William Cochran (tenor)

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William Cochran (born June 23, 1943 in Columbus, Ohio) is an internationally noted Heldentenor. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Martial Singher. A winner of the Lauritz Melchior Heldentenor Foundation Award, he debuted with the Metropolitan Opera, as Vogelgesang in Die Meistersinger, in 1968. The next year, he sang Froh, in Das Rheingold, with the San Francisco Opera.

In 1974, Cochran debuted at Covent Garden, as Laca in Jenůfa, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. In 1975, he sang the name part of Lohengrin at the New Orleans Opera, and, in 1977, sang in Katya Kabanova at San Francisco, with Elisabeth Söderström, Chester Ludgin, and Susanne Marsee. He returned to that company in 1997, for Herod in Salome. For the Opera Company of Boston, the tenor was seen in Die Soldaten (1982) and The Makropoulos Case (1986), both conducted and directed by Sarah Caldwell.

Cochran returned to the Met as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, opposite Jessye Norman, in 1984-85. The singing-actor has also appeared with companies in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, and Vienna. He has undertaken roles in Idomeneo, Médée (opposite Anja Silja), Les Troyens, La juive, Otello, Pagliacci, Boris Godunov (as Grigori), The Makropulos Case, Doktor Faust, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, The Rake's Progress, Siegfried, and so forth.

His discography includes Act I of Die Walküre (with Helga Dernesch, conducted by Otto Klemperer), Mathis der Maler (as Schwalb, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and James King, conducted by Rafael Kubelík, 1979), and, perhaps most importantly, Die Soldaten (opposite Nancy Shade, 1988–89).


  • Zimmermann: Die Soldaten (N. Shade; Kontarsky, Kupfer, 1989) [live] Kultur


  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera, Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-19-280028-0

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