Magazine article Musical Times

In Memoriam: Alexander Young

Magazine article Musical Times

In Memoriam: Alexander Young

Article excerpt

For over a quarter of a century, Alexander Young was one of the leading male singers of British opera; a versatile and gifted tenor whose talents encompassed both tragic and comic roles. A scholar at the Royal College of Music, he studied under Professor Pollmann of the Vienna State Academy before doing his military service in the Second World War. Thereafter, his career developed rapidly He made his professional operatic debut at the 1948 Edinburgh Festival, as Scaramuccio in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, conducted by Beecham. His Covent Garden debut followed in 1955, when he took over from Peter Pears as Vag& in Smetana's The bartered bride, under Rafael Kubelik.

In 1953, Young sang the part of Tom Rakewell in the British premiere of Stravinsky's The rake's progress, a Third Programme broadcast. His rounded voice, light yet full and possessing a strong line, plus his understanding of both playful and serious aspects of Rakewell's character, make him the ideal interpreter, and Young was the composer's natural choice for the part when he came to record the opera. …

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