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Charles Anthony 1929-2012

The comprimario tenor, veteran of 2,928 performances at the Met, died earlier today. He was 82.  (Photo: Metropolitan Opera Archives)


  • Will says:

    He was Fiorello in my very first live MET opera, Barbiere di Siviglia — I was 11. I saw him innumerable times after that. The MET really doesn’t operate much like that today, there’s no “house ensemble” any more, which I think is a shame.

    • armerjacquino says:

      Fiorello? Really? Almaviva maybe, or the Sergeant- but isn’t Fiorello a bass role?

      • That is not so unheard of. Frasquita and Mercedes exchange lines all the time. Arbace in Idomeneo is cast with baritones all the time and Fiorello is such a small role that it can be sung by either a character tenor, baritone or bass without much problem.

        Hasn’t the Sacristan in Tosca been cast with a character tenor as well?

  • Ed says:

    The legacy of Charles Anthony is long and great. His Met debut was before that of such icons of Tebaldi and Callas, to name but two of the most famous singers he sang with. Anthony sang with legends countless times per week. It would be impossible to name them all, but Tebaldi, Calls, Milanov are three such legends. Anthony was in the very first Nilsson/Corelli Turandot, as well as more legendary performances than one could count. His contributions were always of the highest level. In my early opera going days- the late 50′s- he seemed to be in virtually every performance I saw. Great opera companies such as the Met need legendary singers of course. But singers such as Charles Anthony were just important, if not more so. They sing or cover almost ever performance of ever week sometimes, for the entire length of the season. May he rest in peace. He was one of the really “nice guys” at the Met, and all the singers loved him.

  • All-Knowing Seashell says:

    A wonderful artist, and everyone who knew him would agree that he was as fine a man and colleague as any of us had the privilege to encounter in our lives.

  • eric says:

    Obituary isn’t posted yet, but here’s a profile on him from NY Times about two years ago.

    • Baltsamic Vinaigrette says:

      RIP Mr. Anthony.

      And eric, thank you -- your link is useful in more ways than one. The Charles Anthony article contains a link to another story covering Maestro Levine’s 40th anniversary at the Met last May. It includes a gem: Parterre fave Elaine Stritch admits to not knowing who fellow Parterre fave James Levine is, when he comes to see her backstage at a run of Elaine Stritch At Liberty. So she asks him for a business card.

      You get to do that kind of thing when you’re a nobody -- or a Great Big Somebody.

  • tatiana says:

    Yes, he was a very nice man indeed. . . And funny! Years ago, he and Anthony Laciura (they both hailed from New Orleans) were interviewed during a Saturday Met broadcast, trading reminiscences and stories. It was one of the best and funniest intermissions I ever heard.
    May he rest in peace. As someone else remarked, it’s too bad he couldn’t have enjoyed a longer retirement.

  • danpatter says:

    Rest in peace, Mr. Anthony. Artists such as Anthony, Cehanovsky, and Thelma Votipka (who leads the ladies in Met performances) bring so much to the experience of opera. I’m grateful for them.

  • operaddict says:

    A loving and generous colleague was Charlie Anthony. He certainly made me welcome when I sang my first rehearsal at the Met in 2008. He was covering the small role of Isepo…I was covering Barnaba in La Gioconda. He called me over after the first scene and told me…”Not since MacNeil have I heard a voice like yours.” And this from a man who sang with and heard them all, I was simply blown away by such generosity…deserved or not. God rest your soul, Charles.

  • sterlingkay says:

    A wonderful, generous colleague and a kind, warm human being who never seemed to have a bad day. I will miss him dearly as will anyone who was lucky enough to work with him. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  • papopera says:

    Sorry to hear that, he seems to have been singing at the Met since the days of Caruso.

  • Camille says:

    When Mr. Anthony was announced as one of the characters in an opera, I felt an inward tug of relief, for we were always in the hands of a professional and an artist. One knew that, if all else went awry, he would certainly deliver.

    Only this past Friday night I was listening to that wonderful Tosca from April 1994, with Guleghina, Pavarotti, and Morris, with Mr. Anthony who then had about forty years with the company, doing an equally wonderful job as Spoletta.

    One thing for sure; there won’t be another one quite like him. RIP.