The Canadian tenor Jon Vickers, who brought a colossal voice and raw dramatic intensity to everything he sang, including legendary portrayals of Wagner’s Tristan, Verdi’s Otello, Beethoven’s Florestan and Britten’s Peter Grimes, died on Friday in Ontario, Canada. He was 88.
The Royal Opera House in London posted a statement from the Vickers family saying the cause was Alzheimer’s disease.
From his early teens, when his robust singing in his family church in Saskatchewan was the talk of the congregation (parishioners remember his final high note in the hymn “Jerusalem” almost rattling the windows), until his fledgling appearances in the mid-1950s at the Toronto Opera Festival, the sheer size of Mr. Vickers’s voice was both the glory and the challenge of his artistry.
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