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Cornell McNeill

Cornell McNeil (MacNeil)

(September 24, 1922- July 15th 2011)

 

 

Cornell MacNeil was an American bass baritone known for his exceptional voice and long career with the Metropolitan Opera.

His career saw him perform 642 performances in twenty-six different roles. He triiumphed in roles by Verdi such as Rigoletto and Germont in La Traviata, Tonio in Pagliacci.

He also sang the role of Baron Scarpia in "Tosca" 92 times at the Metropolitan Opera, between 1959, and December 1987, which was his last performance.

He was the Germont in performance and on recording to Joan Sutherland's Violetta in La Traviata and was a hugely respected Tonio in I Pagliacci. His voice was huge and many people remember his magnetic stage presence which left them with indelible memories of performances never to be forgotten.

He was just another one of many artists who had a falling out with the managment of the Metropolitan later in his career.

Here Cornell McNeil is pictured in one of his signature roles- Verdi's Rigoletto.

He is the Scarpia to Shirley Verrett's Tosca and also Scarpia to Hildegard Behren's Tosca - both Metropolitan productions available on DVD today. His Scarpia is reminicent of the great Tito Gobbi's interpretation and on the Behren's DVD there is a feature of Cornell and Tito discussing the role.

Click here for recordings and performances by Cornell MacNeil.

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