Ingvar Wixell

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Ingvar Wixell
Ingvar Wixell at the 1965 Melodifestivalen with the song "Absent Friend".
Ingvar Wixell at the 1965 Melodifestivalen with the song "Absent Friend".
Background information
Born(1931-05-07)May 7, 1931
Luleå, Sweden
DiedOctober 8, 2011(2011-10-08) (aged 80)
Malmö, Sweden
Years active1955–2003

Karl Gustaf Ingvar Wixell,[1] (May 7, 1931[2] – October 8, 2011) was a Swedish baritone who had an active international career in operas and concerts from 1955 to 2003. He mostly sang roles from the Italian repertory, and, according to The New York Times, "was best known for his steady-toned, riveting portrayals of the major baritone roles of Giuseppe Verdi — among them Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Amonasro in Aida, and Germont in La traviata".[3]

Life and career[edit]

Ingvar Wixell was born in Luleå in 1931. After studies at the Stockholm Academy of Music, he made his debut in Gävle in 1952,[4] then in 1955 as Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm where he was member of the company until 1967.[5]

He made his British debut during the Royal Swedish Opera's visit to the Edinburgh International Festival in 1959.[6] Wixell returned with this company to Royal Opera House in 1960, and sang Guglielmo at Glyndebourne and at the Proms in 1962. For the Royal Opera, London he sang Boccanegra in 1972. In America he appeared at Chicago Lyric Opera (Belcore, 1967) and the Metropolitan Opera (Rigoletto, 1973).[5]

He was engaged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1967 where he was a member for more than 30 years.[7] At Salzburg he sang a noted Pizarro at the Festival, where he appeared from 1966 to 1969,[4] and at Bayreuth he sang the Herald in Lohengrin (1971).

Among other roles, Wixell sang Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, Amonasro in Verdi's Aida, Baron Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, and the title roles in Verdi's Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Verdi's Falstaff and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Wixell performed all the songs in the competition to select Sweden's Eurovision Song Contest 1965 entry. The winning song was "Annorstädes Vals" (Elsewhere Waltz), which Wixell went on to perform at the international final in Naples. In a break from the then prevailing tradition, the song was sung in English (as "Absent Friend"). This led to the introduction from 1966 onwards of a rule stipulating that each country's entry must be sung in one of the languages of that country.

Wixell ended his career in 2003 by singing the Music teacher in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at Malmö Opera.

Wixell died in Malmö on October 8, 2011,[8] aged 80.

With his wife, Margareta, Wixell had two daughters, Marit and Jette; all three outlived him.[3]

Selected recordings[edit]


  1. ^ "Ingvar Wixell". Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  2. ^ "1048 (Vem är det : Svensk biografisk handbok / 1969)".
  3. ^ a b Zachary Woolfe (October 19, 2011). "Ingvar Wixell, Swedish Baritone, Dies at 80". The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b Alain Pâris. Dictionnaire des interprètes et de l’interprétation musicale au XX siècle. Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1995 (p988).
  5. ^ a b Forbes E. Ingvar Wixell. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Macmillan, London and New York, 1997.
  6. ^ Fraser, Stephen 2014 Ingvar Wixell OperaScotland
  7. ^ Sørensen, Inger, 1993, Operalexikonet, p. 622.
  8. ^ En stor operastjärna har slocknat, obituary in Dagens Nyheter October 10, 2011

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Monica Zetterlund
with "En gång i Stockholm"
Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Lill Lindfors and Svante Thuresson
with "Nygammal vals"