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John Lankston (1934, Bridgeport, Illinois - July 12, 2018, Bridgeport, Illinois) was an American tenor and actor who had a career in opera and musical theater from the 1950s through the 2000s. After making his Broadway debut in Redhead (1959), he went on to create the roles of Adolph and the Ziegfeld Tenor in Jule Styne's Funny Girl (1963) in which he was a featured soloist with Barbra Streisand. For his work, he and the rest of the main cast were awarded the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album at the 7th Annual Grammy Awards. He was a regular performer with the New York City Opera from 1966 to 2001. His greatest success with the NYCO was his creation of the quintuple role of Voltaire/Pangloss/Businessman/Governor/Gambler in the 1982 revival of Leonard Bernstein's Candide which was directed by Hal Prince and filmed for national broadcast on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center. The company later recorded the production on disc, and Langston and the rest of the artists involved were awarded the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in 1987.Lankston most often performed supporting roles in his long tenure at the NYCO, often appearing in comedic character roles or villains. Occasionally he was given leading roles, including the title role in the United States premiere of Josef Tal's Ashmedai in 1976 in which his skills as both a singer and dancer were featured. Other larger parts he excelled in included the Prologue in Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw (1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1978); Arbace in Mozart's Idomeneo (1974, 1975); Eisenstein in Johann Strauss II's Die Fledermaus (1976, 1986); the Devil in Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat (1977),; Officer Olim in Kurt Weill's Silverlake: A Winter's Tale (1980); Satan/Lucifer in Igor Stravinsky's The Flood (1982); Ko-Ko in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (1984, 2001); Monostatos in Mozart's The Magic Flute (1985, 1992); and Torquemada in Maurice Ravel's L'heure espagnole (1990, 1999). With the NYCO he notably appeared in several world premieres, including the roles of Major Mark Lyon in Hugo Weisgall's Nine Rivers from Jordan (1968); Professor Clement in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Most Important Man (1971); Bentley Drummle in the world premiere of Dominick Argento's Miss Havisham's Fire (1979); and Dr. Sokolsky in the world premiere of Jay Reise's Rasputin (1988) He also portrayed Šapkin In the United States premiere of Leoš Janáček's From the House of the Dead (1989). His portrayal of The Schoolmaster in Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen was broadcast on PBS's Live From Lincoln Center in 1983.

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