Victor Godfrey

Victor (John) Godfrey. Bass-baritone, born Deloraine, south of Brandon, Man 10 Sep 1934, died Meerbusch, Germany 26 Sep 2012.

Victor Godfrey

Victor (John) Godfrey. Bass-baritone, born Deloraine, south of Brandon, Man 10 Sep 1934, died Meerbusch, Germany 26 Sep 2012. His Covent Garden debut in 1960 followed studies with Gladys Whitehead in Winnipeg, Jan van der Gucht at London's National School of Opera 1957-9, and Hans Hotter in Munich 1959-60, and his winning of the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship in 1959. He sang Orestes in the CBC TV production 23 Jan 1961 of Strauss' Elektra. He made his Covent Garden debut in 1960 as the Doctor in Macbeth and created Hector in Tippett's King Priam in 1962.

During the years 1960-8, as a principal bass at Covent Garden, Godfrey gave some 450 performances in 45 roles. With the English Opera Group he created Abednego in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace (Aldeburgh 1962), and with the same company he sang Azarias in that opera and Polyphemus in Handel's Acis and Galatea in Montreal at the World Festival (Expo 67). He joined the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, as a Heldenbariton in 1968 and at the same time sang with the Landestheater in Hanover. In 1971 Godfrey began freelancing, specializing in Wagner and Strauss. He made guest appearances at opera houses in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Florence, Naples, Nice, Amsterdam, Berlin and Düsseldorf.