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Calvin Marsh (Baritone)

Born: February 11, 1921 - Renovo, PA, USA
Died: June 18, 2012 - Dallas, Texas, USA

The American baritone, Calvin Marsh, answered a newspaper ad in which the director, a faculty member of Westminster Choir College in Princeton New Jersey, offered free voice lessons in exchange for singing in the choir, and later arranged a scholarship for him. He made American Theater Wing History by when his semi-final audition proved so outstanding that the judges dispensed with the Finals and awarded him first prize-a solo recital at New York's Town Hall.

In 1953, when a member of the Kathryn Long School, the Metropolitan Opera suggested Calvin Marsh to enter the Auditions of the Air, and he won a 'Met' contract for the 1954 season. The New York Times described his Germont in La Traviata: "eloquent, the bravos were loud and sustained." Jerome Hines, famed Met basso, declared his baritone voice to be "one of the most beautiful to be heard on any stage in the world. He sang 150 roles with the Metropolitan Opera from 1954 to 1966. In 1967, he made international debuts in leading roles in Munich, Glyndeborne, England, Geneva, and Mexico City Opera.But it was at a Billy Graham Crusade in Madison Square Garden, that he made "a decision for Christ" which changed the focus of his life entirely. Since then, he has sung only for the King of Kings.

Military record: served in the U. S. Air Force in the So. Pacific for 3 years WWII.

Press Commentary

"Mr. Marsh seems incapable of anything but the most distinguished artistic singing" - Paul Hume, The Washington Post
La Boheme
- "Calvin Marsh was an excellent Marcello, and it is a pleasure to have that admirable singer here in the part." - Michael Steinberg, Boston Globe
- "Calvin Marsh was in a position to understate his characterization in the title role. He was a tortured jester all right, but he made his points with subtle finesse rather than blunt hysteria. His voice expressed his histrionics."
Walter Arlen, Los Angeles Times
Il Trovatore
- "Phrase for phrase in elegant singing that was a model of vocalism and musicianship. Calvin Marsh sang a di Luna of the utmost elegance." - Paul Hume, The Washington Post
Madame Butterfly - "Mr Marsh was solid in the role, and his fine baritone vibrated with bureaucratic authority just the way we always have thought it would." - Ronald Eyer, New york Herald Tribune
La Traviata - "The major joy was that of Calvin Marsh as Germont. He has a voice of warmth and appeal. He merited the excited applause that greeted each of his appearances." - Toronto Telegram

Source: Nancy Steinberger (January 2006); Clavin Marsh Website (Photos)
Contributed by
Nancy Steinberger (January 2006); Peter Fulop, Mikrokosmos co. (Dates, August 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Robert Shaw


BWV 244

Links to other Sites

The Singing of Calvin Marsh, Baritone
Obituary in NY Times [Jul 10, 2012]

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Last update: Tuesday, August 08, 2017 06:04