Willard White is known as one of the world's great basses, famed for his enormous, rich voice and powerful stage presence. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on October 10, 1946, began his musical training at the Jamaican School of Music and continued it at the Juilliard School in New York. He made his debut with the New York City Opera in 1974 as Colline in 'La Bohème'. Since then he has sung in the Opera Houses of San Francisco, and Los Angeles, London and the major European cities and at the Festivals at Glyndebourne, Aix en Provence and Salzburg.
Willard White's extensive repertoire includes the bass-baritone roles in operas by Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, Debussy, Shostakovich, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev and Gershwin. His most outstanding role is considered by many to be as Mephistopheles in 'The Damnation of Faust', which he has sung many times to memorable effect and with huge acclaim.
He has performed regularly in concerts with London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, La Scala Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestras and he is much in demand as a recitalist. His concert programme, "An Evening with Willard White - a tribute to Paul Robeson", has been a continuing success at festivals throughout the UK.
[written a decade ago]