Opera Scotland

Owen Brannigan Suggest updates

Born Annitsford, nr Newcastle, 10 March 1908.
Died Annitsford, 10 May 1973.

English bass.

Owen Brannigan was one of the most notable British singers of the postwar years, adept at serious and comic work as well as songs from the north-east of England. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music, and in 1943 made his debut with Sadler’s Wells Opera in Newcastle as Sarastro. He continued to work regularly with that company from 1944 to 1949 and again 1952 to 1958.

Britten composed four operatic roles for him – Swallow (Peter Grimes 1945), Collatinus (The Rape of Lucretia 1946), Noah (Noye’s Fludde 1958), and Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1960). He also created Count de Serindan in The Violins of Saint Jacques (Williamson 1966). He is still remembered as one of the best English buffo singers; possessing an immediately recognizable voice of large size and quality, with excellent diction and a warm stage presence. Several of his Britten roles were recorded.

Roles in Scotland

Don Alfonso a middle-aged bachelor
Così fan tutte 1944
Simone a cousin, aged seventy
Gianni Schicchi 1944
Collatinus a Roman General
Rape of Lucretia 1946
Bartolo a doctor, the Countess's former guardian
Nozze di Figaro 1947
Banquo a general in King Duncan's army
Macbeth 1947
Melitone a Franciscan friar
Force of Destiny 1951
Leporello Giovanni's servant
Don Giovanni 1951
Kecal a marriage broker
Bartered Bride 1957

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