Obituary: Bass Arthur Woodley Dies at 71

By Francisco Salazar

Arthur Woodley has died at the age of 71.

Born in New York City and raised in Saint Croix, Woodley went on to perform at some of the world’s most important companies including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, New Orleans Opera, and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

He was well known for the role of Porgy in “Porgy and Bess” and sang the role with the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony, Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Indianapolis Opera, Opera Colorado, the Bregenz Festival, the Savolinna International Festival in Finland, and the Catfish Row Opera Company of Charleston, South Carolina.

He also performed Varlaam in “Boris Godunov,” the Four Villains in “Les Contes d’Hoffman,” Kuno in “Die Freischütz,” Banquo in “Macbeth, and Nick Shadow in “The Rake’s Progress,” among others.

Woodley also created a number of roles in the world premieres of Paul Moravec’s “The Shining” at the Minnesota Opera and Terrence Blanchard’s “Champion”at Opera Theatre of  St. Louis. He also sang the world premiere of “God, Mississippi, and Medgar Evers.”

Outside of his performance career Woodley served as part of the voice faculty at New York University.