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Simon Estes

Singer details:

Voice: Bass-baritone
Nationality: American
Year of Birth: 1938

About Simon Estes:

Simon Estes (born March 2, 1938) is an operatic bass-baritone of African-American descent who had a major international opera career beginning in the 1960s. He has sung at most of the world's major opera houses as well as in front of presidents, popes and internationally renowned figures and celebrities including Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Boris Yeltsin, Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Notably, he was part of the first generation of black opera singers to achieve widespread success and is viewed as part of a group of performers who were instrumental in helping to break down the barriers of racial prejudice in the opera world.

Estes was born in Centerville, Iowa, the son of Ruth Jeter Estes and Simon Estes. His father was a coal-miner and his grandfather was a former slave who had been sold at auction for $500. Named for his father, Estes was called 'Billy' within his family circle to avoid confusion when addressing the two. One of five children, Estes has three sisters and a younger brother. His family was heavily involved in their local Baptist church, and his earliest musical experiences were had there. He remained active with church musical activities and participated in school music programs throughout his youth.

In 1957 Estes entered the University of Iowa, originally with the intent of studying pre-med. He changed his major to psychology and then religion before finally deciding to switch to vocal music through the influence of faculty member Charles Kellis. At the time Estes had been singing in the university's "Old Gold Singers" (he was notably the group's first black singer) and his voice had grabbed Kellis's interest. Kellis became Estes's first voice teacher and it was he who introduced Estes to opera. After finishing his undergraduate studies, Estes pursued further education at the Juilliard School in 1964, a pursuit which was made possible through funds raised in Iowa.

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Popular videos featuring Simon Estes:

More Arias, Duets and Ensembles performed by Simon Estes

31 Results
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Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1Votre toast (Toreador Song) Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 2.04

Type: ariaVoice: bass-baritoneLanguage: French

Roles: Escamillo
2La fleur que tu m'avais jetee (Flower Song) Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 2.09

Type: ariaVoice: tenorLanguage: French

Roles: José/Carmen
3Ella giammai m'amò Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 4.01-1

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles:
4Bess you is my woman now Popularity:

Opera: Porgy and BessComposer: GershwinAct: 2

Type: duetVoice: B-Br SLanguage: English

Roles: Porgy/Bess
5Dio che nell'alma infondere Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 1.04-2

Type: duetVoice: Br TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Rodrigue/Carlo
6Mentre gonfiarsi l'anima Popularity:

Opera: AttilaComposer: VerdiAct: 1.04

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles: Attila
7Infelice e tuo credevi Popularity:

Opera: ErnaniComposer: VerdiAct: 1.12

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles: Silva
8Leb wohl du kühnes herrliches Kind Popularity:

Opera: Walküre, DieComposer: WagnerAct: 3.06

Type: ariaVoice: bass-baritoneLanguage: German

Roles: Wotan
9Die Frist ist um Popularity:

Opera: Fliegende Holländer, DerComposer: WagnerAct: 1.04-1

Type: ariaVoice: bass-baritoneLanguage: German

Roles: Dutchman
10Il grande inquisitor! Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 3.02-1

Type: recitativeVoice: B BLanguage: Italian

Roles: Inquisitor/Philip II
11Pieta rispetto amore Popularity:

Opera: MacbethComposer: VerdiAct: 4.07-2

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: Italian

Roles: Macbeth
12Ciel! mio Padre! Popularity:

Opera: AidaComposer: VerdiAct: 3.05

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Aida
13A te l'estremo addio Popularity:

Opera: Simon BoccanegraComposer: VerdiAct: 0.03

Type: recitativeVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles:
14Vieni o Levita Popularity:

Opera: NabuccoComposer: VerdiAct: 2.04-1

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles: Zaccaria
15S'appressan gl'istanti Popularity:

Opera: NabuccoComposer: VerdiAct: 2.07-2

Type: quartetVoice: T S Mz BrLanguage: Italian

Roles: Abdallo/Abigaille/Fenena/Nabucco
16Si tu m'aimes, Carmen Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 3.13

Type: duet,choirVoice: B-Br MzLanguage: French

Roles: Escamillo/Carmen
17Je suis Escamillo Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 3.06

Type: duetVoice: B-Br TLanguage: French

Roles: Escamillo/José
18Al chiostro di San Giusto Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 1.02

Type: recitativeVoice: tenorLanguage: Italian

Roles: Carlo
19Del futuro nel buio discerno Popularity:

Opera: NabuccoComposer: VerdiAct: 3.05-2

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles: Zaccaria
20Wie oft in Meeres tiefsten Schlund Popularity:

Opera: Fliegende Holländer, DerComposer: WagnerAct: 1.04-2

Type: ariaVoice: bass-baritoneLanguage: German

Roles: Dutchman
21Carlo il sommo imperatore Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 1.01

Type: aria,choirVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles:
22Nel posar sul mio capo Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 2.07

Type: recitative,choirVoice: B SLanguage: Italian

Roles: Philip II/Elisabeth
23He holla Steuermann Popularity:

Opera: Fliegende Holländer, DerComposer: WagnerAct: 1.05

Type: recitativeVoice: B TLanguage: German

Roles: Daland/Steersman
24Südwind Südwind! Popularity:

Opera: Fliegende Holländer, DerComposer: WagnerAct: 1.07

Type: recitative,choirVoice: T B B-BrLanguage: German

Roles: Steersman/Daland/Dutchman
25Carmen! sur tes pas nous nous pressons tous Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 1.08

Type: duet,choirVoice: T SLanguage: French

Roles: José/Micaëla
26Ma tu superbo giovane Popularity:

Opera: ObertoComposer: VerdiAct: 2.03-3

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: Italian

Roles: Oberto
27Qui donc elève ici la voix? Popularity:

Opera: Samson et DalilaComposer: Saint-SaënsAct: 1

Type: ariaVoice: baritoneLanguage: French

Roles: High Priest
28Al cader della notte Popularity:

Opera: ObertoComposer: VerdiAct: 1.06-1

Type: recitativeVoice: S BLanguage: Italian

Roles: Leonora/Oberto
29Vanne la tua meta gia vedo Popularity:

Opera: OtelloComposer: VerdiAct: 2.02

Type: recitativeVoice: baritoneLanguage: Italian

Roles: Iago
30Padre mio caro padre Popularity:

Opera: IdomeneoComposer: MozartAct: 3.15-1

Type: recitativeVoice: tenorLanguage: Italian

Roles: Idamante
31 Results
Page 1 of 2 1 2 Next