Brannigan, Owen

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Brannigan, Owen

Brannigan, Owen English bass; b. Annitsford, March 10, 1908; d. Newcastle upon Tyne, May 9, 1973. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London (1934–42), where he won its gold medal in 1942. In 1943 he made his operatic debut as Sarastro with the Sadler’s Wells Opera in London, where he sang until 1948 and again from 1952 to 1958; also appeared at the Glynde-bourne Festivals (1947–49), at London’s Covent Garden, and with the English Opera Group. He became closely associated with the music of Britten, in whose operas he created Swallow in Peter Grimes (1945), Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia (1946), Superintendent Budd in Billy Budd (1947), Noye in Noye’s Fludde (1958), and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1960). He also sang in oratorio, concerts, and lighter fare. In 1964 he was made a member of the Order of the British Empire.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire