Vocal masterclass with tenor George Shirley, Monday, May 21st in Winifred Smith Hall at 1pm. free admission.
Tenor George Shirley has a long distinguished career as a performer and educator. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Wayne State University in Music Education. After beginning his professional operatic career in New York and then Italy, he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 1961 singing Puccini’s, “Nessun dorma.” This earned him an eleven year association with the Metropolitan Opera where he sang 28 different roles from 26 different operas, especially those by Mozart, Verdi, Strauss, Puccini and Wagner. He also received a Grammy Award in 1968 for his recording of the role, Ferrando in Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte.
Professor Shirley was the first African-American to be appointed to a high school teaching post in music in Detroit, the first African-American member of the United States Army Chorus in Washington, D.C., and the first African-American tenor and second African-American male to sing leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera. In addition his extensive performing career he accepted a teaching position at the University of Maryland in 1980 as a voice professor and not long after a position teaching at the University of Michigan in the late 80s.
He has sung on numerous concert and operatic stages across the world including, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Royal Opera (Covent Garden, London), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Téatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam), L'Opéra de Monte Carlo, New York City Opera, Scottish Opera (Glasgow), Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera (Kennedy Center), Michigan Opera Theater, Glyndebourne Festival, and Santa Fe Opera.