Stephen Gould was a powerful tenor whose 2006 performance as Siegfried in Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” earned rave reviews and led to a career on stage in some of the world’s greatest opera houses.
Stephen Gould’s legacy
Born in Roanoke, Virginia, to a Methodist minister and concert pianist, Stephen Gould studied at Olivet Nazarene University and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston before becoming a member at the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Art. There, he often performed as a baritone in such productions as Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Gould began studying tenor in the late 1990s and made his first appearance in 2004 at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany as Wagner’s Tannhäuser. In 2006, he performed the role of Siegfried in Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen” at Bayreuth, earning him raves and leading to worldwide attention in the opera world. He did over 100 performances at the Bayreuth Festival over the years, specializing in Wagner’s work and earning a reputation for his on-stage endurance.
Throughout his career, Gould would perform on almost every major opera house stage in the world. These include the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele di Palermo, Berlin State Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and others. In 2013, he earned a Grammy nomination for Best Opera Recording and in 2015 was named an Austrian Kammersänger. He retired in August 2023 after his cancer diagnosis.
Tributes to Stephen Gould
Full obituary: The New York Times