24 March 1937 (age 80)
Redruth, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
Benjamin Luxon's career of some 30 years displayed an unusual versatility. He was equally renowned as recitalist, concert, and opera singer.
His career began as a member of the English Opera Group, the company formed by Benjamin Britten for the performance of his own and other contemporary operas. Luxon quickly became one of Britten's key singers culminating with Britten's composing the role of "Owen Wyngrave" (his television opera) specifically for Luxon's voice. Then came many years as a regular guest artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne and Tanglewood, from there to European opera houses: Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt and on to Prague, the Metropolitan, Vienna State Opera and La Scala. Luxon was a major exponent of such roles as Eugene Onegin, Wozzeck, Falstaff, Don Giovanni, and Papageno in Die Zauberflote.
He worked with most of the world's major conductors and orchestras and made well over 100 recordings ranging from Early Music to Contemporary, including light music, musicals, Victorian ballads and music hall and his notable folk singing partnership with banjo player Bill Crofut. His work was graced with high musicality, honesty and fine acting ability. He was a great champion of British song as witnessed in his recordings for Chandos Records. In 1986 he was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to British Music. In 1990 his career was jeopardized by sudden hearing loss, and although he returned in 1992 to the major international music scene, in the face of continued hearing fluctuation and deterioration, he ended his singing career in the mid-90's. Since then he has been involved in narrating works with symphony orchestra, conducting master classes, directing opera and presenting a one-man show of readings of poetry gathered during his long career as a singer.
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