Sherrill Milnes (born January 10, 1935) is an American operatic baritone most famous for his Verdi roles. From 1965 until 1997 he was associated with the Metropolitan Opera.
His voice is a high dramatic baritone, combining good legato with an incisive rhythmic style; furthermore, he has a commanding and handsome stage presence. By 1965 he had made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera. His international debuts followed soon thereafter, and Milnes became one of the world's prominent Verdi baritones of the 1970s and 1980s.
He has been a prolific recording artist, often in partnership with
Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Early life [edit ]
Milnes was born in
Downers Grove, Illinois to a dairy farmer and his wife. As a child, he exhibited strong and varied musical talents. In addition to singing, he also played piano, violin, viola, double bass, clarinet, and tuba. Although his interests did not always lean toward opera, he spent many hours singing to his father's cows and was once found on a tractor practicing an operatic laugh.
While in high school, Milnes planned to be an
anesthesiologist, but later returned to music, studying music education at Drake University and Northwestern University, with the idea of becoming a teacher. He attended North Central College before transferring to Drake University and Northwestern University. Milnes was awarded an honorary doctorate from North Central College in 2006. After graduating from Drake, he spent a summer as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera and thereafter dedicated himself to becoming an opera singer, studying briefly with the famed soprano Rosa Ponselle. Career [edit ]
Milnes began his career with the
Opera Company of Boston in 1960, joining Boris Goldovsky's Opera Theater, and debuting as Masetto in . From very early on in his career, Milnes was managed by well-known talent manager Don Giovanni Herbert Barrett. In 1961, he made his debut at Ponselle's Baltimore Opera as Gérard in Andrea Chénier.
In 1964, Milnes made his first major breakthrough singing the role of Valentin in
Gounod's at the Faust New York City Opera (opposite Norman Treigle as Mephisto), the role with which he also made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1965. In 1967 he created the role of Captain Adam Brant in the world premiere of Marvin David Levy's at the Met. Mourning Becomes Electra
In 1964, Milnes also made his European debut singing Figaro from
at the Teatro Nuovo in The Barber of Seville Milan. However, it was his performance as Miller in Verdi's in 1968 which catapulted him into international fame. Luisa Miller
In the early 1980s, Milnes experienced serious vocal health problems, but he eventually surmounted them. In 1984 he sang in the world premiere of Act I of
Sergei Rachmaninoff's opera , which had been left in piano score by the composer and orchestrated by Monna Vanna Igor Buketoff.
Milnes was awarded
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity's Charles E. Lutton Man of Music Award at its 1982 national convention in Urbana, Illinois. He had been initiated into the Fraternity's Alpha Beta chapter at Drake University in 1954.
On July 5, 1986, he performed on the
New York Philharmonic's tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised live on ABC Television. The orchestra, conducted by [1 ] Zubin Mehta, performed in Central Park.
In September 1996 Milnes was honored by the French government with the distinguished Chevalier de l'
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He made his final performance at the Met on March 22, 1997 in [2 ] Aida. In 1998, Milnes published a memoir, American Aria.
Milnes is currently a professor emeritus in voice at
Northwestern University. He is a recipient of Yale University's Sanford Medal. He is Artistic Advisor to Opera Tampa (FL). [3 ]
He is a National Patron of
Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity. [4 ]
Milnes has been a resident of
Cresskill, New Jersey, and currently resides in Palm Harbor, Florida with his wife and son, Theo. [5 ] Discography [edit ] Compact Discs [edit ] 1967 Mozart: Così fan tutte (with L. Price, Troyanos, Raskin, Shirley, Flagello – Leinsdorf, cond.) Verdi: La traviata (with Caballé, Bergonzi – Prêtre, cond.) 1968 R. Strauss: Salome (with Caballé, R. Lewis, Resnik, J. King – Leinsdorf, cond.) 1969 Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, "Choral" (with J. Marsh, Veasey, Domingo – Leinsdorf, cond.) Orff: Carmina Burana (with Mandac, Kolk – Ozawa, cond.) Verdi: Il trovatore (with L. Price, Domingo, Cossotto – Mehta, cond.) 1970 Verdi: Aïda (with L. Price, Domingo, Bumbry, Raimondi – Leinsdorf, cond.) Verdi: Macbeth (with Ludwig, Cossutta – Böhm, cond.) Live recording 1971 Great Opera Duets (with Domingo) Verdi: Un ballo in maschera (with Tebaldi, Pavarotti—Bartoletti, cond.) Puccini: Il tabarro (with L. Price, Domingo—Leinsdorf, cond.) Verdi: Don Carlos (with Domingo, Caballé, Raimondi, Verrett—Giulini, cond.) Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (with Sutherland, Pavarotti, Ghiaurov—Bonynge, cond.) Leoncavallo: Pagliacci / Puccini: Il tabarro ( Pagliacci: with Caballé, Domingo—Santi, cond. / Il tabarro: with L. Price, Domingo—Leinsdorf, cond.) Verdi: Rigoletto (with Sutherland, Pavarotti, Tourangeau, Talvela—Bonynge, cond.) 1972 Verdi: Attila (with Raimondi, Deutekom, Bergonzi—Gardelli, cond.) Verdi: Giovanna d'Arco (with Caballé, Domingo—Levine, cond.) 1973 Domingo Conducts Milnes – Milnes Conducts Domingo Puccini: Tosca (with L. Price, Domingo – Mehta, cond.) 1974 Puccini: La bohème (with Caballé, Domingo, Blegen, Sardinero, Raimondi – Solti, cond.) Verdi: I vespri siciliani (with Arroyo, Domingo, Raimondi – Levine, cond.) 1975 Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (with Sills, Gedda, Capecchi, Raimondi, Barbieri – Levine, cond.) Verdi: Luisa Miller (with Pavarotti, Caballé – Maag, cond.) Massenet's La Navarraise (with Horne, Domingo, Bacquier – H. Lewis, cond.) Verdi: Il trovatore [with bonus tracks from a 1968 recording of Act II with Richard Tucker] (with Caballé, Cossutta, Arkhipova – Guadagno, cond.) 1976 Giordano: Andrea Chénier (with Scotto, Domingo – Levine, cond.) Verdi: Macbeth (with Cossotto, Carreras, Raimondi – Muti, cond.) Massenet: Thaïs (with Sills, Gedda, van Allan – Maazel, cond.) 1977 Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur (with Scotto, Domingo, Obraztsova – Levine, cond.) Bizet: Carmen (with Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas – C. Abbado, cond.) Puccini: La fanciulla del West (with Neblett, Domingo – Mehta, cond.) Verdi: La forza del destino (with L. Price, Domingo, Cossotto, Giaiotti, Bacquier – Levine, cond.) Verdi: La traviata (with Cotrubas, Domingo – Kleiber, cond.) 1978 Bravissimo, Domingo! Arias and Duets with Leontyne Price and Sherrill Milnes Rossini: Guglielmo Tell (with Freni, Pavarotti, Mazzoli, Jones, Ghiaurov – Chailly, cond.) Verdi: Otello (with Scotto, Domingo – Levine, cond.) Verdi: Rigoletto (with Sills, Kraus, M. Dunn, Ramey – Rudel, cond.) Puccini: Tosca (with Freni, Pavarotti – Rescigno, cond.) 1979 Puccini: La bohème (with Scotto, Neblett, Kraus, Manuguerra, Plishka, Tajo; Levine, cond.) 1980 Massenet: Le roi de Lahore (with Sutherland, Lima, Ghiaurov, Morris, Tourangeau – Bonynge, cond.) 1981 Ponchielli: La Gioconda (with Caballé, Baltsa, Pavarotti, Ghiaurov – Bartoletti, cond.) 1986 Ponchielli: La Gioconda (with Marton, Ramey, Lamberti – Patanè, cond.) 1990 Fauré: Requiem (with Te Kanawa – Dutoit, cond.) 2001 Wolf-Ferrari: Sly (with Carreras, Kabatu – Gimenez, cond.) Recitals [edit ] Sherrill Milnes in Recital, Volume 1, "There but for You Go I" (Jon Spong, piano) Sherrill Milnes in Recital, Volume 2, "Kingdom by the Sea" (Jon Spong, piano) Met Legends: Sherrill Milnes Grandi Voci: Arias (de la Fuente, cond.) The Baritone Voice Copland: Old American Songs Griffes: Four German Songs; Songs of the Dagger (Ozawa, cond.) DVDs [edit ] 1976 Puccini: Tosca (with Kabaivanska, Domingo – Bartoletti, cond., de Bosio, dir.) 1979 Verdi: Luisa Miller (with Scotto, Domingo, Morris; Levine, cond., Merrill, dir.) 1980 Verdi: Don Carlos (Scotto, Troyanos, Moldoveanu, Plishka, Hines; Levine, cond., Dexter, dir.) 1983 Verdi: Ernani (with L. Mitchell, Pavarotti, Raimondi – Levine, cond., Samaritani, dir.) 1984 Verdi: Simon Boccanegra (with Tomowa-Sintow, Moldoveanu, Plishka – Levine, cond., Capobianco, dir.) 1985 Verdi: Nabucco (with Bumbry, Cortez, Raimondi – Santi, cond.) Sherrill Milnes: An All-Star Gala (various artists) 1986 Sherrill Milnes at Juilliard: An Opera Master Class 1988 Verdi: Il trovatore (with Marton, Zajick, Pavarotti – Levine, cond., Melano, dir.) 1989 Verdi: Aïda (with Millo, Zajick, Domingo – Levine, cond., Frisell, dir.) 1991 Met's 25th Anniversary Gala at Lincoln Center (various artists) 1992 Puccini: La fanciulla del West (with Daniels, Domingo – Slatkin, cond., del Monaco, dir.) 1996 James Levine 25th Anniversary Gala (various artists) References [edit ] ^ "Liberty Receives Classical Salute, Sun Sentinel, July 5, 1986". ^ "The Winners of the 2008 OPERA NEWS Awards are…". Metropolitan Opera, Opera News. 4 August 2008 . Retrieved 20 March 2009. ^ Leading clarinetist to receive Sanford Medal ^ Delta Omicron ^ Milnes, Sherrill; McGovern, Dennis. "American aria: encore", p. 33, Hal Leonard Corporation, 2007. ISBN 1-57467-160-X. Accessed February 21, 2011. External links [edit ]