Above: Kenneth Riegel Sings “Dalla sua Pace” in Joseph Losey’s 1979 Film of Mozart’s Don Giovanni

We are sorry to report that the extraordinary American tenor Kenneth Riegel passed away this week at his home in Florida. Riegel, who is perhaps best known to the wider audience of opera lovers because of his performance of the role of Don Ottavio in Joseph Losey’s film version of Don Giovanni, (see the video selection above) had a remarkable and far-ranging career that took him to the major opera companies of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera (more than 100 performances), the Salzburg Festival, the Santa Fe Opera, and many more.

If you ever heard Kenneth Riegel in performance, it was an experience you will not forget. His voice was large, bright, and beautifully produced. And his artistry as both a singer and an actor placed him in the company of the greatest American opera singers of the last century.

We are pleased to offer you a selection of four of his complete opera recordings, all available for your listening if you are a member of Classical Archives.

Alban Berg: Lulu (complete performance)

Teresa Stratas, Hanna Scwartz, Franz Mazura, Kenneth Riegel, conducted by Pierre Boulez (Deutsche Grammophon)


Berlioz: La Damnation de Faust (complete performance)

Frederica von Stade, José van Dam, Kenneth Riegel, conducted by Sir Georg Solti


Strauss: Salome (complete performance)

Catherine Malfitano, Bryn Terfel, Kenneth Riegel, conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi

Mozart: Don Giovanni (highlights of the performance used in the Joseph Losey Film)

Ruggero Raimondi, Kiri Te Kanawa, Teresa Berganza, Kenneth Riegel, José van Dam, conducted by Lorin Maazel