John Arab

John (Joseph) Arab. Tenor, teacher, b Halifax, NS, of Lebanese parents, 15 Jul 1930, d Toronto 11 Jun 2000. He studied 1950-3 at the Maritime Conservatory of Music in Halifax with Teodor Brilts, summers 1953-66 at the Banff SFA, and 1954-66 at the RCMT with Ernesto Vinci.

Arab, John

John (Joseph) Arab. Tenor, teacher, b Halifax, NS, of Lebanese parents, 15 Jul 1930, d Toronto 11 Jun 2000. He studied 1950-3 at the Maritime Conservatory of Music in Halifax with Teodor Brilts, summers 1953-66 at the Banff SFA, and 1954-66 at the RCMT with Ernesto Vinci. He became a member of the St Michael's Cathedral Choir in Toronto in 1954 and sang under Mgr John Ronan and Father Barrett Armstrong. He remained a member in the 1990s. First singing Almaviva in the COC's touring production of The Barber of Seville in 1958, he made his formal debut in 1959 in its production of The Love of Three Oranges and appeared up to 1977 as a leading tenor with the COC in Toronto and on tour. He also sang with the Goldovsky Opera Theatre (USA), mainly in operas of Mozart and Puccini, and with other small companies in the USA. In 1967 he created the roles of O'Donaghue and Lemieux in the COC's Louis Riel and in 1968 he sang the Tempter in the North American premiere of Britten's The Prodigal Son at the Guelph Spring Festival. He has performed at the Stratford Festival, with the Banff Opera, in CBC radio and TV productions, in oratorios and concerts, and as soloist with Canadian orchestras. In 1977 he retired from the COC and taught singing, privately and for the Metropolitan Toronto School Board and the St Michael's Cathedral Choir School. At the latter, he taught tenor Michael Burgess. Arab retired from teaching at the school board in 1995. He was married to the mezzo-soprano Kathleen Ruddell.


Further Reading

  • 'In Memoriam,' Opera Canada, fall 2000