|Birth: ||Aug. 29, 1928|
San Saba County
|Death: ||Sep. 24, 2006|
Opera Singer. A baritone of wide repertoire, he is possibly best remembered as a Wagnerian. Raised in central Texas under poor circumstances, he graduated from Baylor University with an engineering degree in 1953 then studied voice at Juilliard where he met and married soprano Evelyn Lear; Stewart made his 1954 operatic debut as La Roche in Richard Strauss' "Capriccio" then picked up occasional jobs at the New York City Opera and in church choirs before travelling with Miss Lear to Berlin on a Fulbright Scholarship and bowing at Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1957 as the Minister in Beethoven's "Fidelio". He was to make his Covent Garden London debut in 1960 as Escamillo from Bizet's "Carmen" and that same year had his initial appearances at Wagner's Bayreuth Festspielhaus while the first of his 192 Metropolitan Opera performances was to come on March 9, 1966, as Ford in Verdi's "Falstaff". Over the course of his career he became the first American to sing the complete "Ring Cycle" at Bayreuth and was to earn respect on both sides of the Atlantic in such Wagnerian roles as Wotan and Gunther of "The Ring", Wolfram in "Tannhauser", the title lead of "The Flying Dutchman", Amfortas in "Parsifal", and Hans Sachs of "Die Meistersinger"; able to sing other pieces quite well he was also noted for portraying the title anti-hero of Mozart's "Don Giovanni", Count di Luna from Verdi's "Il Trovatore", John the Baptist in Richard Strauss' "Salome", the four villains of Jacques Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffmann", and the evil Iago in Verdi's "Otello". Stewart joined his wife in "Kiss Me Kate" and "The Merry Widow", gave his final Metropolitan performance on November 20, 1993, as the Speaker in Mozart's "The Magic Flute", divided his later years between Florida and Maryland, was active with the Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Emerging Singers Program of Washington's Wagner Society, and died of a sudden heart attack after being ill with coronary artery disease for some time. He can be heard on a number of studio recordings and archived "live" performances. (bio by: Bob Hufford)
Evelyn Lear (1926 - 2012)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Jul 02, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92962441
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