Jan. 4, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 8

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    Conversation with 'devil' Ramey Jan. 22

    "Singing With the Devil: A Conversation With Samuel Ramey" will be presented as the Regents Park Lecture in Opera at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22, in Mandel Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

    The Regents Park Lecture in Opera was established to honor Douglas Baird, Dean of the Law School, by Martha and Bruce Clinton. Regents Park, an apartment complex in Hyde Park, is owned and operated by the Clinton Company.

    Ramey, the most recorded bass in opera history, has achieved a level of public and critical success unique for the lower male voices. Frequently the focal point of new productions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden and the Vienna Staatsoper, he has single-handedly expanded the repertoire of these companies by offering a reason to present works written specifically for basses, such as Verdi's Attila, Rossini's Maometto II and Massenet's Don Quichotte.

    Part of Ramey's international success lies in his technical virtuosity. His roles encompass every style, from the exacting filigree of Handel's Rinaldo (the vehicle of a sensational Met debut in 1984) to the muscular proclamations in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle (another new production at the Met, televised by PBS). He has played comedic roles, such as Mozart's Figaro, as well as diabolical villains, including three different incarnations of the devil: the Mephistopheles of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust, Boito's Mefistofele and Gounod's Faust. Ramey will be appearing in Faust at the Lyric Opera of Chicago beginning Jan. 20.

    Over the span of his career, nearly all of his operatic roles have been recorded. He also has been featured on numerous aria albums, symphonic works and crossover discs of popular American music.

    Following his phenomenal success in opera, concert and recordings (audio and video), Ramey's sold-out Carnegie Hall recital in 1987 added another dimension to his already burgeoning career. Ramey's return to Carnegie Hall for a solo recital in February 1995 was the culmination of an extensive, critically acclaimed North American tour that took him from Alaska to Alabama. His European recital career is equally notable, with sold-out appearances in all the major capitals.

    A native of Colby, Kan., Ramey experienced his earliest successes with the New York City Opera. As his repertoire grew, he spent more and more time in the theaters of Europe, with triumphs in Berlin, Hamburg, London, Paris, Vienna and the festivals of Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne, Pesaro and Salzburg. He continues a relationship with major theaters in the United States, and, through appearances in venues worldwide, he maintains a schedule of more than 70 performances a year.

    For more information, call 702-8369.