Tags: One | Reporter's | Opinion | The | Star-Spangled | Baritone

One Reporter's Opinion @ The Star-Spangled Baritone

Friday, 29 October 2004 12:00 AM

Bob once said to me, "George, I was a helluva pitcher and could have gone that route."

Robert Merrill performed 31 consecutive seasons for the Met, sang virtually every baritone role in the operatic repertoire, and gained admiration for his interpretations of dozens of roles including "Carmen" and "The Barber of Seville," reportedly his favorite opera.

"Few leading singers have graced the company with so many performances and none have served it with more honor," wrote Opera News in 1996.

Bob made his operatic debut in 1944, singing Amonasro in "Aida" in Trenton, N.J. He signed on with the Metropolitan Opera the next year, in 1945, and debuted with the company in "La Traviata." Throughout his career, he also sang with popular stars Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and a host of others and performed for several presidents, including FDR, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy.

Merrill retired from the Met in 1976 but returned to the stage in 1983, when the company marked its centennial.

Robert and his wife and accompanist, Marian Macknoff, came here to the studios for interviews in 1978 and 1984. Bob's first wife, Roberta Peters, frequently appeared together with his present wife and accompanist, Marian.

He was perhaps known best for appearing in a pinstriped shirt and tattered Yankee necktie, performing during the World Series playoffs and Old-Timers Day. Bob took the job seriously; he often said he didn't appreciate when singers ad-libbed our national anthem or distorted it.

Bob will be sorely missed by all who knew him - the "kid from Brooklyn" who rose to the heights as a naturally gifted star of the opera. And baseball fans will remember him for his lifelong enthusiasm for the great American pastime.

What a guy! What a sense of humor! What a talent was our star-spangled baritone, Robert Merrill.

102-104

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
Bob once said to me, "George, I was a helluva pitcher and could have gone that route." Robert Merrill performed 31 consecutive seasons for the Met, sang virtually every baritone role in the operatic repertoire, and gained admiration for his interpretations of dozens of...
One,Reporter's,Opinion,The,Star-Spangled,Baritone
305
2004-00-29
Friday, 29 October 2004 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved