Sherrill Milnes (born January 10, 1935) is an American operatic baritone most famous for his Verdi roles. From 1965 until 1997 he was associated with the Metropolitan Opera. His voice is a high dramatic baritone, combining good legato with an incisive rhythmic style. By 1965 he had made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera. His international debuts followed soon thereafter, and Milnes became one of the world's prominent Verdi baritones of the 1970s and 1980s.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning heavy sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the range from the second F below middle C to the F above middle C (i.e. F2–F4) in choral music, and from the second A below middle C to the A above middle C (A2 to A4) in operatic music, but can be extended at either end. The baritone voice type is generally divided into the baryton-Martin baritone (light baritone), lyric baritone, Kavalierbariton, Verdi baritone, dramatic baritone, baryton-noble baritone, and the bass-baritone.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.
Milnes was born in Downers Grove, Illinois. His mother and father were dairy farmers. As a child, he exhibited strong and varied musical talents. In addition to singing, he also played piano, violin, viola, double bass, clarinet, and tuba. Although his interests did not always lean toward opera, he spent many hours singing to his father's cows and was once found on a tractor practicing an operatic laugh.
Downers Grove is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, whose surname serves as the eponym for the village. It is a south-western suburb of Chicago in the I-55 Corridor
The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers. It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.
While in high school, Milnes planned to be an anesthesiologist, but later returned to music, studying music education at Drake University and Northwestern University, with the idea of becoming a teacher. He attended North Central College before transferring to Drake University and Northwestern University. Milnes was awarded an honorary doctorate from North Central College in 2006. After graduating from Drake, he spent a summer as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera and thereafter dedicated himself to becoming an opera singer, studying briefly with the famed soprano Rosa Ponselle.
Drake University is a private, co-educational university in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. The institution offers a number of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional programs in business, law and pharmacy. Drake's law school is among the twenty-five oldest in the country.
Northwestern University (NU) is a private research university based in Evanston, Illinois, United States, with other campuses located in Chicago and Doha, Qatar, and academic programs and facilities in Miami, Florida; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco, California. Along with its undergraduate programs, Northwestern is known for its Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker School of Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, Bienen School of Music, Medill School of Journalism, and McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
North Central College is a private liberal arts college in Naperville, Illinois. It is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and has nearly 70 areas of study in undergraduate majors, minors, and programs through 19 academic departments organized in three undergraduate colleges/schools and a masters program.
Milnes began his career with the Opera Company of Boston in 1960, joining Boris Goldovsky's Opera Theater, and debuting as Masetto in Don Giovanni . From very early on in his career, Milnes was managed by well-known talent manager Herbert Barrett. In 1961, he made his debut at Ponselle's Baltimore Opera as Gérard in Andrea Chénier.
The Opera Company of Boston was an American opera company located in Boston, Massachusetts, that was active from the late 1950s through the 1980s. The company was founded by American conductor Sarah Caldwell in 1958 under the name Boston Opera Group.
Boris Goldovsky was a Russian-born conductor and broadcast commentator, active in the United States. He has been called an important "popularizer" of opera in America. As an opera producer, conductor, impresario, and broadcaster he was prominent within the American operatic community between 1946 and 1985.
Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the National Theater, now called the Estates Theatre, on 29 October 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed as a dramma giocoso, a common designation of its time that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa. Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.
In 1964, Milnes made his first major breakthrough singing the role of Valentin in Gounod's Faust at the New York City Opera (opposite Norman Treigle as Mephisto), the role with which he also made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1965. In 1967 he created the role of Captain Adam Brant in the world premiere of Marvin David Levy's Mourning Becomes Electra at the Met.
Faust is an opera in five acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré from Carré's play Faust et Marguerite, in turn loosely based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, Part One. It debuted at the Théâtre Lyrique on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris on 19 March 1859, with influential sets designed by Charles-Antoine Cambon and Joseph Thierry, Jean Émile Daran, Édouard Desplechin, and Philippe Chaperon.
The New York City Opera (NYCO) is an American opera company located in Manhattan in New York City. The company has been active from 1943 through 2013, and again since 2016 when it was revived.
Norman Treigle (né Adanelle Wilfred Treigle was an American operatic bass-baritone, who was acclaimed for his great abilities as a singing-actor, and specialized in roles that evoked villainy and terror.
In 1964, Milnes also made his European debut singing Figaro from The Barber of Seville at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan. However, it was his performance as Miller in Verdi's Luisa Miller in 1968 which catapulted him into international fame. Milnes was the leading baritone at the Met during the 1970s, singing to great acclaim there, especially for his performances in Verdi operas.
The Barber of Seville, or The Useless Precaution is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with an Italian libretto by Cesare Sterbini. The libretto was based on Pierre Beaumarchais's French comedy Le Barbier de Séville (1775). The première of Rossini's opera took place on 20 February 1816 at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, with designs by Angelo Toselli.
The Teatro Nuovo is a theater in Milan, located on the Piazza San Babila in the lower level of the Palazzo del Toro. The theater, designed by architect Emilio Lancia, was the project of the impresario Remigio Paone. It was inaugurated on 22 December 1938 with a performance of Eduardo De Filippo's comedy Ditegli sempre di sì.
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.
Beginning in 1982, Milnes experienced serious vocal health problems which took him some time to surmount. In 1984, he sang in the world premiere of Act I of Sergei Rachmaninoff's opera Monna Vanna , which had been left in piano score by the composer and orchestrated by Igor Buketoff.
Milnes' talents were not confined, however, solely to the operatic stage. As early as 1971 he had already received critical acclaim while featured in the role of David during the premier of Ezra Laderman's opera And David Wept, on the CBS Television network, under the musical direction of Alfredo Antonini. Nearly a decade earlier in 1964 he also collaborated with Antonini playing the role of Saint Joseph in a televised adaptation of Hector Berlioz's sacred oratorio L'enfance du Christ .
Milnes was awarded Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity's Charles E. Lutton Man of Music Award at its 1982 national convention in Urbana, Illinois. He had been initiated into the Fraternity's Alpha Beta chapter at Drake University in 1954. In the same year was honored by the Italian government as "Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica"
On July 5, 1986, he performed on the New York Philharmonic's tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised live by ABC.The orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, performed in Central Park.
In September 1996, Milnes was honored by the French government with the distinguished Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.After 32 years and 653 performances, he made his final bow at the Metropolitan on March 22, 1997 in Aida .
In 1998, Milnes published a memoir, American Aria.
Milnes is currently a professor emeritus in voice at Northwestern University. He is a recipient of Yale University's Sanford Medal.
Milnes was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2003 in the area of The Performing Arts.
Milnes has been a resident of Cresskill, New Jersey, and currently resides in Palm Harbor, Florida with his wife and son, Theo.
In 2001, Milnes and his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, founded the VOICExperience Foundation, a non-profit organization for the education of young singers. It evolved from a series of master classes led by Milnes, Tony Randall, Martina Arroyo and Barry Tucker, president of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Based in Florida, it provides several educational programs, workshops, outreach events and community enrichment programs. In Florida, the foundation runs The Florida VOICE Project for singers in the Tampa Bay Area. In New York City, the foundation runs the Opera As Drama program, a week-long career development program for emerging professional opera singers which culminates in a public performance at Opera America's National Opera Center. As part of the Savannah Voice Festival, the foundation runs a Teen VOICE workshop and the Milnes VOICE studio.
|Enrico Ashton||Lucia di Lammermoor||Donizetti|
|Scindia||Le roi de Lahore||Massenet|
|Le nozze di Figaro||Mozart|
|Guglielmo||Così fan tutte||Mozart|
|Jack Rance||La fanciulla del West||Puccini|
|Selim||Il Turco in Italia||Rossini|
|Figaro||Il barbiere di Siviglia||Rossini|
|Guglielmo Tell||Guglielmo Tell||Rossini|
|Henry VIII||Henry VIII||Saint-Saëns|
|Conte di Luna||Il trovatore||Verdi|
|Giorgio Germont||La traviata||Verdi|
|Guido di Monforte||I vespri siciliani||Verdi|
|Simon Boccanegra||Simon Boccanegra||Verdi|
|Renato||Un ballo in maschera||Verdi|
|Don Carlo||La forza del destino||Verdi|
|Rodrigo di Posa||Don Carlo||Verdi|
|Conte di Westmoreland||Sly||Wolf-Ferrari|
Renata Scotto is an Italian soprano and opera director.
María de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i FolchOIC OAXS OMFRG LH OMIR was a Spanish operatic soprano. She sang a wide variety of roles, but is best known as an exponent of the works of Verdi and of the bel canto repertoire, notably the works of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. She was noticed internationally when she stepped in for a performance of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall in 1965, and then appeared at leading opera houses. Her voice was described as pure but powerful, with superb control of vocal shadings and exquisite pianissimo.
Piero Cappuccilli was an Italian operatic baritone. Best known for his interpretations of Verdi roles, he was widely regarded as one of the finest Italian baritones of the second half of the 20th century. He was enormously admired within the field of opera for his rich and abundant voice, fine vocal technique and exceptional breath control. In the great Italian tradition he fused words and music into elegant phrases. He focused on Italian repertory, particularly the operas of Verdi, singing 17 major roles.
Lamberto Gardelli was a Swedish conductor of Italian birth, particularly associated with the Italian opera repertory, especially the works of Giuseppe Verdi.
Paul Plishka is an American operatic bass.
Ruggero Raimondi is an Italian bass-baritone opera singer who has also appeared in motion pictures.
Cornell MacNeil was an American operatic baritone known for his exceptional voice and long career with the Metropolitan Opera, which spanned 642 performances in twenty-six roles. F. Paul Driscoll wrote in Opera News that he "was a great baritone in era of great baritones — Warren, Gobbi, Merrill, Milnes — and in the contemporary press, comparisons to his colleagues were frequent. But MacNeil's performances had singular musical richness, and moral and intellectual complexity that were his alone. MacNeil may have had rivals, but he had no equals."
Pablo Elvira was a Puerto Rican baritone. Elvira was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and began his musical career playing jazz trumpet there, with his uncle, Rafael Elvira, in his orchestra, he continued in his father's band and later started his own band who played at the Hotel San Juan. In 1966, he joined the voice faculty of the Indiana University School of Music; during his eight years there he performed baritone roles in many of the school's opera productions.
Karl Gustaf Ingvar Wixell, was a Swedish baritone who had an active international career in operas and concerts from 1955 to 2003. He mostly sang roles from the Italian repertory, and, according to The New York Times, "was best known for his steady-toned, riveting portrayals of the major baritone roles of Giuseppe Verdi — among them Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Amonasro in Aida, and Germont in La traviata".
Vicente (Vicenç) Sardinero, né Sardinero-Puerto, was a Spanish operatic lyric baritone. Born in Barcelona, he made his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in his native city in the 1964–65 season, as Escamillo in Carmen. His first appearance at the Teatro alla Scala was in 1967, as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, opposite Renata Scotto, subsequently appearing there in Il trovatore (1978), I due Foscari (1980), and Falstaff. Sardinero also sang at London's Covent Garden and was often heard in zarzuela.
The Opera Orchestra of New York specializes in the performance of opera in concert form. It is particularly known for its work in presenting rarely performed repertory. Among the numerous American premieres it has presented are Puccini’s Edgar, Boito’s Nerone, and Smetana’s Libuše.
Richard Mohr was one of RCA Victor’s most prominent producers of classical and operatic music recordings from 1943 through 1977. His producing credits included recording the casts of the world premieres of Samuel Barber's Vanessa and Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, as well as the first LP recordings of Ernani,Luisa Miller and Lucrezia Borgia and three versions each of Rigoletto,Aida,La Traviata and Il Trovatore.
Nello Santi is an Italian conductor. He is often called "Papa Santi" by his fellow musicians to show their high respect for his work.
Bonaldo Giaiotti was an Italian operatic bass, particularly associated with the Italian repertory.
Giuliano Bernardi was an Italian operatic baritone and tenor.
The Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company was an American opera company located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that was active between 1958 and 1974. The company was led by a number of Artistic Directors during its history, beginning with Aurelio Fabiani. Other notable Artistic Directors include Julius Rudel and Anton Guadagno (1966–1972). The company produced between four and six of their own operas every year in addition to sponsoring numerous traveling productions from the New York City Opera. In 1975 the company merged with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company but retained its original name. With the combined resources of both companies, the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company began producing higher quality productions with name artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Roberta Peters, Montserrat Caballé, and others. For the bicentennial year 1976, the company commissioned famed opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti to create a new opera. The work, The Hero, premiered on June 1, 1976. In 1980, the company artistically reorganized to form the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Anthony Laciura is an American operatic tenor, noted for his abilities as a comprimario, and actor. Born in New Orleans, he studied voice there with Charles Paddock, also the teacher of Ticho Parly.
Maralin Niska was an American operatic soprano. Well known as a singing-actress, she was a mainstay of the New York City Opera during the 1960s and 1970s She was also a regular performer at the Metropolitan Opera from 1970-1977.
Betsy Norden is an American soprano who appeared with the Metropolitan Opera over 500 times.
Richard J. Clark is an American operatic baritone. He studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts and the Juilliard School.