Maurice Brown

Maurice Brown. Bass-baritone, b Toronto, 1 Jan 1940; Artist and Licentiate Diploma (Toronto) 1962. He studied voice with Jeanne Pengelly, Irene Jessner, and Ernesto Vinci in Canada; Beatrice Rowe and Armen Boyajian in the USA; and Josef Metternich in Germany.

Brown, Maurice

Maurice Brown. Bass-baritone, b Toronto, 1 Jan 1940; Artist and Licentiate Diploma (Toronto) 1962. He studied voice with Jeanne Pengelly, Irene Jessner, and Ernesto Vinci in Canada; Beatrice Rowe and Armen Boyajian in the USA; and Josef Metternich in Germany. He made his professional debut in 1960 as Francesco in A Night in Venice,and performed over the next tenor years roles such as Basilio, Colline, Masetto, Sparafucile, and Don Pasquale with the COC, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, Opera Guild of Montreal, and the Stratford Festival. In 1967 he created the roles of the Judge in Somers' Louis Riel, the Priest in Raymond Pannell'sThe Luck of Ginger Coffey and The Squire in Kelsey Jones'Sam Slick. He was a soloist with the Festival Singers (singing in 1963 the title role in the premiere of Beckwith's Jonah ), with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Messiah, Bach's Mass in B Minor), and the Stratford Festival concert series (Schoenberg's Serenade). Brown won a Tyrone Guthrie Award at the Stratford Festival in 1964, and was a prize-winner in the 1967 and 1968 CBC Talent Festivals. He subsequently studied in Los Angeles, where he won awards in the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions and the San Francisco Opera Auditions. In 1969, Brown made an audition tour of Europe, winning prizes in the International Vocal competitions in Geneva and 's-Hertogenbosch, Holland. He was a second prize-winner of the 1970 Montreal International Competition also winning the special prize for the best interpretation of the commissioned composition, Contraste by Jean Papineau-Couture. Described as a basso-cantante, he sang over 40 leading bass roles 1970-8 in Germany returning to Canada to sing the title role in The Marriage of Figaro for the COC's 1978 North American tour. In 1979 he made his New York City Opera debut in the role of Des Grieux's father in Manon. He took part in many City Opera productions, including Don Giovanni (Leporello), Les Pêcheurs de perles (Nourabad), and Carmen (Zuniga). In 1980 he sang the title role in Verdi's Falstaff with the St Louis Opera. Until retiring from the stage in 1987 to pursue religious studies, Brown continued to perform with the COC, Opera Hamilton, Opera in Concert, and the Vancouver Opera. He may be heard on recordings of The Fool by Harry Somers, and in music by Morawetz and Brahms, with John Newmark at the piano (1967, CBC SM-42)