On May 17, As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis appeared in Vista Superior Court for…
- Posted on Jul 18th 2011 2:30PM by Kelly Mahan
Born on Sept. 24, 1922 in Minneapolis, MacNeil was raised by his mother, a singer who had studied under the famed contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink, and his father, a dentist.
According to the Times, MacNeil suffered from asthma until the age of 20, an ailment that led to his rejection from the military during World War II. At his mother's insistence, he studied music under Friedrich Schorr, a retired baritone, before joining the Radio City Music Hall Glee Club in New York.
He made his operatic debut in 1950 and continued to stun crowds with his exceptional vocal performance until 1987. He would go on to sing the lead role at the Met in Verdi's 'Rigoletto' more than 100 times garnering his title as the "Verdi baritone."
"The larger and more complex the part, the better he was," James Levine, the Met's longtime conductor, said of Mr. MacNeil's Verdi roles in a 2007 interview with Opera News.
MacNeil lived in an assisted-living facility in Charlottesville until his passing and is survived by his second wife, Tania Rudensky, five children from a previous marriage, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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