Julian Patrick, Broadway Actor and Opera Singer, Dies at 81
19 May 2009
Julian Patrick, a baritone who began his career with a flurry of Broadway performances in the 1950s but spent the bulk of his career on the opera stage, died in his sleep of natural causes May 8 while on vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was 81.
Mr. Patrick was based in Seattle, where he taught at the University of Washington. He performed more than 100 major roles worldwide with European and U.S. opera companies. He also essayed theatrical roles at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, including Benjamin Franklin in 1776,, and such quasi-operatic musical parts as Tony in The Most Happy Fella and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd..
Mr. Patrick made his Broadway debut playing Achilles in The Golden Apple, Jerome Moross and John la Touche's chamber musical treatment of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He was in the choruses of the Judy Holliday vehicle Bells Are Ringing and Marc Blitzstein's Juno. He played Lord Patrick in Mary Rodgers' musical comedy Once Upon a Mattress and fielded a variety of small parts in Fiorello!.
Born in Mississippi in 1927, Mr. Patrick grew up in a music-loving family and joined the Apollo Boys Choir of Birmingham, Alabama. He studied music at the Cincinnati Conservatory. He served in both World War II and the Korean War.
Mr. Patrick is survived by his life partner for 56 years, Donn Talenti.
Featuring the Broadway classics “To Life (L’Chaim!),” “If I Were A Rich Man,” “Sunrise Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “Tradition,” Fiddler on the Roof will introduce a new generation to this uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy! To love! To life!