Jean Cox

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Jean Cox (January 16, 1922 – June 24, 2012) was an American tenor.[1]

Early years[edit]

Cox was born in Gadsden, Alabama. He served in the United States Air Force during World War II as a pilot. After obtaining a degree in Music from the University of Alabama, he studied singing with Marie Sundelius at the New England Conservatory. He was subsequently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled him to study in Rome for a year.[2]

Opera career[edit]

Cox made his Italian debut at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto,[2] where he appeared as Rodolfo in La bohème. He then relocated to Germany, singing at Kiel, Braunschweig and Mannheim.[2]

He made his Bayreuth debut as the Steersman in The Flying Dutchman in 1956.[3] He subsequently sang the heavier roles there in many seasons from 1967 until 1984, mainly Siegfried in Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. His international career extended mostly to Europe. He made his Covent Garden debut in October 1975, singing the title role in Siegfried.[2] His Metropolitan Opera debut came in April 1976, when he appeared as Walther von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.[4]

In 1977 he was nominated Kammersänger by the city of Mannheim.[3]

He is known for Heldentenor roles including Siegfried, Tristan, Walther, Lohengrin, and Tannhäuser. He also sang Otello in Verdi's opera.

Personal life and later years[edit]

Cox was married to the mezzo-soprano Anna Reynolds, whom he had met at Bayreuth and with whom he later ran a successful academy for aspiring singers.[5] He died on June 24, 2012, in Bayreuth, aged 90.

Partial discography[edit]

  • Der fliegende Holländer (Daland's steersman). Bayreuth Festival, 1956, cond. Joseph Keilberth. Audio 2xCD. Walhall WLCD0190.
  • Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Walther von Stolzing). Bayreuth Festival, cond. Silvio Varviso. Audio 4xCD. Philips PHI 434611 FC.


  1. ^ ""Jean Cox", biography and Bayreuth performances" (in German). Bayreuth Festival. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d The 133rd performance at the Royal Opera House of Siegfried, Saturday Evening 11 October 1975. In-house theatre programme, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
  3. ^ a b (Accessed 8th February 2015.)
  4. ^ Met Performance CID 244750, April 2, 1976. (Accessed 7th February 2015.)
  5. ^ Anna Reynolds obituary in The Guardian, Thursday 17 April 2014. (Accessed 7 February 2015.)

External links[edit]

  • Interview with Jean Cox by Bruce Duffie, March 13, 1988. (Portion originally published in Wagner News in January, 1992)