Obituary: John Lankston Dies At 84

By Francisco Salazar

The New York City Opera has announced the passing of tenor John Lankston at age 84.

The tenor made his debut with City Opera in 1966 in the role of Pedrillo and became a huge star with the company. He would go on to perform with the company until the 2000s. Among the many highlights, he had with the company included “Die Fledermaus,” “Sweeney Todd,” “The Mikado,” “Harvey Milk,” “Love for Three Oranges,” “Tosca,” “L’heure Espagnole,” and “Il Barbiere di Siviglia, among others.

However, his greatest achievement with the company was his creation of the quintuple role of Voltaire/Pangloss/Businessman/Governor/Gambler in the 1982 Opera-House Version of “Candide.” He would later go on to make an acclaimed recording of “Candide” with the New York City Opera for which he was nominated for two Grammys; he won one.

Here is a glimpse of Lankston in his signature “Candide” production from a televised version at the New York City Opera.