Alan's Blog...It's all Gesamtkunstwerk to me!

Thoughts from nearly 40 years on the professional stage

Goodbye Philip! You will be greatly missed...a singer's singer

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my friend and colleague, Philip Langridge this evening. I had only this week found out about him not being well.

Philip was truly one of the finest colleagues I’ve ever had in this business--and one of the most talented. We worked together often at The Met and also in London, Munich, and Milan. I am honored to still have hanging on my wall the copy of the La Scala poster of “Peter Grimes” from 2000 when I made my debut. Philip played the title role and I was Balstrode. How wonderful to get to perform this opera with him and sing that wonderful Act 1 duet together. I also remember that the production was great to be in but a disaster to rehearse (as often is the case in Italy). We commiserated one night over some wonderful Chinese food and Chinese beer---and yes, that’s a strange thought---two English speaking guys eating Chinese food in Milan, Italy.

Philip was a great singer and a wonderful actor--a singer’s singer. More important, he was a wise man of class and elegance. We enjoyed discussing our faith when we’d be together as well as how much fun it was to mow the lawn on tractor lawn mowers.

I last saw Philip in December in NY when he was there to once again play the Witch in “Hansel and Gretel”---we were in the show together in 2007-2008 (I’m so glad I can watch the video and see Philip’s hilarious portrayal whenever I wish). I was there for “Hoffmann” and, as always, so happy to run into him. He was with his lovely wife, Ann Murray (another outstanding singer). They were a lovely couple. Their son is an accomplished director which means Philip’s legacy will last for a long time in this business--and we are all the better for it.

May you rest in peace, my friend. Know how you were loved by so many--and respected beyond words.