Opera Scotland

Kim Borg Suggest updates

Born Helsinki, 7 August 1919.

Died Copenhagen, 28 April 2000.

Finnish bass.

Kim Borg was an excellent singing actor, with a career that embraced opera and recital work, especially Finnish and Russian music, though he also sang plenry of Wagner. His initial training in composition, after the war, was in Helsinki at the Sibelius Academy. He then studied voice in Copenhagen.

His operatic debut, in Aarhus, was as Colline in 1952, and he then joined the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, which remained his main base. He sang frequently with the Stockholm company from 1960 and was a member of the Hamburg State Opera from 1965. His repertoire during these years included Sarastro, Osmin, Scarpia, as well as Fafner, Hunding and Hagen. His visits to the Salzburg Festival included several recitals as well as Pimen in Karajan's 1965 staging of Boris Godunov. He worked at the New York Met from 1959, in roles including Count Almaviva, King Mark, Amfortas, Don Pizarro and Rangoni.

In Britain, his operatic appearances were generally at Glyndebourne - starting in 1956 as Don Giovanni, then Don Pizarro in 1959 and Gremin in 1968. He was Schigolch in Lulu as a member of the Hamburg company on a visit to Sadler's Wells in 1966. His only other operatic role in Britain was Arkel with Scottish Opera in 1973.

His recordings include the famous 1964 Dream of Gerontius with Sir John Barbirolli conducting Hallé forces with Richard Lewis and Janet Baker. Much earlier, in 1952, he came to London to record Rangoni in the first Christoff recording of Boris Godunov, conducted by Issay Dobrowen.

Roles in Scotland

Arkel King of Allemonde, grandfather of Golaud and Pelléas
Pelléas and Mélisande 1973

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