Sadly, actor Sir Christopher Lee passed away this week at the age of 93. If you are young, you probably knew him for his role as the all-powerful Saruman in the Lord of the Rings franchise. If you’re a little older or a film buff, you might also know him as Dracula, or for his role in The Wicker Man. His great booming voice was renowned the world over and served a key element in his extraordinary 70-year career.
Besides his career as an actor, Lee once considered a professional career as an opera singer. He once sung at the request of the great Sweedish tenor Jussi Björling at the Stockholm Opera House. While there, he was invited to study with Björling but regretfully had to turn down the offer. Lee tells the story much better than we ever could, so watch the video below to hear more about his dreams of becoming an opera star.
If you are curious to hear what he sounded like, see the clip below which shows him singing opera in German and French, then reciting from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven. While his voice is clearly untrained, his potential is obvious. Could he have been the next great Boris Christoff or Ezio Pinza? Perhaps not, but we will never know…