Cornell MacNeil



Cornell MacNeil (born 24 September 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American operatic baritone known for his voice and his phenomenal career with the Metropolitan Opera, which spanned 642 performances in twenty-six roles. Among his teachers were Friedrich Schorr and Dick Marzollo. He debuted with various companies in the United States from 1953 (including the New York City Opera) and at Teatro alla Scala and the Metropolitan in 1959. In 1969 he became president of the American Guild of Musical Artists.

MacNeil was known for his enormous sound and volcanic top notes. Although he experienced somewhat of a vocal decline through the late 1970s, he maintained a high level of dramatic ability through his long career. Two of his most notable roles were the title role in Rigoletto, and Iago in Otello.

MacNeil was a regular at the Metropolitan Opera. His debut was on March 21, 1959, as Rigoletto. Rigoletto was also the role he sang the most at the Met, 104 times, including the Met's first telecast of that opera in 1977, in the production by John Dexter. MacNeil was able to perform this role on tour with the Met when that company's tour stopped in Minneapolis in 1961, 1969 and 1978.

Another role MacNeil was famous for was Baron Scarpia in Tosca a role he sang ninety-two times at the Met between November 2, 1959, and was his last performance with the Met, on December 5, 1987.

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