Sherrill Milnes

Biography

Born: January 10, 1935; USA  
The Verdi baritone is almost a vocal type in and of itself. These roles require outstanding breath control as well as the ability not only to sing strong high notes, but to sing for extended periods in the upper part of the baritone range. Milnes had both of these, and for a while even considered a career as a Wagner tenor rather than a baritone. His timbre was not to all tastes, but his vocal gifts, musicality, and powerful stage presence made Read more him the leading baritone at the Met, where most of his career was focused.
He came from a musical family, and his mother was his first teacher. As often happens in such families, he learned to play not only the piano, but many other instruments, both in the string and the brass families. He studied at Drake and at Northwestern University, anticipating a career as a music teacher rather than as a performer, and sang in the Chicago Symphony Chorus under the legendary Margaret Hiller, also playing bass in a jazz band on the side. He also studied for a period with famed soprano Rosa Ponselle, and was an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, known for launching new artists as well as works. In 1960, he successfully auditioned for the Boris Goldovsky Opera Company, one of the most renowned touring companies in the United States, and made his opera debut with them as Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni. He remained with them for five years, singing many of the major Verdi baritone roles, as well as graduating to the title role of Don Giovanni, and also appearing at other opera houses such as the Baltimore Opera in 1961. In 1964, he appeared at the New York City Opera as Valentin in Faust, and made his Italian debut at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan. The next year he gave his first performance at the Met as Valentin, opposite Montserrat Caballe in her Met debut role. In 1967, he created the role of Adam Brant in Levy's Mourning Becomes Electra. His Vienna State Opera debut in 1970, in the title role of Verdi's Macbeth, brought him to international fame. He made his Chicago debut in 1971 as Posa in Verdi's Don Carlo as well as his Covent Garden debut as Renato in Un ballo in maschera.
During the 1980s, he underwent a vocal crisis, and made relatively few operatic appearances afterwards (having more or less reached retirement age) though he remained active as an oratorio singer and recitalist, as well as a conductor.
His Iago on the recording of Otello with James Levine (BMG GD 82951) verges on being over the top, but is nonetheless one of the most vivid recordings of that role. A recital CD on Decca (443 929) of materials largely from early in his career shows off his fine top notes as well as strong technical facility. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 134 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Inaugural Season: Extraordinary Met Performances From 1966-67
    Label: Metropolitan Opera   Catalog: 70182 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Strauss,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Jess Thomas,  Leontyne Price,  Justino Diaz,  Franco Corelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Zubin Mehta,  Karl Böhm,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $145.99
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  • 2.
    Leontyne Price: Prima Donna Assoluta
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 531134 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Leontyne Price,  Judith Raskin,  Tatiana Troyanos  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Herbert von Karajan,  Thomas Schippers,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Verdi: Macbeth / Milnes, Muti, New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557380 Release Date: 09/09/2016  
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Sherrill Milnes
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 4.
    Opera Gold: 100 Great Tracks
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002503602 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Henry Lewis,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 5.
    Mozart: Cosi fan tutte / Price, Leinsdorf, New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875196382 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Leontyne Price,  Judith Raskin,  Tatiana Troyanos  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 6.
    Verdi: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002459302 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 75
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Stuart Neill,  Maria Guleghina,  Samuel Ramey  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  London Voices,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Verdi: Don Carlo / Giulini, Domingo, Caballe, Verrett, Milnes
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554007 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Ruggero Raimondi,  Montserrat Caballé,  Delia Wallis,  Shirley Verrett  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
    CD: $26.99
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  • 8.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 9.
    Verdi: La Forza Del Destino / Levine, Price, Domingo, Milnes, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88697986002 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Leontyne Price,  Placido Domingo,  Sherrill Milnes
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 10.
    Puccini: La Boheme (Highlights) / Solti, Caballe, Domingo, Blegen, Milnes, Raimondi
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88697840142 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Placido Domingo,  Judith Blegen,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir
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  • 11.
    Strauss: Salome / Leinsdorf, Caballe, Resnik, Milnes, Lewis, London Symphony
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88697579112 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Regina Resnik,  Sherrill Milnes,  Richard Lewis
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Verdi: Otello / Levine, Domingo, Scotto, Milnes, National Philharmonic
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88697448202 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Frank Little,  Paul [Tenor Vocal] Crook,  Malcolm King
    Conductor:  James Levine
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    Voce D'Angelo - The Complete Decca Recordings / Renata Tebaldi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4781535 Release Date: 01/20/2015   Number of Discs: 66
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Umberto Giordano,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni Inghilleri,  Giacinto Prandelli,  Melchiorre Luise,  Fernando Corena  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 14.
    Classic Duets / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002232209 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  June Anderson,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Bartoletti,  Riccardo Chailly,  Sir Georg Solti,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $11.99
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  • 15.
    Classic Duets / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002200802 Release Date: 11/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Tebaldi,  Luciano Pavarotti,  June Anderson,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Bartoletti,  Riccardo Chailly,  Sir Georg Solti,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 16.
    Rachmaninov: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002145102 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  André Previn,  Peter Jablonski,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Stanislaw Wislocki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Goldner String Quartet,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 17.
    The Early Domingo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 975792 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros,  John McCaw,  Franklyn Whiteley  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Nello Santi,  Sherrill Milnes,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 18.
    Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1 - The First Decade
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002051802 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Josephine Veasey,  Cornelius Opthof  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $157.49
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  • 19.
    Domingo at the Met [Anniversary Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303160 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  David [Tenor Vocal] Hamilton,  Allan Glassman,  Paul Plishka  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Giuseppe Patané,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Domingo - The Verdi Opera Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 372279 Release Date: 01/07/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Leontyne Price,  Bruce Brewer,  Edith Mathis,  Hans Sotin  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  James Levine,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Pavarotti Sings Verdi [3-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001853602 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Riccardo Cassinelli,  Leo Nucci,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Georg Solti,  Richard Bonynge,  Peter Maag  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 22.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548834 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Maya Sunara,  Corinna Vozza,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Anton Guadagno,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 23.
    Magic Verdi
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 282712 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Martina Arroyo,  Piero Cappuccilli  ... 
    Conductor:  Efrem Kurtz,  Riccardo Muti,  Alberto Erede,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 24.
    Verdi: Opera Highlights
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 167332 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Renata Scotto,  Beverly Sills,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Julius Rudel,  Herbert von Karajan,  Lamberto Gardelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Verdi: The Great Operas [35-CDs]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 167452 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Anne Edwards,  Matteo Manuguerra,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Renata Scotto  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  James Levine,  Tullio Serafin,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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