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Opera Community Mourns “Wagner Marathon Man”

By Sara Schabas on September 25, 2023

Stephen Gould

Heldentenor Stephen Gould died at 61 of bile duct cancer last week.

What’s up?: Heldentenor Stephen Gould died of bile duct cancer at the age of 61 last week. Gould was acclaimed for his singing of Wagner at Bayreuth–where he was dubbed the “Wagner Marathon Man” due to his uninterrupted stay there between 2004 and 2002–, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera. He also notably performed about 3,000 performances with the national touring company of Phantom of the Opera in the U.S.

How is he being remembered?: Tributes for Gould are pouring in on social media. Soprano Lise Davidsen remembered him as “a kind and thoughtful colleague” and “an honest, powerful and amazing singer.” Fellow Wagnerian Adrianne Pieczonka posted, “an incredible artist he was – tirelessly singing the most demanding repertoire written for the human voice.”

The Wiener Staatsoper announced the death of the tenor — who was named a Kammersänger by the house–to audible dismay before their performances on September 20th, calling him one of the most important Heldentenors and Tristans in Tristan und Isolde of the past twenty years.

Wagner-lovers and fans wished him a speedy flight to Valhalla.


Sara Schabas
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