Willard White is one of the world's great basses, known for his enormous rich voice and powerful stage presence.
Born in Jamaica, on October 10 1946, he studied at the Jamaican School of Music and Juilliard in New York, and made his debut with New York City Opera in 1974 as Colline in 'La Bohème'. He has sung with a number of American and European opera companies, and in 1976 made his London opera debut with English National Opera as Seneca in Monteverdi's 'L'Incoronazione di Poppea', having appeared in London earlier in the same year in 'Porgy and Bess'. He sang the King in Prokofiev's 'Love for Three Oranges' at Glyndebourne in 1982.
He appeared as the soloist at The Last Night of the Proms in 1999, 2000 and at the opening ceremony of the Millennium Dome. His large repertoire includes bass-baritone roles in operas my Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Prokofiev and Gershwin, and has worked with the London Philharmonic, La Scala Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic, to name a few.
In many people's minds, his most outstanding role is as Mephistopheles in 'The Damnation of Faust', which he has sung many times to memorable effect and with huge acclaim.