I woke to this news on Radio 3 the other morning: a sad way to start the day. I've written before here on my admiration for him, in Wagner particularly: there are some artists with whom it's possible to develop a bond that feels almost personal, even if you've never met them: Remedios was like that for me. He embodied "my" Siegfried as no other performer had before or has since: under Goodall, the character became more lyrical, more sympathetic, more believable, more real, than I'd ever previously known him to be. I was a student in London at the time of the first night of the Blatchley/Byam Shaw/Koltai/Ornbo production; the next day I bought a ticket for every other performance in the run: I simply couldn't stand the thought of them doing it and my not being there to watch. And to listen, of course: "the singer with a smile in his voice" Remedios was called once, but there was steel there too when it was needed, and astonishing stamina.
I saw him in the main Ring tenor roles (and as Froh at Covent Garden, a curious prelude to his Siegfried there a year later) as well as Tristan, Lohengrin, Walther and Erik. And also as Don José, in various Verdi roles (including a short and not entirely successful one-off run as Otello for WNO), in Tippett and in Berlioz: a memorable last-minute stand-in for an absent Jon Vickers in The Trojans. And I have fond memories of a Queen Elizabeth Hall lieder recital when for one song he reached into a pocket and produced a postcard covered in closely-packed writing. "Don't want to get the words wrong," he explained, completely unapologetically.
That sort of naturalness and ease came across on stage, too, and sometimes perhaps a little too much: he needed a firm directorial hand to discipline him into giving his best dramatically. But when that happened, when everything came together, my word there really was no-one like him. I count myself lucky to have been there during his golden days in a company enjoying theirs. Yes, that news was a sad way to start a day.