New Year's Opera
Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard
When the curtain rises Wednesday night on Eugene Opera's production of "Orpheus in the Underworld," among the singers will be an unusual opera pioneer.
George Shirley, 74, was the first African-American tenor to perform in a major role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He sings the role of John Styx in this year's Eugene show.
"Mark (Beudert, Eugene Opera's general director) is a former student of mine," Shirley said by phone from his home in Michigan. "He graduated, and we stayed in touch. My students are all part of my extended family."
Born in Indiana, Shirley grew up in Detroit, where he sang in local …
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Publication information: Article title: New Year's Opera. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Register Guard (Eugene, OR). Publication date: December 25, 2008. Page number: E27. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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