George London

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George London (May 30, 1920 – March 24, 1985) was born in Montreal Canada and grew to become an operatic bass-baritone singer. After extensive concertising with tenor Mario Lanza and soprano Frances Yeend as part of the Bel Canto Trio in 1947 and 1948, London was engaged by the Vienna State Opera, with whom he scored his first major success in 1949. He made his debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1951. In 1958, London performed the leading role of Wotan, in the groundbreaking recording of Richard Wagner's opera Das Rheingold, conducted by George Solti, and produced by John Culshaw for Decca. A paralyzed vocal cord ended his singing career prematurely in 1967.

In 1971, London established the George London Foundation for Singers, which gives grants to young opera singers early in their careers. $57,000 is given each year to the winners of an annual competition.[1] From 1975 until 1980 he was general director of the Washington Opera (later called the Washington National Opera).

He died in Armonk, New York.


  • London, Nora.George London: Of Gods and Demons. Fort Worth: Baskerville, 2005 (ISBN 1-880909-74-X)

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