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Sherrill Milnes
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Sherrill Milnes

The American baritone Sherrill Milnes (born January 10, 1935) is a prominent opera singer famous for his Verdi roles. From the mid-1960s until 1997 he was associated with the Metropolitan Opera.

Milnes was born in Downer's Grove, Illinois to a dairy farmer and his wife. As a child, he exhibited varied musical talents; in addition to singing he also played piano, violin, viola, double bass, clarinet, and tuba.

Milnes studyied music education at Drake University and Northwestern University, with the idea of becoming a teacher, but after graduating dedicated himself to becoming an opera singer and studied briefly with the famed soprano Rosa Ponselle. In 1960, he joined Boris Goldovsky's Opera Theater, debuting as Masetto in Don Giovanni. In 1961, he made his debut at Ponselle's Baltimore Opera as Gérard in André Chénier.

In 1964, Milnes made his first major breakthrough singing the role of Valentin in in Gounod's Faust at the New York City Opera, the role with which he also made his Met debut in 1965.

In 1964, Milnes also made his European debut singing Figaro from The Barber of Seville at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan. However, it was his performance as Miller in Verdi's Luisa Miller in 1968 which catapulted him into international fame.

In the early 1980s, Milnes experience severe vocal problems but he eventually surmounted them.

In 1998, Milnes published a memoir, American Aria (ISBN 0028647394)

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