Luxon, Benjamin, esteemed English baritone; b. Redruth, March 24,1937. He studied with Walter Grünner at the Guildhall School of Music in London, then joined the English Opera Group, with which he sang Sid in Albert Herring and Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia on its tour of the Soviet Union (1963). He was chosen by Britten to create the title role in the opera Owen Wingrave (BBC-TV, May 16, 1971); then made his debut at London’s Covent Garden as Monteverdi’s Ulysses (1972), and subsequently sang there regularly; also appeared at the festivals in Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, and Glynde-bourne (from 1972), and with the English National Opera in London (from 1974). On Feb. 2,1980, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Eugene One-gin. In 1986 he made his first appearance at Milan’s La Scala. In 1988 he sang Wozzeck in Los Angeles. In 1992 he appeared as Falstaff at the English National Opera. His last years as a singer were aggravated by increasing deafness. His other roles included Count Almaviva, Don Giovanni, Papageno, Wolfram, and Eisenstein. He also distinguished himself as a concert artist, his repertoire ranging from the standard literature to folk songs. In 1986 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire