Donald (George) Brown. Lyric baritone, teacher, b Nelson, BC, (5 April 1925 – 7 October 2017); ARCT 1949, LRCT 1951. After early studies with Mrs P. Ferguson in Nelson, he studied in Toronto with George Lambert, Emmy Heim, and for three months with Pauline Donalda. Brown began his performing career in Toronto singing as soloist in Bach's St Matthew Passion 1948-54 and in several Messiah performances with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and also roles in opera and in nine Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. He moved to Edmonton in 1954 and to New Westminster, BC in 1958, and continued to teach and perform in both cities. In 1960 he began teaching at the University of British Columbia, where he remained on staff until 1989.
Brown performed in opera, light opera, and musical comedy, as an oratorio and cantata soloist, and in recital repertoire. His opera roles have included Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Beppe and Harlequin in Pagliacci, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mr Gedge in Britten's Albert Herring, and Happy in the Girl of the Golden West. His cantata and recital repertoire has included a number of works by Benjamin Britten, including the 1949 Canadian premiere of his St Nicolas cantata in Toronto. Brown has sung in the premieres of many Canadian works, including Godfrey Ridout'sCoronation Ode (1953), Peter Huse's Vanity of Vanities (1963), Jack Behrens'The Lay of Thrym (in the role of Heimdahl, 1968), and Elliot Weisgarber'sNight (1974).
A soloist on the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's recording of the Bach St Matthew Passion (1953, 3-Beaver LPS-002/3-RCA Victor LBC-6101), Brown also recorded with the Vancouver Chamber Group on their recording of MacMillan'sSix Bergerettes du bas Canada (1973, CBC SM-204) and with the CBC Vancouver Chorus in Coulthard'sFive Part-Songs for Voices and Piano (1975, RCI 226).
Brown has studied vocal physiology, primarily with William Vennard at Oakland U, Rochester in 1968 on a Canada Council grant, and has subsequently given workshops on vocal production and vocal health to groups of musical and non-musical voice users. His singing students have included Lloyd Burritt, Ingrid Suderman, and Lyn Vernon. He has adjudicated at festivals across Canada and in 1991 continued to be active as a consultant to music festivals and as a workshop clinician.