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Sherrill Milnes

Sherrill Eustace Milnes' career as one of the leading American baritones spanned the last third of the 20th Century, and was particularly notable for excellence in the operatic roles of Verdi and Puccini.

As a boy, Milnes learned the piano and violin at home, and played tuba in his high school marching band. After entertaining thoughts of a career in medicine, he entered Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he devoted himself to the study of music. He later transferred to Northwestern University, where his teacher was Hermanus Baet.

Milnes' first professional engagement was singing in the Margaret Hillis Chorale in Chicago, followed by a stint in the Santa Fe Opera Chorus, where he accepted opportunities to appear in small roles.

The part of Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni provided him with his operatic debut while he was a member of the Boston Opera's touring company in 1960. He then studied briefly with the legendary soprano Rosa Ponselle, who engaged him to sing at the Baltimore Civic Opera (Gérard in Andrea Chénier, 1961). He attracted wide attention as Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia in 1964, and continued his success with the New York City Opera as Valentin in Gounod's Faust. This led to his first Metropolitan Opera appearance, in the same role in an acclaimed production with Montserrat Caballé in 1965.

His ensuing international career took him to venues in San Francisco, Barcelona, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Vienna, London, Hamburg, Milan and Chicago, but it was his long association with the Metropolitan Opera, plus his many recordings, that earned him the lion's share of his fame.

Milnes was the continuation of a long line of American baritones, including Lawrence Tibbett, Leonard Warren, and Robert Merrill. He was especially valued for his Verdi roles, and sang all that composer's important baritone parts. He was a striking Escamillo in Carmen, and a powerful Rigoletto. His portrayal of Puccini's Scarpia was notable for overlaying the villain's evil nature with a surface of seductive oiliness--a feat he also managed as Iago in Verdi's Otello.

Milnes' career underwent a decline in the 1980s, but he has continued to appear on a limited basis, and he has remained active as a teacher. ~ All Music Guide
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Essential Opera

Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opera

1. Carmen, Opera: Prelude

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Tosca, Opera

2. Tosca, Opera: I. Vissi D'arte, Vissi D'amore

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Il Trovatore, Opera

3. Il Trovatore, Opera: I. Vedi! Le Fosche Notturne Spoglie

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: La Bohème, Opera

4. La Bohème, Opera: I. Che Gelida Manina!

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492

5. Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492: Voi Che Sapete Che Cosa E Amor

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Rigoletto, Opera

6. Rigoletto, Opera: Act Three: Bella Figlia Dell'amore

Title: Nabucco, Opera (Nabucodonosor)

7. Nabucco, Opera (Nabucodonosor): Viva Nabucco!

Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opera

8. Carmen, Opera: La Fleur Que Tu M'avais Jetée

Composer: Alfredo Catalani
Title: La Wally, Opera (Dramma Musicale) In 4 Acts

9. La Wally, Opera (Dramma Musicale) In 4 Acts: Ebben? Ne Andro Lontana

Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Title: Il Barbière Di Siviglia (The Barber Of Seville), Opera

10. Il Barbière Di Siviglia (The Barber Of Seville), Opera: II. Largo Al Factotum

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Aida, Opera

11. Aida, Opera: Triumph March And Chorus "Gloria All'egitto"

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera

12. Gianni Schicchi, Opera: O Mio Babbino Caro

Title: Turandot, Opera

13. Turandot, Opera: Nessun Dorma

Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Title: Les Contes D'hoffmann, Opera In 4 Acts

14. Les Contes D'hoffmann, Opera In 4 Acts: Belle Nuit, Ô Nuit D'amour

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera

15. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera: Un Bel Di Vedremo

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527

16. Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527: II. Finch'han Dal Vino

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera

17. Manon Lescaut, Opera: Donna Non Vidi Mai

Composer: Pietro Mascagni
Title: Cavalleria Rusticana, Opera (Melodramma) In 1 Act

18. Cavalleria Rusticana, Opera (Melodramma) In 1 Act: Intermezzo Sinfonico

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Turandot, Opera

19. Turandot, Opera: Non Piangere, Liu!

x

Track List: Verdi - La Traviata / Cotrubas · Domingo · Milnes · Bayerisches Staatsorchester · Carlos Kleiber

Disc 1
Title: La Traviata, Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Voice Of Romance

Disc 1
Composer: Umberto Giordano
Title: Fedora, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: Lucia Di Lammermoor, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Tosca, Opera

5. Tosca, Opera: I. Vissi D'arte, Vissi D'amore

Title: La Rondine (The Swallow), Opera
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: L'elisir D'amore, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: Don Pasquale, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Disc 2
Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Title: Tonight, Song (from "West Side Story")
Composer: Cesare Andrea Bixio
Title: Mamma, For Voice & Orchestra

2. Mamma, For Voice & Orchestra: Mamma

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: La Bohème, Opera
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Il Trovatore, Opera
Composer: Friedrich von Flotow
Title: Martha, Opera
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Rigoletto, Opera
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527
Title: Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492
Composer: Joseph Marie Canteloube
Title: Malurous Qu'o Uno Fenno, Folksong For Voice & Orchestra (Chants D'auvergne, Series 3, No. 5)
Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Title: Les Contes D'hoffmann, Opera In 4 Acts
Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opéra-comique In 4 Acts
Composer: Eldo di Lazzaro
Title: Chitarra Romana For Voice & Orchestra

14. Chitarra Romana For Voice & Orchestra: Chitarra Romana

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Aida, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Turandot, Opera

16. Turandot, Opera: Nessun Dorma

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