Obituary: Tenor Nigel Rogers Passes at 86

By David Salazar

Tenor Nigel Rogers passed away on Jan. 19, 2022. He was 86.

Born on March 21, 1935, in Wellington, Shropshire, he grew up in a musical family that featured his father as a member of a choir and his mother as a piano teacher. He studied at King’s College in Cambridge where he was a choral scholar and in 1957 went to study in Rome and then Milan before landing at the Munich Hochschule für Musik. It was there that he was among the founders of the Studio der Frühen Musik, making 11 recordings with the ensemble between 1962 and 1970.

His operatic debut came in Amsterdam in 1969 and would return to the house throughout his career; one of the standout moments in his Amsterdam career was the 1972 performance in “L’Incoronazione di Poppea” under Gustav Leonhardt.” A baroque specialist, he was most renowned for his work as a Monteverdi interpreter and recorded “L’Orfeo” on several occasions. Other works that he recorded were the “1610 Verspers,” John Dowland’s lute songs, and “Sigismondo d’India,” among many others.

In 1978, he became a professor of classical singing at the Royal College of Music in London (and would remain there until his retirement) and in 1979, he founded the ensemble Chiaroschuro. He would make his conducting debut in 1985.

He also gave a recital at Wigmore Hall to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Here he is performing a lute song by Dowland.