Seattle Opera celebrates the life and artistry of beloved American bass John Del Carlo, who recently passed away at the all-too-early age of 65. Del Carlo's amazing voice and great sense of humor delighted Seattle audiences beginning in 1984 (when he debuted as Donner & Gunther in the RING) all the way up to 2015, when he sang Cadmus & Somnus in Semele. Backstage, he was beloved by all--a great colleague and friend, with an extraordinary ability to made any rehearsal or performance less stressful and more fun just by being in the room.
Says Speight Jenkins, "John had what could only be called an operatic personality. His sense of humor was balanced by his remarkable acting in both comedies and serious operas; he supported whatever cast he was in with his good humor, intensity, and incredible professionalism."
Chris Bennion, photo
You can hear Del Carlo's wonderfully rich bass, and his facility with coloratura, in this passage from Seattle Opera's 1989 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Hermann Michael conducted Del Carlo as the pedantic Kothner, who reads the strict rules of mastersinging in this little aria:
Del Carlo was a world-famous Dr. Bartolo, the crabby, scolding old grump of The Barber of Seville. Here, from his role debut (in Seattle in 1992, conducted by the late great Edoardo Mueller) you hear Del Carlo's ridiculously breakneck patter, as he sings the conclusion to Bartolo's aria "A un dottor":
Elise Bakketun, photo