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 151-175 of 183 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    Puccini Gala - Famous Arias / Caballé, Carreras, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458212 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Montserrat Caballé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Tom Krause  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Lorin Maazel,  Nello Santi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra  ... 
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  • 152.
    The Only Opera Cd You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68823 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Helen Donath,  Roberta Peters,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Lorin Maazel,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 153.
    Sherrill Milnes In Recital Vol 1 - There But For You Go I
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1140 Release Date: 01/21/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Josephine McGill,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Performer:  Jon Spong,  Sherrill Milnes
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  • 154.
    Music Of The American Revolution / Milnes, Mccoy, Et Al
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80276 Release Date: 07/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Reid,  Abraham Wood,  Anonymous,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Donald MacCourt,  William Purvis,  Ronald Roseman,  Virginia Brewer  ... 
    Conductor:  Neely Bruce,  Thomas Pyle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liberty Tree Wind Players,  Continental Harmony Singers,  American Fife Ensemble
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  • 155.
    More Greatest Hits / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61982 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jack Judge,  Walter Kent,  Richard Rodgers,  Al Jolson  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Merrill,  Sherrill Milnes,  John Longhurst,  Alexander Schreiner  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerold Ottley,  Jim Clancy,  Richard P. Condie,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  The Vocal Majority  ... 
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  • 156.
    Massenet: Thaïs / Maazel, Sills, Milnes, Gedda, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65479 Release Date: 09/26/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Beverly Sills,  Nicolai Gedda
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 157.
    Diva / Montserrat Caballé
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65575 Release Date: 08/08/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  José Carreras,  Astrid Varnay,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Alain Lombard,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Rhine Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 158.
    Opera's Greatest Duets / Pavarotti, Price, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 62699 Release Date: 09/27/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé,  Shirley Verrett  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Guadagno,  Georges Prêtre,  Skitch Henderson,  Leone Magiera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 159.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Opera For Children
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443817 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Hamari,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Lucia Popp,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Silvio Varviso,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 160.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Opera For Everyone
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443818 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jacques Offenbach,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Huguette Tourangeau,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso,  Giuseppe Patané,  Richard Bonynge,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 161.
    Basic 100 Vol 47 - Verdi: Aida Highlights / Leinsdorf, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 62676 Release Date: 08/16/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Leontyne Price,  Placido Domingo,  Sherrill Milnes
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 162.
    Verdi: Don Carlo Highlights / Giulini, Domingo, Caballé
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63089 Release Date: 11/16/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Shirley Verrett,  Delia Wallis,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 163.
    Massenet: Le Roi De Lahore / Bonynge, Sutherland, Lima, Milnes, Morris
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 433851 Release Date: 01/19/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet
    Performer:  Gareth Morrell,  David Wilson-Johnson,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  John Tomlinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Opera Chorus,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 164.
    Griffes: Vocal Music / Sherrill Milnes, Jon Spong
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80273 Release Date: 12/08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Tomlinson Griffes
    Performer:  Jon Spong,  Sherrill Milnes,  Phyllis Bryn-Julson,  Diane Richardson  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New World Chamber Ensemble,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 165.
    Rachmaninov: Monna Vanna, Piano Concerto No 4 / Buketoff
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8987 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  William Black,  Sherrill Milnes,  Blythe Walker,  Seth McCoy
    Conductor:  Igor Buketoff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra,  Icelandic Opera Choir
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  • 166.
    Orff: Carmina Burana / Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 56533 Release Date: 09/15/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Orff
    Performer:  Stanley Kolk,  Sherrill Milnes,  Evelyn Mandac
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Children's Chorus
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  • 167.
    Essential Opera - Bizet, Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433822 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Placido Domingo,  Piero de Palma,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Sir Georg Solti,  Zubin Mehta,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 168.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Erich Leinsdorf, Boston So
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 7880 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Jane Marsh,  Josephine Veasey,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 169.
    Bizet: Carmen / Abbado, Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419636 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Ileana Cotrubas,  Yvonne Kenny,  Alicia Nafé,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus
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  • 170.
    Classics - Copland: Lincoln Portrait /Kunzel, Cincinati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80117 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland
    Performer:  Katharine Hepburn,  Sherrill Milnes
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 171.
    Fauré: Requiem / Dutoit, Te Kanawa, Milnes, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421440 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Sherrill Milnes
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Chorus,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 172.
    Puccini: La Fanciulla Del West / Mehta, Neblett, Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419640 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  John Dobson,  Malcolm Rivers,  Sherrill Milnes,  Jonathan Summers  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 173.
    Puccini: Tosca / Mehta, Price, Domingo, Milnes, Plishka
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 20105 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  John Gibbs,  Placido Domingo,  Paul Plishka,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 174.
    Puccini: Tosca / Rescigno, Freni, Pavarotti, Milnes
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414036 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Sherrill Milnes,  Richard Van Allan,  Italo Tajo  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Opera Chorus,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir
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  • 175.
    Rossini: William Tell / Milnes, Pavarotti, Freni, Chailly
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 417154 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  John Noble,  Elizabeth Connell,  Ferruccio Mazzoli,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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