The Corner

More About Peter Dawson

In fact, Peter Dawson was one of the greatest bass-baritones of the 20th century. He had neon-sign diction and a flawlessly polished technique (his coloratura was impeccable), and though his voice was a bit too small for him to appear comfortably in large-house opera, he did record a great many well-known arias and a few classical art songs, always in English and always to brilliant effect. “Peter Dawson: Australia’s Ambassador of Song,” a two-CD set available from, contains his 78-era recordings of Mozart’s “Non più andrai,” Rossini’s “Largo al factotum,” Handel’s “O ruddier than the cherry,” the Toreador Song from “Carmen,” Schubert’s “Erlkönig,” and Vaughan Williams’ “The Vagabond,” along with two dozen popular songs and ballads. I recommend it highly.

Terry TeachoutMr. Teachout is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal and the critic-at-large of Commentary. Satchmo at the Waldorf, his 2011 play about Louis Armstrong, has been produced off Broadway and throughout America.

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