos), Boris (Káťa Kabanová), Herodes, Bacchus, Matteo (Arabella).

Reference 1 and picture source: Lewis' website; reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens; reference 3: Metropolitan Opera archives; reference 4

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