Mark Lundberg (25 March 1958 – 15 August 2008) was an American opera singer who had an active international career from the 1980s up until his sudden death in 2008. He began his career as a bass, then progressed to portraying baritone parts, and finally settled as a dramatic tenor, winning acclaim portraying Wagnerian heroes like Siegfried, Tristan and other standards of the dramatic repertoire. Samson from Saint-Saëns's Samson and Delilah and the title role in Giuseppe Verdi's Otello became "calling cards" for him. Standing at six and a half feet and possessing a big frame and a dark beard, Lundberg made a striking figure on stage. His shoulders measured 6 and a half feet around and the Denver Post once Described as "a big blonde bear of a man", a fitting description for such a large man
Born in Denver, Colorado, Lundberg was the son of an Episcopalian priest, and his earliest music experiences were singing in his father's church choir. He studied singing at Indiana University under the great Wagnerian soprano Margaret Harshaw. After spending some time in college, he moved to New York City, where he pursued further studies with Maitland Peters.
Two important early successes for Lundberg came in 1988, when he sang in the United States premieres of Richard Strauss's Friedenstag and Krzysztof Penderecki's Die schwarze Maske , both with the Santa Fe Opera. Over the next decade he sang mainly in second tier houses in the United States and Europe, and it wasn't until the early 1990s that his career began to take him to major opera houses around the world. During this time he sang his first Bacchus in Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos with the Opera Nice and later with Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 1995.
In 1997 Lundberg sang the role of Samson for his first appearance with the Scottish Opera. He would go on to sing that role several more times over the next eleven years, including performances with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, New Orleans Opera, Opera Omaha, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Hawaii Opera Theatre. He made his debut with the San Francisco Opera in 1999 as the Drum Major in Wozzeck . He sang Tristan in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde for his first performance with Opera North in 2001. In 2002 he sang the title role in Verdi's Otello for the first time with Utah Opera, a role which he sang frequently over the next six years in such houses as the Teatro Arriaga, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Ontario, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and the Manitoba Opera Association. In 2003 he made his first appearance at the Lyric Opera of Chicago portraying the title role in Wagner's Siegfried under conductor Sir Andrew Davis. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera on October 5, 2005 as the Officer in Ariadne auf Naxos with Violeta Urmana in the title role. In 2006 he sang Tristan at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.
In 1994, Mark recorded the first Act of Die Walkyre with Edda Moser on Calig records.
Lundberg died at the age of fifty after a brief illness. Surviving was his wife Anya Youngblood Lundberg, mother of his first and only son Richard Noble Lundberg. In addition he had three daughters with his previous wife, whom served as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's second pianist, the late Melody Lord Lundberg. At the time of his death, Lundberg was scheduled to perform Samson at the Anna Livia International Opera Festival in Dublin in the summer of 2008 and with the Pittsburgh Opera in October 2008.
A tenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone voice types. It is the highest male chest voice type. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is widely defined to be B2, though some roles include an A♭2 (two A♭s below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.
A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice-types. The term originates from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning "heavy sounding". Composers typically write music for this voice in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but the range can extend at either end. Subtypes of baritone include the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.
The German Fach system is a method of classifying singers, primarily opera singers, according to the range, weight, and color of their voices. It is used worldwide, but primarily in Europe, especially in German-speaking countries and by repertory opera houses.
Spinto is a vocal term used to characterize a soprano or tenor voice of a weight between lyric and dramatic that is capable of handling large musical climaxes in opera at moderate intervals.
Ramón Vinay was a famous Chilean operatic tenor with a powerful, dramatic voice. He is probably best remembered for his appearances in the title role of Giuseppe Verdi's tragic opera Otello.
René Kollo is a German operatic tenor, especially known for his Wagnerian parts. In addition to Heldentenor roles, he performed in a wide variety of operas and operettas during his career. Kollo also made several operatic recordings.
Gerhard Stolze was a German operatic tenor.
William Johns is an American tenor who sang leading roles in the opera houses of Europe and the United States in a career spanning more than 25 years. Several of his live performances in Germany and Italy during the 1970s have been preserved on CD, including the title roles in Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac and Mercadante's Il bravo.
Deborah Voigt is an American dramatic soprano who has sung roles in operas by Wagner and Richard Strauss.
Thomas Stewart was an American bass-baritone who sang an unusually wide range of roles, earning global acclaim particularly for his performances in Wagner's operas.
Ticho Parly was a Danish-born Heldentenor who sang leading roles in most of the major opera houses of Europe as well as the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, where he debuted in 1966 as Tristan opposite Birgit Nilsson in Tristan und Isolde.
John Alexander was an American operatic tenor who had a substantial career during the 1950s through the 1980s. He had a longstanding relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, singing with that company every year between 1961 and 1987 for a total of 379 performances. He also periodically performed at the New York City Opera during his career and was a frequent presence at the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company during the late 1950s and 1960s. Although he spent most of his career in New York City, Alexander occasionally traveled to perform as a guest artist with many of the world's leading opera houses, both in the United States and Europe. He was also an active concert singer throughout his career.
Bernd Aldenhoff was a German Heldentenor.
A dramatic soprano is a type of operatic soprano with a powerful, rich, emotive voice that can sing over, or cut through, a full orchestra. Thicker vocal folds in dramatic voices usually (but not always) mean less agility than lighter voices but a sustained, fuller sound. Usually this voice has a lower tessitura than other sopranos, and a darker timbre. They are often used for heroic, often long-suffering, tragic women of opera. Dramatic sopranos have a range from approximately low A (A3) to "high C" (C6). Some dramatic sopranos, known as Wagnerian sopranos, have an exceptionally big voice that can assert itself over a large orchestra (of more than 80 or even 100 pieces). These voices are substantial, often denser in tone, extremely powerful and, ideally, evenly balanced throughout the vocal registers. Wagnerian sopranos usually play mythic heroines. Successful Wagnerian sopranos are rare and often Wagnerian roles are performed by Italianate dramatic sopranos.
William Dooley is an American operatic bass-baritone who has sung with many of the world's greatest opera companies. He began his career in Germany in the late 1950s, ultimately becoming a leading performer at the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1962 to 1964. He then embarked on a highly successful career at the Metropolitan Opera where he sang regularly between 1964 and 1977. Between 1977 and 1982 he sang regularly at the Vienna State Opera, after which he remained active as a freelance artist on the international stage through the early 1990s.
Klara Barlow was an American opera singer who had an active international career from the mid-1960s through the 1990s. A dramatic soprano, Barlow particularly excelled in portraying Strauss and Wagnerian heroines. The 5-foot-11-inch-tall "platinum-blonde beauty" was ideal for playing the "Wagnerian blondes": roles like Elsa, Eva, Sieglinde, and Elisabeth. Although she worked most often in the German repertoire, Barlow also sang roles from the Italian, French, and Czech repertories. While her performance credits included leading roles at most of the world's major opera houses, she never achieved a high level of international fame. She did not participate in any commercial audio recordings, although her voice is preserved on a few television and radio broadcasts made in Germany, Canada, and the United States.
William Cochran is a Heldentenor who achieved an international career.
Gary Lakes is an American opera heldentenor.
Giuseppe Borgatti was an Italian dramatic tenor with an outstanding voice. The creator of the title role in Umberto Giordano's verismo opera Andrea Chénier, he subsequently earned renown for his performances of the music of Richard Wagner, becoming in 1904 the first Italian tenor to appear at the Bayreuth Festival. He sang a variety of leading roles at La Scala, Milan, from 1896 until 1914, but deteriorating eyesight caused by glaucoma put a premature end to his stage career, after which he turned successfully to teaching.
Lance Ryan is a Canadian operatic tenor, who has worked from Germany since 2005. He is known for singing Siegfried in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, which he performed at opera houses in Europe including the Bayreuth Festival. He performed the title roles of Verdi's Otello and Britten's Peter Grimes.