Journal of Singing
AMERICAN BASS ARTHUR WOODLEY APPEARED with prestigious opera companies around the U.S. and abroad, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, L'Opera de Montreal, Opera Philadelphia, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Pittsburgh, Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. His many roles included Varlaam in Boris Godunov, Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, the Four Villains in Les contes d'Hoffman, Kuno in Der Freischütz, Banquo in Macbeth, Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress, Sulpice in La fille du régiment, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Rocco in Fidelio, Publio in La clemenza di Tito, Angelotti in Tosca, Achillas in Giulio Cesare, and Dansker in Billy Budd. Woodley created the role of Dick Hallorann in Paul Moravec's The Shining, at the Minnesota Opera, and Emile Griffith in Champion, at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Mr. Woodley had a distinguished history with the role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess. He sang the role in concert with the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and on tour in Italy, including Santa Cecilia in Rome, with Yuri Temirkanov. In staged performances, he appeared with Opera Philadelphia, Indianapolis Opera, Opera Colorado, Bregenz Festival, the Savolinna International Festival in Finland, and the Catfish Row Opera Company of Charleston, South Carolina, in a gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opera's debut.
In concert, Mr. Woodley appeared with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Houston Symphony, Modesto Symphony, the U.S. Naval Academy, the American Composers Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Collegiate Chorale at Lincoln Center, and at the Bard Music Festival. He also sang the world premiere of God, Mississippi, and Medgar Evers with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and was the bass soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in Mexico City with Sir Neville Marriner and The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Mr. Woodley was born in New York City and raised in Saint Croix. He tragically lost his brief battle with cancer on Friday, November 20, 2020, at the age of 71. Arthur Woodley and Justin John Moniz served as colleagues at NYU Steinhardt. As part of a larger project entitled, "A Fight for the Light: Underrepresented Journeys to the Stage," both Justin and Minnita Daniel-Cox sat down with Mr. Woodley to discuss his personal and professional journey shortly before his passing.
© 2021 National Association of Teachers of Singing. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
National Association of Teachers of Singing
Moniz, Justin John and Daniel-Cox, Minnita, "The Vocal Point: Honoring a Legacy: The Final Conversation with Arthur Woodley" (2021). Music Faculty Publications. 37.