- Associated Press - Sunday, January 4, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - An opera professor at Wichita State University who has performed some of opera’s most famous roles on stages around the globe has two new honors to add to his resume.

Samuel Ramey will be honored this week with a lifetime achievement award at the National Opera Association Convention in Greensboro, North Carolina, and will judge the vocal competition, The Wichita Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/17bmuWN ). He also will be among five singers recognized in April at the Opera News Awards.

The honorees are chosen by the editors of Opera News, published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

“I guess it’s my year for awards,” he said with a laugh.

A native of Colby, Kansas, Ramey graduated from Wichita State in 1968. He returned to the school last year as a faculty member in the music department. Ramey said it’s nice to “come full circle.”

Ramey is the most recorded bass in opera and that having him at the school is a “wonderful, wonderful thing,” said Rodney Miller, the university’s dean of fine arts.

One of his students, Andrew Simpson, won one of the opera association’s vocal competitions last year against what he called “well-established music schools.” He performed a scene from the opera “Susannah,” which Ramey has performed many times during his career.

“I was never really that nervous,” Simpson said. “I could bring what I wanted to bring to the table. Sometimes with big-time singers, that’s not the case.”

He said Ramey’s coaching also helped him when he was auditioning for a job after graduate school.

“I think he absolutely deserves it,” Simpson said of the awards.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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