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Robert McFerrin

( b. Mar 19, 1921 Marianna, Arkansas, USA - d. Nov 24, 2006 St. Louis, Missouri, USA ) Male
Relations: Father of Bobby McFerrin
Grandfather of Jevon McFerrin

McFerrin was the first black male soloist at the Metropolitan Opera.

He graduated from Chicago Musical College in 1946. In 1949, he appeared in William Grant Still's "Troubled Island" at New York City Opera and as Amonasro in "Aida" with the National Negro Opera Company. He joined the New England Opera Company in 1950.

In 1953, McFerrin became the first black male to join the Metropolitan Opera. In 1955, he made his solo debut as Amonasro, three weeks after contralto Marian Anderson became the first black to sing a principal role at the Met. Other roles at the Met were Valentin in Gounod's "Faust" and Rigoletto.

McFerrin also sang the role of Porgy (played onscreen by Sidney Poitier) in the soundtrack of the 1959 film of Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess".

He toured internationally as a recitalist and was also active as a teacher.

He is the father of singers Bobby McFerrin and Brenda McFerrin.

ProductionsDate of Productions
The Green Pastures
[Play, Revival]
  • Performer: Robert McFerrin [Gambler, Shem, Isaac, Second Officer, Tenor/Choir]
Mar 15, 1951 - Apr 21, 1951
Lost in the Stars
[Musical, Tragedy, Original]
  • Performer: Robert McFerrin [Villager, Singer]
Oct 30, 1949 - Jul 01, 1950
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