Frank Guarrera

Frank Guarrera Brief Biography

Frank Guarrera (December 3, 1923 " November 23, 2007) was an Italian-American lyric baritone who enjoyed a long and distinguished career at the Metropolitan Opera, singing with the company for a total of 680 performances. He performed 35 different roles at the Met, mostly from the Italian and French repertories, from 1948 through 1976. His most frequent assignments at the house were as Escamillo in Georges Bizet's Carmen, Marcello in Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème, Valentin in Charles Gounod's Faust, and Ping in Puccini's Turandot. He was also an admired interpreter of Mozart roles, establishing himself in the parts of both Guglielmo and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. Most of the roles he portrayed were from the lyric repertoire, such as the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, but he also sang some heavier roles at the Met like Amonasro in Aïda, Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West and Il conte di Luna in Il trovatore.

Although Guarrera did not possess as large of a voice as some of his fellow Met baritones, such as Leonard Warren and Robert Merrill, he managed to carve out a highly successful career for himself at the house through his charismatic stage presence, good looks, and well-focused lyrical tone. He sang at the Met during a "golden age of baritones" whose members also included Robert Weede, Tito Gobbi, Cornell MacNeil, Sherrill Milnes and Anselmo Colzani. The Times said that, "Frank Guarrera was a rare all-rounder, a singer whose competence, versatility, intelligence, good stage presence and the absence of inflated ideas of his own importance made him a valued colleague and the kind of stalwart company member that opera managers dream about."

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