Spiro Malas

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Spiro Malas
Spiro Samuel Malas

(1933-01-28)January 28, 1933
DiedJune 23, 2019(2019-06-23) (aged 86)
OccupationOpera and musical theatre singer; film and television actor
Years active19592019
Marlena Kleinman(m. 19632019)

Spiro Samuel Malas (January 28, 1933 – June 23, 2019) was a Greek-American bass-baritone opera singer and actor.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 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 most populous city 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 bass-baritone is a high-lying bass or low-lying "classical" baritone voice type which shares certain qualities with the true baritone voice. The term arose in the late 19th century to describe the particular type of voice required to sing three Wagnerian roles: the Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer, Wotan/Der Wanderer in the Ring Cycle and Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Wagner labelled these roles as Hoher Bass —see fach for more details.


Malas made his operatic debut in 1959 in his native Baltimore and in 1960 he won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He made his New York debut at the New York City Opera where he came to the attention of Joan Sutherland and her husband, the conductor Richard Bonynge. He was subsequently asked to tour Australia with the Sutherland/Williamson International Opera Company. This led to appearances at London's Covent Garden, the New York Metropolitan Opera (1983–84) and Chicago Lyric Opera.

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is an annual singing competition sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera. Established in 1954, its purpose is to discover, assist, promote, and develop young opera singers. The competition is held in four stages: Districts, Regional, Semi-Final, and Final competitions. Each stage is judged by a panel of representatives from the Metropolitan Opera. There are a total of 14 regional competitions within the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and 42 district competitions within each region. Winners from the district competition compete in Regionals, and then the winners of regionals are awarded a trip to New York City where they compete on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in the National Semi-Final Competition. Approximately 10 semi-finalists are chosen to compete in the final competition; the five winners are awarded a grand prize of $15,000 each, and the remaining finalists receive $5,000.

New York City Opera American opera company based in New York City

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.

Joan Sutherland Australian soprano

Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE was an Australian-born coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s.

Malas first performed at the Metropolitan Opera as Sgt. Sulpice in La fille du régiment opposite Dame Joan Sutherland, followed by Il barbiere di Siviglia , La bohème , Les contes d'Hoffmann , Die Fledermaus , Eugene Onegin , L'elisir d'amore , Lulu , Manon Lescaut , Der Rosenkavalier , Salome , Tosca , and Werther . He also appeared there in two new productions by Sir Peter Hall; as Zuniga in Carmen , and as Dr. Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro . Mr. Malas was also seen on the Metropolitan Opera stage as Haly in L'italiana in Algeri opposite Marilyn Horne, and Capulet in Roméo et Juliette.

<i>La fille du régiment</i> Opéra-comique in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti

La fille du régiment is an opéra comique in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti, set to a French libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard. It was first performed on 11 February 1840 by the Paris Opéra-Comique at the Salle de la Bourse.

<i>La bohème</i> opera by Giacomo Puccini

La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide.

<i>Die Fledermaus</i> comic operetta in three acts by Johann Strauss II

Die Fledermaus is an operetta composed by Johann Strauss II to a German libretto by Karl Haffner and Richard Genée.

He sang leading roles in the major opera houses in Rome, Naples, Salzburg, Vienna, and Florence, appeared in televised opera, with leading symphony orchestras, and recorded the operatic repertoire with notables such as Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and Sutherland.

Luciano Pavarotti Italian operatic tenor

Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the quality of his tone, and eventually established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century, achieving the honorific title "king of the high C's".

Beverly Sills opera soprano

Beverly Sills was an American operatic soprano whose peak career was between the 1950s and 1970s.

Kiri Te Kanawa New Zealand opera singer

Dame Kiri Janette Te Kanawa is a New Zealand soprano. She has a full lyric soprano voice, which has been described as "mellow yet vibrant, warm, ample and unforced".

A leading bass-baritone with the New York City Opera for many years, he also sustained a career in television, having appeared in Spenser: For Hire , The Equalizer , Ryan's Hope , One Life to Live , Law & Order and Sex and the City . Frank Rich, theatre critic for The New York Times , commented on Malas' Drama Desk Award-nominated portrayal of the immigrant farmer Tony Esposito in the 1992 Broadway revival of The Most Happy Fella : "As acted by Mr. Malas, Tony's inner growth and redemption become the very soul of musical drama, especially as delineated in one gorgeous Loesser song after another."

<i>Spenser: For Hire</i> television program

Spenser: For Hire is an American crime drama series based on Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels. The series, developed for TV by John Wilder and starring Robert Urich, was broadcast on ABC from September 20, 1985 until May 7, 1988.

<i>The Equalizer</i> television series

The Equalizer is an American crime drama television series, originally airing on CBS from fall 1985 until late spring 1989. It starred Edward Woodward as a retired intelligence agent with a mysterious past, who uses the skills from his former career to exact justice on behalf of innocent people who are trapped in dangerous circumstances. The series combined elements of the spy, private investigator/police procedural, and vigilante genres.

<i>Ryans Hope</i> television series

Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, originally airing for 13 years on ABC from July 7, 1975 to January 13, 1989. It revolves around the trials and tribulations within a large Irish-American family in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

In addition to his teaching at Barnard College and Columbia University, Malas also served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and Curtis Institute of Music.

Barnard College private womens liberal arts college in the United States

Barnard College is a private women's liberal arts college located in Manhattan, New York City. Founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer, who named it after Columbia University's 10th president, Frederick Barnard, it is one of the oldest women's colleges in the world. The acceptance rate of the Class of 2023 was 11.3%, the most selective and diverse class in the college's 129-year history.

Columbia University Private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.

Manhattan School of Music music school in New York City

Manhattan School of Music (MSM) is a private music conservatory in New York City. The school offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the areas of classical and jazz performance and composition, as well as a bachelors in musical theatre.

He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity. [1]

Malas was married to Marlena Kleinman Malas, a voice teacher in New York. They had two sons, Nicol and Alexis.

Malas died June 23, 2019 in New York. [2]


Giovanni Bononcini
Gaetano Donizetti
Gioachino Rossini

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  1. Delta Omicron Archived January 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Woolfe, Zachary (July 3, 2019). "Spiro Malas, Dependable Bass and a 'Most Happy Fella,' Dies at 86". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2019.