Ingvar Wixell Swedish baritone opera singer dies at age 80
Among other roles, Wixell sang Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, Amonasro in Verdi's Aida, Baron Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, and the title roles in Verdi's Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Verdi's Falstaff and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Wixell performed all the songs in the competition to select Sweden's Eurovision Song Contest 1965 entry. The winning song was "Annorstädes Vals" (Elsewhere Waltz), which Wixell went on to perform at the international final in Naples. In a break from the then prevailing tradition, the song was sung in English (as "Absent Friend"). This led to the introduction from 1966 onwards of a rule stipulating that each country's entry must be sung in one of the languages of that country. (This rule was cancelled for the years 1973 to 1977, reinstated in 1978, and cancelled again in 1999.)
Wixell ended his career in 2003 by singing the Music teacher in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at Malmö Opera. Wixell died on October 8, 2011, aged 80.
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