Opera Scotland

William Aitken Suggest updates

Born Glasgow, 19 December 1914.

Died East Kilbride, 7 March 2005.

Scottish tenor.

William Aitken enjoyed a successful career as a leading tenor, working as a principal with several British companies in London and on tour. During those years he graduated from light lyric roles such as Count Almaviva to heavier parts including Don José, Andrea Chénier, Canio and even Tannhäuser.

After war service in the Tank Corps, largely in North Africa, he resumed his singing career with a three year contract at Jay Pomeroy's New London Opera Company, which operated at London's Cambridge Theatre from 1946. Colleagues included artists of the calibre of Margherita Grandi, Ljuba Welitsch, Alda Noni, Marko Rothmüller, Ian Wallace, Mariano Stabile and the Dickie brothers under director Dino Borgioli and conductor Alberto Erede. Most of these performers became familiar as members of the Glyndebourne company at early Edinburgh Festivals.

Aitken went on to join the Carl Rosa company, and its successor Touring Opera 58, eventually transferring to Sadler's Wells, where he continued for several seasons.

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