Obituary: English Tenor Kenneth Woollam Dies, Aged 83

By Logan Martell

On April 15, 2020, English tenor Kenneth Woollam passed away at the age of 83.

Born in Chester, England on January 16, 1937, Woollam studied at Chester Cathedral Choir School, where he became head chorister, before going on to the Royal Royal College of Music under Heddle Nash.

From 1962 to 1964, Woollam sang with the Glyndebourne Festival chorus before joining the English National Opera in 1972, debuting as Pierre Bezukhov in Prokofiev’s “War and Peace.”

He then served as principal tenor with ENO over the next 12 years, doing roles such as Calaf, Radames, Siegfried, Rienzi, and Bacchus, among others.  He made his debut with Covent Garden in 1988, as Aegisthus in Richard Strauss’ “Elektra” and appeared at the Metropolitan Opera with the ENO in 1984.

At Opera Scotland he appeared as Siegmund in “Die Walküre” in 1976 and 1981; Bacchus in “Ariadne auf Naxos” in 1977; Boris Grigorievich in “Kátya Kabanová” in 1979; and Gerontius in “Dream of Gerontius” in 1989.