Walter's Top Matches
About Walter Greenwood B. Midgley
<The Times September 23, 1980>
<MR WALTER MIDGLEY>
<Noted operatic tenor>
Walter Midgley, who appeared as a leading tenor with the Covent Garden company for some years after the last war, died on September 18 at his home in Banstead, Surrey, at the age of 66.
He was born on September 13, 1914, at Bramley, Yorkshire, and studied at the Sheffield College of Music. He sang in variety until discovered by the tenor, Frank Mullings, shortly before the war and then joined the chorus of the Carla Rosa Company. During the war he sang for ENSA, then in 1946 appeared as a guest at the reopened Sadlers Wells, singing the roles of Count Almaviva, Rodolfo and Turiddu. The following year he made something of a sensation at his Covent Garden debut as Calaf to Eva Turner's Turandot, and was engaged as principal tenor.
Over the next five seasons he sang a number of leading parts with distinction, among which Des Grieux in Manon, Rodolfo and the Duke of Mantua were perhaps the most notable. In 1947 he sang MacDuff with the Glyndebourne Company at the Edinburgh Festival.
He sang frequently in oratorio and was a popular broadcaster. His voice hardly appeared ton have deteriorated when he sang earlier this year on Radio Two. Although not always the most fastidious of singers he was always a sincere and communicative artist. His voice, typical of several singers whose boy soprano has slipped naturally down to tenor without the usual break, was a clear, naturally produced instrument of considerable beauty except when he forced it unnecesarily. He was married and his son Vernon is also a tenor.