Regina Resnik one of Danise’s students

Regina Resnik (born August 30, 1922) is an American operatic singer.

Regina Resnik, an American mezzo-soprano, started a dramatic career

ten months after earning her B.A. in Music at Hunter College.

The role was Lady Macbeth under Fritz Busch in December, 1942

with the New Opera Company.

A few months later, she sang Fidelio and Micaela under Erich Kleiber

in Mexico City. In between she sang Santuzza with the fledgling New York City Opera

and, performing "Ernani, Involami", won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and her contract with that company for the 1944-45 season. 

Performance career

Miss Resnik's debut at the great theater was doubly dramatic - on one day's notice she substituted for Zinka Milanov as Leonora in Il trovatore eliciting acclaim from the public, the critics noting that all the vocal "virtuosity" and her stage presence as an actress were very impressive. During the next decade, she offered twenty heroines: Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Fidelio, Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Gutrune (Götterdämmerung), Chrysothemis (Elektra), Rosalinda, Eboli (Don Carlo), Aida, Alice Ford (Falstaff), Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Musetta (La bohème). She was the Met's first Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes and created Delilah in Bernard Roger's world premiere of The Warrior. She then also began a long association with the San Francisco Opera. As for the voice, it was a dramatic soprano, rich and vibrant, it invited comparison with the legendary Rosa Ponselle. During these years, her teacher was Rosalie Miller and her life began with the legendary conductors; Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, George Szell, Fritz Reiner, William Steinberg and Erich Leinsdorf.

In 1953, while singing Sieglinde in Bayreuth, the conductor Clemens Krauss was to forecast her future, insinuating her voice was actually a mezzo-soprano. Despite her great success as a soprano, she realized that her entire voice was constantly darkening in color. In 1955 she began a year of restudy with the celebrated baritone, Giuseppe Danise.

Her first two roles were Amneris in Aida and Laura in La Gioconda. On February 15, 1956, she debuted as a mezzo-soprano at the Metropolitan in a brilliant portrayal of Marina in Boris Godunov under Dimitri Mitropoulos. October, 1957, was the beginning of a long career in London at the Royal Opera House. Her debut as Carmen was a success and, in time, she was heard as Amneris (Aida), Marina (Boris Godunov), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), the Nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten and the Old Prioress in Dialogues of the Carmelites. In the Franco ZeffirelliCarlo Maria Giulini production of Falstaff, her Mistress Quickly became the model for this role. Carmen, Klytemnestra (Elektra), Mistress Quickly and the Pique Dame (Queen of Spades) became her signature parts.

From the French Press - "Hers was the most skillfully inflected Carmen with every nuance of the role and every syllable of her French set forth in a masterly manner. It was also the most beautifully sung performance of the role. From the dramatic standpoint, this was the ideal Carmen - ferocious, sultry, unpredictable; never banal, never vulgar." But with Klytemnestra, Miss Resnik met her greatest challenge – "a dramatic conception that is unforgettable and a vocal prowess without limit." Surely among the happiest memories are three comic masterpieces - her Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, the Marquise in La fille du régiment (with Sutherland and Pavarotti) and her Mistress Quickly in the Leonard Bernstein – Zeffirelli Falstaff of 1964.

Fluent, singing in six languages, her multifaceted talent crossed stylistic lines from the classic to the romantic, the Wagnerian to the modern. As the years passed, Miss Resnik developed a steady network of international performances: La Scala, The Paris Opéra (hailed as Carmen), Salzburg, Naples, Vienna, Lisbon, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Munich, Berlin, Brussels, Marseilles, Stuttgart, Hamburg and a return to Bayreuth. The Met, however, remained her base and among her triumphs there, was the new Elektra (with Birgit Nilsson and Leonie Rysanek) and The Queen of Spades. Outside the Met, she appeared in works by Poulenc, (an unforgettable portrait of the Old Prioress in Dialogues of the Carmelites), Menotti (The Medium), Von Einem (Visit of the Old Lady), Walton (The Bear), Weill (Mahagonny), Frank Martin (MystPre), Britten(Lucretia - both Female Chorus and Lucretia) and Barber (her Baroness in Vanessa). She has recorded all her great signature roles, Carmen (Thomas Schippers), Klytemnestra (Georg Solti), Mistress Quickly (Leonard Bernstein), Orlovsky (Herbert von Karajan), "Pique Dame" Countess (Msitislav Rostropovich) and Sieglinde (Clemens Krauss), among many others. She became the only singer in operatic history to have sung both the soprano and mezzo leads in much of her repertory. In the United States and Canada she has also appeared in countless regional companies.

In the decade spanning 1971-1981, she distinguished herself as a stage director with Arbit Blatas, the renowned Lithuanian-born painter and sculptor, as designer. Carmen (Hamburg) which became the film The Dream and the Destiny, Falstaff (Venice, Warsaw, Madrid, Lisbon), Queen of Spades (Vancouver, Sydney), The Medium and The Bear (Lisbon), Elektra (Venice, Strasbourg, Lisbon) and Salome (Lisbon, Graz).

In 1987, Resnik made a transition to the American musical theatre as a singing actress. Her Mrs. Schneider in Cabaret on Broadway earned her a Tony nomination and her Mme. Armfeldt (A Little Night Music) at Lincoln Center brought her a Drama Desk nomination in 1991.

Teaching career

She has been a master class teacher at the Metropolitan Opera, for ten years, at the Mozarteum (Salzburg), the Canadian Opera (Toronto), the San Francisco Opera, the Opera Studio of Opéra Bastille in Paris, the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. She is Master Teacher-in-Residence in the Opera Department of the Mannes College of Music, and has been responsible for the preparation of La Bohème, The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Il tabarro, Gianni Schicchi, The Marriage of Figaro and The Dialalogue of the Carmelites. In Italy, she is Master Teacher of Vocal Studies at the Ca’Zenobio Master Campus in Treviso, and Musical Director of Eurobottega, a unique program for young singers. of the European Union, with headquarters in Venice and Treviso. The now renowned concert series "Regina Resnik Presents" has become part of the American musical scene. Its most recent production has been a major three-part portrait of the Jewish musical experience, entitled "Colors of the Diaspora." Conceived by her son, Michael Philip Davis, and directed by Miss Resnik, this "kaleidescope of Jewish classical song" features Miss Resnik as narrator and has been televised and shown on CUNY TV; all three concerts were also released on DVD in September 2011 by (VAI 4540).

Awards and honors

Celebrations of her career began in New York City when "Regina Resnik Day" was proclaimed. She received the Lawrence Tibbett Award from the American Guild of Musical Artists and a special tribute from Lincoln Center. The city of Venice honored her 50th anniversary in a special event. The 60th anniversary of her career was celebrated by the Metropolitan Opera Guild at Lincoln Center in New York.

Hunter College has invested her with an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters and, in 2007, the New England Conservatory honored her with a Doctorate of Music. She has served as a trustee of the Hunter Foundation and as a member of the jury of the Peabody Awards for Radio and Television. She still serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the Board of Advisors of CUNY TV.



  1. Rosenthal, H. and Warrack, J. (eds.), "Resnik, Regina", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 1979. p. 413


External links

Interview with Regina Resnik by Bruce Duffie, March 16, 198

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barry Morell, one of Danise’s students at The Juilliard School

Barry Morell (March 30, 1927 - December 4, 2003) was an American operatic tenor particularly associated with the Italian and French repertoire.

He was born in New York City and studied at the Juilliard School with Giuseppe Danise.

He made his debut as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the New York City Opera in 1955, and again as Pinkerton, at the Metropolitan Opera in 1958, where he was to sing regurlarly for twenty years, mostly in lyric roles such as Edgardo, Macduff, Duke of Mantua, Alfredo, Rodolfo, Faust, Hoffmann, Turridu, Lensky, Matteo.

He also sang regularly at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the San Francisco Opera, and in 1968, began appearing abroad, notably in Rome, Barcelona, London, Berlin, Vienna, Buenos Aires, Santiago, etc.

In the 1970s, as his voice darkened and widened, he successfully moved to heavier roles such as Riccardo, Alvaro, Enzo, Cavaradossi.

Morell retired from the stage in the mid 1980s. He died in Sandwich, Massachusetts on December 4, 2003, aged 76.



  1. Forbes, Elizabeth, "Barry Morell, Operatic tenor", The Independent, 10 December 2003

  2. Hamilton, David (ed.), "Morell, Barry", The Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia, Simon and Schuster, 1987, p. 235

  3. Opera News, Obituaries, February 2004.

  1. Official website

  2. The Juilliard School – its history at 100

The Juilliard School located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, United States, is a performing arts conservatory which was established during 1905. It is identified informally as simply Juilliard and currently trains about 800 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music.

  1. Official website

  2. The Juilliard School – its history at 100

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Barry Morell, opera tenor, 75; had leading roles globally

By Staff and wire reports, 12/9/2003

SANDWICH -- Barry Morell, a tenor who played leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera and internationally for more than two decades, died Thursday of esophageal cancer at his home on Cape Cod, his wife, Joan, said. He was 75.

AMr. Morell, a good, sturdy, reliable singer in an era of great ones, sang in Boston on the Metropolitan Opera tour for nearly two decades, often when one of the great ones canceled. Disappointment aboutnot hearing Richard Tucker or another star usually gave way during a performance by Mr. Morell, because he was so sincere and likable.

At one of those performances, he executed a spectacular stage fall. It was in the Metropolitan Theater, now the Wang Center, and the young Joan Sutherland had just earned a thunderous ovation after singing the "Mad Scene" in Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" in 1964.

There was no way that Mr. Morell, or any other tenor who ever lived, could top the impact of Sutherland's coloratura and high E-flat, but in the final Tomb Scene, he ran to the top of a flight of stairs, stabbed himself, and somersaulted down. The effect was so startling that the audience gasped and applauded.

Born in Manhasset, N.Y., Mr. Morell made his stage debut at age 17, singing "Ol' Man River" at a Broadway benefit for the New York City Actors' Fund.

Mr. Morell began his career as a baritone, until he sought the guidance of former Metropolitan Opera baritone Giuseppe Danise, who told him he must be a tenor. "Then we will see if you can become a singer," Danise told him, according to a Met biography.

Mr. Morell was best known for performing the operas of Puccini. He made his debut as Pinkerton in "Madame Butterfly" in 1955 with the New York City Center Opera Company. In 1958, he made his Met debut in the same role.

In 1968 he moved his wife and children to Rome as his career grew internationally. He appeared in Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, and other opera houses in Europe, South America, and across the United States.

Among his more than 20 roles during 257 performances at the Met were Rodolfo in "La Boheme," Enzo in "La Gioconda," and the title roles of "Don Carlo" and "Faust."

Though he retired in 1986, one of his most memorable performances came just two months ago, for his family.

"With his last ability to sing, he tried to sing for all the children, the things they wanted to hear," his wife said. To her, he sometimes would sing from Verdi's "La Forza del Destino."

"Out of the clear blue sky, he would sing just a little bit of that for me," she said. "It was his way of speaking to me."

In addition to his wife, he leaves five children and five grandchildren.

Globe staff writer Richard M. Dyer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.