Samuel Ramey was born in Colby, Kansas and made his debut in 1984 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in Rinaldo by Handel and subsequently in Castello del principe Barbablù by Bartók.
He interpreted Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni by Mozart, Don Carlo and Attila by Verdi, Boris Godunov by Musorgskij, War and Peace by Prokofiev, Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, I Puritani by Bellini, Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti, Faust by Gounod, La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz and Il Mefistofele by Boito which became one of his most performed rolls (more than twenty productions; he has also performed in Rake's Progress by Stravinskij, in Contes d'Hoffmann by Offenbach, Attila by Verdi, L'Amore dei tre re by Montemezzi, Maometto II by Rossini, Don Quichotte by Massenet.
He has performed in the most important opera theatres such as the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Staatsoper in Vienna, Opéra - Bastille in Paris, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera in Chicago. He made his concert debut with prestigious orchestras among which the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra.
He has collaborated with prestigious orchestra conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Sir Georg Solti and Seiji Ozawa. He has received prestigious prizes among which three 'Grammy awards', the 'Grand prix du disc' and 'The best of the year'. In the 2002/2003 season he returned to the Chicago Lyric Opera to sing in Susannah by Carlisle Floyd. He has carried out recital tours in Vienna, Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon and Milan and concluded the season with I Vespri siciliani at the Paris Opéra.
Future engagements inlude his performance in Nabucco in the Arena di Verona for the 2003 summer opera festival.