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Opera Great Jon Vickers Dies

TORONTO, Ontario (CelebrityAccess) — Jon Vickers, a tenor known by many as one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century, has died. He was 88.

A statement released by his family said that he died as after a "prolonged struggle with Alzheimer's disease."

A native of Saskatchewan, Vikers attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and rose to international fame with his turn as Siegmund in Wagner's Die Walkuere at the Bayreuth Festival in 1958.

He was perhaps best known for his tenure at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he performed roles that included Tristan in Tristan and Isolde, Verdi's Otello and Parsifal.

Over the course of his career, he won two Grammy awards, and was named a Companion of the Order of Canada. Vickers received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, in 1998.

Vikers was survived by a sister, five children and eleven grand children. – Staff Writers