Arthur Woodley 1949-2020

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Arthur Woodley. He had a long, distinguished opera and concert career and through it all remained a joy to work with and was beloved by everyone in the industry. We will miss him terribly and our hearts go out to his family and friends.

American bass Arthur Woodley has appeared with prestigious opera companies around the U.S. and abroad, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Opera Philadelphia, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Pittsburgh, Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.  His many roles have included Varlaam in Boris Godunov, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Kuno in Die Freischütz, Banquo in Macbeth, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Sulpice in La Fille du Régiment, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Rocco in Fidelio, Publio in La Clemenza di Tito, Rocco in Fidelio, Angelotti in Tosca, Achillas in Guilio Cesare, and Dansker in Billy Budd. Woodley created the role of Dick Hallorann in Paul Moravec’s The Shining at the Minnesota Opera and Emile Griffith in Champion at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Mr. Woodley also has a distinguished history with the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess. He sang the role in concert with the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and on tour in Italy, including Santa Cecilia in Rome, with Yuri Temirkanov. In staged performances, he has appeared with the Opera Philadelphia, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Colorado, Bregenz Festival, the Savolinna International Festival in Finland, and the Catfish Row Opera Company of Charleston, South Carolina, in a gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opera’s debut.

In concert, Mr. Woodley has appeared with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Modesto Symphony, the US Naval Academy, the American Composers Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Collegiate Chorale at Lincoln Center, and at the Bard Music Festival. He also sang the world premiere of God, Mississippi, and Medgar Evers with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and was the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Mexico City with Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Mr. Woodley was born in New York City and raised in Saint Croix.