Obituary: Tenor John Wakefield Dies at 83

By Francisco Salazar

Tenor John Wakefield has died at the age of 83.

The British tenor, born on June 21, 1936 in Yorkshire, England, first studied Pharmacy before turning to music. In 1958 he received the Kathleen Ferrier Scholarship and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music. with Roy Henderson and Ettore Campogalliani.

He would later participate at the IVC Den Bosch where he won second prize. In 1961, Wakefield made his Welsh National Opera debut. Other debuts would come at such houses as the Royal Opera and Glyndebourne, as well as Santa Fe Opera, and Teatro Colón, among others.

He participated in the English premiere of Hindemith’s “Cadillac” as well as the world premieres of Nicholas Maw’s “The Rising of the Moon” and Hector Villa-Lobos’ “Yerma.” He also recreated the opera “Uthal” and the Lessuer opera “Ossian ou les bardes.”

Among his most popular roles were Macduff, Rinuccio, Fenton, Tamino, Paris, Don Ottavio, Ferrando, Belmonte, Idamente, Rodolfo, Orfeo, Ormindo, Essex and Saul.

He also recorded “La Traviata,” “Ormindo,” “The Mikado,” and “Messiah” alongside Sir Colin Davis.