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Bannister, Charles  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Member of Bannister family

(b Newland, Gloucs., 1741; d London, Oct 19, 1804). English bass and actor. He had a fine, untaught voice and sang roles including Macheath and Hawthorne in Norwich before his Drury Lane début as Merlin in Michael Arne’s Cymon (1767). In 1768 he created Don Diego in The Padlock and for over 20 years was given leading roles in musical pieces by Dibdin, Shield and Arnold. Tom Tug in The Waterman and Steady in The Quaker were two of his successes; he was also admired for his Grimbald (King Arthur), Hecate and Caliban. According to the Thespian Dictionary his voice ‘was a strong, clear bass, with one of the most extensive falsettos ever heard’. In the early 1780s he was an incomparable Polly in travesty performances of The Beggar’s Opera. There, as in his famous imitations of the castratos, the humour lay in brilliantly accurate mimicry and not in exaggerated burlesque. Convivial, improvident, witty and good-natured, he was said to attribute his vocal stamina to gargling with port wine....


Macurdy, John  

Martin Bernheimer

(b Detroit, March 18, 1929; d Stamford, CT, May 7, 2020). American bass. He served in the US Air Force before studying with Avery Crew and Boris Goldovsky. After appearances in New Orleans and Santa Fe, he joined the New York City Opera in 1959 and moved to the Metropolitan Opera in ...


Vedernikov, Alexander  

David Cummings


(b Mokino, nr Kirov, Dec 23, 1927; d Moscow, Jan 9, 2018). Soviet bass. After study in Moscow and Milan he made his début at the Bol’shoy in 1957, as Ivan Susanin in Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar. He sang in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, and Tbilisi, most notably as Dosifey (...