The Canadian, bass-baritone, Donald Bell (Munro), began his studies with Nancy Paisley Benn in Vancouver. After attending the Royal College of Music in London on Scholarship from 1953 to 1955, he pursued training with Hermann Weissenborn in Berlin from 1955 to 1957. Later he studied with Judith Boroschek in Düsseldorf from 1967 to 1976 and Richard Miller in Oberlin, Ohio from 1985.
Donald Bell was only 24 when he was engaged to sing with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In 1955 he appeared in Glyndebourne Opera and at the Berlin State Opera. In 1958 he made his recital debut at Londonís Wigmore Hall, and then appeared at the Bayreuth Festivals from 1958 to 1961. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in New York in 1959. From 1964 to 1967 he was a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, where he sang roles such as Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva, Wolfram, Amfortas, Kurwenal, and Charles Gounodís Méphistophélès. He also sang at other European opera houses, but eventually became best known as a concert artist. In addition to the standard repertoire, he devoted much time to furthering the cause of contemporary music.
After teaching at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa in 1977, Donald Bell taught at the University of Calgary from 1982.