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date: 11 November 2019

Cassel, (John) Walterlocked

  • Charles A. Jahant
  • , revised by Jonas Westover

Extract

(b Council Bluffs, IA, May 15, 1910; d Bloomington, IN, July 3, 2000). American baritone. In 1929 he was awarded first prize in singing and second prize in trumpet in the Iowa State Music Contest. He went to New York after an encounter with famous singer Lawrence Tibbett, and there he studied with Frank La Forge, sang on several radio programs (including “Hammerstein Music Hall of the Air” and “Maxwell House Show Boat”), and made his operatic debut in 1942 as de Brétigny in Jules Massenet’s Manon at the Metropolitan Opera; he left the company in 1945, dissatisfied with its casting policy. For a brief period, Cassel appeared in films. He ventured into musical comedy shortly thereafter with a long run in Romberg’s The Desert Song and roles in Great Lady (1938), Stars in Your Eyes (1939), and Rio Rita (1941). Cassel continued to appear in opera with various companies, including those at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and San Antonio. After World War II he went to Europe, where he sang at the Vienna Staatsoper and in Düsseldorf, Germany. He made his recital debut in New York in ...

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Musical America
Current Biography Yearbook (1955-)