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Seattle Opera on March 24, 2014 11:41

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    In the ‘70s Seattle Opera audiences were familiar with the sweet tenor voice of Dennis Bailey, who was a resident National Artist with the company for many years. Although he occasionally sang original-language performances, as well, he was a mainstay of the English-language performances, singing roles such as Radames, Pinkerton, Cavaradossi, Cassio in “Otello,” Don José, Hoffmann, Werther and Des Grieux (in Massenet’s “Manon), Pollione. He sang Nicias opposite Anna Moffo when Seattle Opera presented “Thaïs,” in 1976, and Alim in the production of “Le roi de Lahore” which brought Joan Sutherland back to Seattle for the fourth time. Bailey even ventured into the Russian rep (singing in both Russian and English); he sang Hermann in “The Queen of Spades,” Lensky in “Eugene Onegin,” and Grigori/Dimitri in “Boris Godunov.” When Seattle Opera revived “Of Mice and Men” in 1976, Bailey took on the role of Lenny.
    Hired to sing Bayreuth in 1983, Bailey got his start as a Wagnerian as Froh in Seattle’s 1976 RING. From the KUOW broadcast of “Das Rheingold” that summer, Froh welcomes the return of his sister Freia:
    How sweetly the air
    charms us again;
    joy and contentment
    steal through my heart!
    All our lives would be wretched
    if she were parted from us,
    who brings us youth eternal,
    fills us with joy and delight.
    Andrew Porter, translation. Henry Holt conducted the Seattle Opera orchestra.

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