Ara Berberian, Former Metropolitan Opera Bass, Dies at 74

Classic Arts News   Ara Berberian, Former Metropolitan Opera Bass, Dies at 74
Bass Ara Berberian died on February 21, the Associated Press reports. He was 74.

The cause of death cited was heart failure.

The Detroit-born Berberian had been both an attorney and an economic advisor before studying singing. He made his debut in 1958 with the Turnau Opera in Woodstock, New York, as Don Magnifico in Rossini's La Cenerentola, and sang in roles all over the country before making his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1979 as Zacharie in Meyerbeer's Le Prophete. He sang with the Met for the next decade, as well as with the New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the Michigan Opera Theatre.

Among the parts that Berberian sang at the Met were Osmin in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio and Don Basilio in Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Altogether he sang over 100 different roles.

A public memorial is expected to be held sometime this spring.

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