|Born||January 24, 1962|
Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||September 19, 2023 (aged 61)|
Chesapeake, Virginia, U.S.
Stephen Grady Gould (January 24, 1962 – September 19, 2023) was an American heldentenor and leading interpreter of Richard Wagner's stage works. He performed around 100 times at the Bayreuth Festival, especially as Tannhäuser, first in 2004, Siegfried, and Tristan, all three even in one year in 2022 which earned him names such as Iron Man.
Gould appeared at leading opera houses worldwide. His repertoire included, besides more Wagner roles, Paul in Korngold's Die tote Stadt, that he performed at the Vienna State Opera in 2004 and in the opera's British premiere at the Royal Opera House in 2009. He appeared as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss, the title role of Britten's Peter Grimes, the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten by Strauss, Verdi's Otello, Aeneas in Les Troyens by Berlioz, and the title role of William Bolkom's McTeague. In concert he performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder, and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.
Life and career
Stephen Grady Gould was born in Roanoke, Virginia, on January 24, 1962, the son of Loren Gould, a Baptist minister, and Annie (née Brown), a pianist who taught at schools. Gould studied, first as a baritone, at Olivet Nazarene University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1984. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with John Moriarty, and then became a member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Art. In 1989, he stepped in for Chris Merritt at the Los Angeles Opera as Argirio in Rossini's Tancredi, alongside Marilyn Horne.
Without a permanent operatic engagement, Gould auditioned for the first U.S. tour of Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, and was taken, which meant 3,000 performances, singing about all male characters except the Phantom and Rauol.
Gould studied further towards heldentenor repertoire with John Fiorito, a voice teacher connected to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, who diagnosed that he needed a better technique. He studied for years in the evenings, while working during the day. In January 2000, he first appeared in a role of that voice type at the Landestheater Linz as Florestan in Beethoven's Fidelio. He was invited by Zubin Mehta to perform as Melot in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the Bavarian State Opera in 2001, in a production directed by Peter Konwitschny. In 2002, he appeared as Aeneas in Les Troyens by Berlioz with Mehta at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and a year later there as Verdi's Otello. He performed his first Wagner role in Linz in 2002, Tannhäuser,
Gould first appeared at the Bayreuth Festival in 2004 as Tannhäuser, conducted by Christian Thielemann. In 2006 he performed there the role of Siegfried in Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, staged by Tankred Dorst and conducted again by Thielemann. "Tannhäuser's character is more appropriate to me than Siegfried", said Gould to Forum Opéra in December 2007. He first performed as Tristan there in 2015, directed by Katharina Wagner and conducted by Thielemann. He appeared as Siegmund in Die Walküre in 2018, and as Parsifal in a concert performance in 2021. Gould performed at the festival around 100 times in 20 productions. Singing Tannhäuser, Siegfried and Tristan in 2022 earned him the nickname Wagner Marathon Man and Iron Man. Tannhäuser was then the production staged by Tobias Kratzer, with the title role as a sad clown, and Götterdämmerung was staged by Valentin Schwarz. Gould said in an interview then: "Wagner is meditation, a mantra", hoping for spiritual depth, not entertainment.
Vienna State Opera
Gould first performed at the Vienna State Opera in 2004, as Paul in Korngold's Die tote Stadt. He performed the Wagner roles Tannhäuser, Siegfried and Parsifal there several times over the years, Siegfried in Götterdämmerung in 2008 staged by Sven-Eric Bechtolf and conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. He appeared as Erik in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer from 2007, as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss from 2012, in the title role of Britten's Peter Grimes in 2016, as Tristan in 2018, as the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten by Richard Strauss in 2019, and as Verdi's Otello in 2020. At the State Opera, he appeared on stage in 105 performances.
Other opera houses
Gould appeared as Paul in Die tote Stadt in the opera's British premiere at the Royal Opera House in London in 2009, praised for his portrayal of the character "gripped by the memory of his dead wife". He appeared in the title role of Peter Grimes in Geneva, as Tannhäuser at Las Palmas and also in Rome, and as Otello in Tokyo. He appeared at the Dresden Semperoper in new productions of Die Liebe der Danae by Richard Strauss and Otello, as Tannhäuser in Tokyo, Paris and Geneva, as Erik in Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer at the Metropolitan Opera in 2010, the Bavarian State Opera and the Palermo Opera, as Wagner's Lohengrin in Trieste, as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos and as Parsifal at the Graz Opera. In a new production of the Ring cycle in Tokyo, he took the roles of Loge, Siegmund and Siegfried. In 2016, he performed the title role of William Bolcom's McTeague. He appeared as Aegisth in Elektra by Richard Strauss in a concert performance in Berlin.
Gould lived alternately in the United States and Austria or Germany.
On August 25, 2023, he announced his retirement from singing "due to health reasons"; he had to cancel three major roles at the Bayreuth Festival. He announced a diagnosis of terminal bile duct cancer via his personal website on September 5.
- Beethoven: Ninth Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and chorus, Runnicles, 2003 OCLC 1120078729
- Wagner: Siegfried, Bayreuther Festspiele Orchester, Thielemann, 2009 OCLC 838931067
- Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, with Nina Stemme as Isolde, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Janowski, 2012 OCLC 906565057
- Wagner: Siegfried, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Janowski, 2013 OCLC 906565059
- Wagner: Act 2 of Tristan und Isolde, with Christine Goerke as Isolde, National Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda, 2019 OCLC 1252973573
Gould received a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Opera Recording category for his performance in the Deutsche Grammophon recording Der Ring des Nibelungen in 2013. He was awarded the title of an Austrian Kammersänger in 2015.
- "Stephen Gould, 'powerhouse' tenor who starred in Phantom of the Opera then switched to top-level Wagner – obituary". The Telegraph. September 21, 2023. Retrieved September 21, 2023.
- Salazar, Francisco (September 20, 2023). "Tenor Stephen Gould Dies at 61". operawire.com. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould". Bayreuth Festival. 2023. Retrieved September 21, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould Replaces Merritt in 'Tancredi'". Los Angeles Times. March 2, 1989. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- Schreiber, Sylvia (September 20, 2023). "Wagner-Tenor Stephen Gould gestorben". BR (in German). Retrieved September 20, 2023.
- Vujica, Peter (December 1, 2008). "Weltkarriere im zweiten Anlauf". Der Standard (in German). Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- Brug, Manuel (September 22, 2023). "Heldentenor Stephen Gould: Der Iron Man vom Grünen Hügel". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- "Gould Stephen". Bavarian State Opera (in German). 2023. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- "Wagner-Tenor Stephen Gould gestorben". Der Standard (in German). September 20, 2023. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould – Entretien". Forum Opéra (in French). December 15, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
- Herrmann, Hubertus (September 20, 2023). "Zum Tod von Stephen Gould!". Bayreuther Festspiele (in German). Retrieved September 23, 2023.
- Genzlinger, Neil (September 22, 2023). "Stephen Gould, Tenor Best Known for Tackling Wagner, Dies at 61". The New York Times. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- Schreiber, Sylvia (July 26, 2022). "Stephen Gould bei den Bayreuther Festspielen: "Wagner ist Meditation"". BR-Klassik (in German). Retrieved September 23, 2023.
- "Vorstellungen mit Stephen Gould". Vienna State Opera archive (in German). Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- "Die Wiener Staatsoper trauert um Kammersänger Stephen Gould". Wiener Staatsoper (in German). Retrieved September 26, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould". Bayreuth Festival (in German). 2023. Retrieved September 21, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould — Personen". Semperoper Dresden (in German). Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- Brachmann, Jan (September 20, 2023). "Stephen Gould ist tot: Eine tragende Säule der Bayreuther Festspiele". FAZ.NET (in German). Retrieved September 23, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould ist tot: Opernwelt verliert herausragenden Sänger und Freund". FAZ.NET (in German). September 20, 2023. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- "Wagner-Festspiele: Sänger Stephen Gould muss Bayreuth absagen". Stuttgarter Zeitung (in German). July 1, 2023. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould – Heldentenor". stephengould.org. September 5, 2023. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
- "Stephen Gould legt schwere Erkrankung offen: Schlechte Nachrichten vom Wagner-Tenor". BR-Klassik (in German). September 6, 2023. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- "Grammy Nomination Stephen Gould". grammy.com. Retrieved September 23, 2023.
- "Er war Wagners Marathon-Mann – Tenor Stephen Gould ist tot". Neue Musikzeitung (in German). September 21, 2023. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- Bock, Hans Christoph von (July 25, 2019). "'Kein Tenor ist anfangs ein perfekter Siegfried'" (in German). dw.com. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- Brug, Manuel (July 25, 2015). "Bayreuther Festspiele 2015: Tristan Stephen Gould über Wagner". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved September 22, 2023.
- Hagedorn, Volker (March 20, 2019). "Kein Phantom". VAN Magazine (in German). Retrieved September 22, 2023.