Skip to comments.Sad news: An English lion has died (bass-baritone opera singer John Shirley-Quirk)
Posted on 04/08/2014 9:14:15 AM PDT by EveningStar
We have been notified of the death last night, in Bath, of the glorious bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk. John was 83 and still teaching at Peabody in Baltimore and at Bath Spa University in England. A colleague there writes: 'He was very generous to students and they appreciated his wry sense of humour, to say nothing of his vast and remarkable performing experience.' ...
English baritone John Shirley-Quirk enjoyed singing and playing the violin as a child, but his true vocal talent did not become apparent until he was already studying chemistry and physics at the University of Liverpool. After several years of teaching those subjects at a British Air Force station, he began to study with the baritone Roy Henderson (1957). In 1961-1962, he sang with the Cathedral Choir at St. Johns in London; during the same time he made his debut at Glydebourne in 1961 as Gregor Mittenhofer in Henzes Elegy for Young Lovers.
In 1963, Benjamin Britten recruited him to join his English Opera Group ...
(Excerpt) Read more at artsjournal.com ...
Classical Music Ping List ping!
He appeared several times with noted Metropolitan Opera star, Sherrill Milnes, who, by the way, is a native of Downers Grove, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, and my former home before I moved to Florida.
Now here's an interesting opera tidbit:
Most folks don't know that opera in England is nationalized. Everyone connected with the opera houses, singers, grips, designers, musicians and even old lovable "Pop" at the stage door are government employees.
Since the Brit socialist system doesn't pay as well as our free enterprise opera system in the U.S. many of Covent Garden's company soloists, dancers and chorus singers have side jobs. My cousin is a horticulturalist with his own large greenhouse....and he sells his plant and floral products on the public market.
Today he and his wife tour the highways and byways of the "Sceptred Isle" several times a year, setting up booths at all those country fairs, sedate carnivals and lawn parties the English love so much. They sell unique and beautiful succulents from the hundreds they raise in their greenhouse. They don't need the money...but love touring the lovely English countryside with its quaint villages and quaint names. I would love this, also. Just think, I might meet up with Miss Marple and have a cuppa with her in her St. Mary Mead cottage.
From the dates in the above article, it's a strong possibility that my cousin knew, maybe performed with, opera singer John Shirley-Quirk. I'll make it a point to ask him....in fact I think I'll forward this thread to him in London.
I forward various threads to him all the time and he loves Free Republic. As befits our family (which has three freepers in it) he and his wife are conservatives, vote Tory all the time....and they can't stand Barak Obama (along with many of their fellow Londoners who feel the same.....as John has informed me many times).
(Here's a notable quote by Indiana-born Ford Frick, third Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 to 1965):
"I'd hate to have this get out, but I really like opera!"
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