Bryan Drake Biography (Wikipedia)
Bryan Ernest Hare Drake (7 October 1925 – 25 December 2001) was a New Zealand-born baritone who became particularly associated with the operas of Benjamin Britten.
Born in Dunedin, Drake sang in the choir of the local St Paul's cathedral, and was educated at Otago Boys' High School. He then studied at the University of Otago, where he sang with the music society. He made his opera debut in 1948 as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, in a production originally staged as part of the Otago Centennial, which then toured around the country.
Receiving a government bursary in 1949, Drake travelled to London. The following year he received a two-year contract as a full-time principal in the Covent Garden Opera Company. During that time he created the roles of Donald, in the 1951 world premiere of Britten's Billy Budd, and Watchful in Vaughan Williams's The Pilgrim's Progress. To cover a difficult scene change, Vaughan Williams inserted an aria specially for Drake, of which The Times critic commented: "For pure singing, there was nothing finer than the interlude between the first and second acts, in which Mr Bryan Drake sang the 121st psalm with perfect declamation and limpid purity of tone and style."
Bryan Drake Tracks