The great English tenor, the outstanding Peter Grimes and Aschenbach of recent years, has succumbed to a rapid, aggressive cancer. He was 71.
The last time I saw him was in Harrison Birtwistle’s latest opera, The Minotaur, directed by Philip’s son, Stephen Langridge. The show was totally dominated by John Tomlinson as the raging man-bull, but Philip’s role as Hereus lives on in the memory as a perfect foil.
He was seen most recently at the Met as the Witch in Handel and Gretel.
Philip was the most professional of singers, a kind colleague, a sweet man.
Here’s a clip of him singing ‘Comfort Ye’ from Handel’s Messiah
and another from Rossini’s Donna de Lago
A statement from the Royal Opera House appears here.