Tenor Stephen Gould Dies at Age 61 after Being Diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer

AP Photo/Stephan Trierenberg, File
Stephen Gould in the role of Siegfried performs during a dress rehearsal for the opera “Siegfried” by Richard Wagner, on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, at Vienna’s state opera.

NEW YORK (AP) — Tenor Stephen Gould, who announced earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with incurable bile duct cancer, has died. He was 61.

Gould’s agent Stephanie Ammann confirmed the singer died Tuesday in Virginia. No other details were immediately available.

The singer withdrew this summer from the Bayreuth Festival in Germany, where he was scheduled to perform the title roles in “Tannhäuser” and “Tristan und Isolde” and Siegfried in “Götterdämmerung.”

Gould said he made the announcement after the Bayreuth Festival ended last week because “I did not wish anything to cloud this year’s achievements.”

Frequently appearing as a heroic tenor, Gould performed at many of the world’s great opera houses. He debuted in Richard Wagner’s “Ring” cycle in Bayreuth in 2006, earning raves during the challenging four-nights of performances.

The Associated Press called him “a naturally engaging performer, unusually athletic and youthful as befits the teenage hero” during his performance of the third “Ring” show, “Siegfried.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, biliary tract cancer often doesn’t cause any symptoms in the early stages. It’s often discovered by accident — for example, through routine blood tests or imaging done for an unrelated reason.

He is survived by his sister.