Nicolai Gedda -- possessor of one of the widest-ranging repertoires ever, phenomenal technique, and a bright, resonant voice with clarion high notes and a seductive mezza voice -- had one of the finest singing careers of the 20th century. He excelled in music of English, French, German, Italian, Russian, American, and Swedish composers, and was equally adept in traversing styles from the Baroque to the contemporary; he was as noted a performer of oratorio and songs as of opera. His performances were masterpieces of authentic style, from language and diction to phrasing. While performing Samuel Barber's Vanessa, in which he created the role of Anatol, critics consistently acclaimed his diction as the finest in the cast, even though he shared the stage with Rosalind Elias and Eleanor Steber -- both native speakers of English.
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